Let’s Talk: Do you read reviews of books you haven’t read? Or haven’t heard of?

reviews-havent-read

It’s Wednesday, and we all know what that means…another discussion kinda post!

You’d think by now I’d have figured out how to start these posts. Every other post I’m relatively OK with, but discussions? Nope.

Now. I’m pretty sure we can all relate to the fact that reviews…just never seem as popular compared to other blog posts. Right? I honestly get so surprised if one of my reviews has a fair few comments and likes. And it’s understandable. Where reviews only focus on one book and one person’s opinion of it, other posts talk about more books, or just something relating to being a bookworm in general. So, at the best of times, reviews are overlooked.

But does it change depending on the book being reviewed?

Would you read a review of a book you’ve not read…or not heard of?

wwad

Make lame acronyms, apparently. 

I actually find these questions really hard to answer. Which is great, you know – starting a discussion to find you can’t even answer your own questions. Well done Ashleigh. 

No but really, it’s to do with how I blog in general. I don’t read blog posts every day, or even every few days. Rather, I leave it a week or so and do a very long blog-hopping session at the weekend/start of the week. So I catch up with everyone’s blog posts…including reviews.

No matter what it is, I’ll at least give it a quick read. And sure, if it’s a book I’ve read, then of course I’ll be more interested in the review because I have that relatability. I can compare my own thoughts and opinions to their’s. But still, I’ll read reviews of books I’ve not read or heard of.

Why? Because like I said in the intro, if any of my reviews get a fair few reads/likes/comments, it surprises me and I love it. Because let’s face it, it can take a while to write a review. And when you manage to wrap your thoughts into a coherent review, rather than fangirl/rant and text-scream through the computer screen, it’s lovely when someone takes time to talk to you about it. Because we all love talking about books, right? I mean, you wouldn’t be here reading this post on a book blog if not.

So I read other people’s reviews. Even if I’m not particularly interested in the book, I’ll quickly read the review and give it a like. Because why not? 

purpose

I’m pretty sure we can all agree that there’s at least two main reasons for someone to write a review.

1. Because the want to share their thoughts and have somewhere to ramble about it (i.e my reason)

2. To help others who might be considering reading the book to help make their decision. To influence them, and point out things they may or may not like.

Either way, you read a review to find out someone’s opinion on it. And again, it’s split in two – you either want to know because you HAVE read it, and want to talk, or because you HAVEN’T, and want a bit more information. It’s fair to say a huge amount of the bookish community find book recommendations from reviews. Even if it’s just a small tweet with a sentence and the star rating, that’s a review. It still gives you an idea of how good the book is, especially if you have similar reading tastes.

why-not

Let’s face it, it IS slightly ironic that we bookworms spend our lives collecting stories, and yet reviews are the overlooked posts of the blogging world. I mean, they’re literally discussing the books you could buy. It’s helping you decide whether that particular story is for you and your collection or not. And a lot of us book bloggers START blogging because we want to write book reviews…and yet aren’t always interested in other people’s.

Why?

Because we’re bookworms. 

You’re probably thinking something along the ones of “Wait what that doesn’t make sense?? You literally contradicted yourself there Ashleigh.”

Bare with me, li’l beans. I’m getting there.

We’re bookworms. Like I said before, we spend our lives collecting stories. Meaning….we probably already have a huge stock of books waiting for us. If not already on our shelves, then a list in our minds waiting to be read. Quite frankly, we already have enough books to read. Most of the time, we don’t need to go out looking at reviews to find a new one that sounds good. And if we DO want a recommendation, we just ask for one on social media, don’t we?

I feel like at some point, there was a switch from reviews being solely made to help people decide whether the book is for them or not, and now most are written for the purpose of simply talking about it. Of course, our reviews DO still help people decide. There’s a reason authors appreciate them so much, why they want them shared on places like Amazon. But honestly? We just like the chance to talk about books some more. It’s our passion, after all.



And now it’s your turn!

Do you read reviews of books you haven’t read? Or not heard of? 

Does the level of interest change for you depending on the book?

Would you read just out of interest, or do you use them to help decide on whether you’ll buy it or not? Maybe a mix of both?

Join the discussion in the comments!

Until next time…

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36 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Do you read reviews of books you haven’t read? Or haven’t heard of?

  1. Great post ^^ and you totally make sense! Personally, I really try to read reviews, but more often than not (if I haven’t read the book before) I’m attracted to the books that are in my comfort zone. I rarely read any thriller reviews or historical romance thingies. If it’s a book I’ve already read I’ll definitely read the review no matter what just, like you already pointed out, to compare it with my own opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I really needed to read this today. I have been stressing about this issue. I have 600 followers so I don’t get how my reviews get just a comment so I thought that perhaps I have been doing something wrong or my posts are just not interesting. It has really been discouraging. I do try to read all reviews even if I haven’t read the book although I admit that I don’t really read reviews for genres that I don’t read at all like fantasy. Perhaps I need to change that.

    I like reading reviews because they help me decide whether to get a book or not. I have gotten quite a number of books based on the fact that another blogger recommended them. This is such a great, informative post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great question! I do, just because that’s why I blog as well – to discover more books! But I only read book reviews that have good looking covers – I’m very judgemental, clearly! If the book looks like a book I’d read (YA, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary), then I’d probably click on over to the review! ^_^

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  4. Lovely discussion, Ash! I personally only read reviews of books I’ve read because theres been so many times I’ll read a review and will be spoiled by something in the book (then I’ll be less likely to read said book). However, I’ll sometimes read a review on a book I’ve never heard of because I want to learn more about the book. I love reading reviews on books I’ve read to simply see if the person had the same views as I. If not, it’s always interesting to see an opposite opinion because It makes me reconsider things that I may had disliked in the story. if that makes sense haha

    -Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      It’s hard to judge whether someone will include spoilers or not, and even though most reviews mention it if they do, sometimes it’s unavoidable.
      And yes I get what you mean about seeing the opposite opinion! It’s so interesting to see someone take the story in a completely different way

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  5. I usually don’t read reviews from books I haven’t read yet because I don’t want anything spoiled for me, I also don’t want someone’s opinion to influence mine before I’ve read it. I like to read reviews from books that I didn’t like to see if others didn’t like it as well. I will read/watch some reviews of YA Fantasy books because I don’t read that genre often and I’m always looking for new suggestions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m the same, if I know I have similar tastes to the reviewer or like their reviews in general, I’ll definitely read. If I’ve not heard of the book, a quick read is the least I’ll give 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I typically don’t read reviews for books that I haven’t read, just out of the sole fear of an accidental spoiler.
    I do read reviews for books that I have read more frequently because I’m always looking to improve my review and writing style so I kind of study those reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spoilers are the bane of every bookworm’s existence!
      Ahh it’s nice that you study reviews! A lot of people just skim over or completely skip them, so knowing somebody reads into them more is a nice thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha I definitely don’t read book reviews of books I haven’t heard of, unless the cover looks interesting then I might check out the review to see if it’s a good book.

    I also don’t read book reviews of books I WANT to read for fear of accidental spoilers, or outright spoilers… I often only read a book review if I’ve read the book and I may have something to discuss about it but even then, I don’t do that often… I feel like it’s very hypocritical of me because I post reviews, but I have no interest in reading reviews. Lately I’ve been wondering how I could put a twist on my reviews because book reviews are my least commented on posts.

    Reviews are the one of the least read posts for me! I much prefer discussions and original content! Like this post lol.

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really hard to get that interactivity on reviews, especially when there’s things like personal taste, spoiler warnings, opinions etc whittling the original audience down to about 2 people 😆 I get what you mean about feeling hypocritical though!

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  8. I think for me it boils down to the fact that I want to read reviews at a certain time — when I’m literally in the process of deciding whether or not to read a book. So when a blog I subscribe to publishes a review, I’m not usually in that moment of, “Hmm am I ready to click ‘buy’ on this book and read it?” My process is more like:

    – Decide I want to read x book.
    – Look it up on Goodreads.
    – Synopsis sounds awesome — check.
    – Scroll down and scan my friends’ ratings and reviews. Do they mostly like the book? Okay, let’s buy!

    I’m just not in that frame of mine when randomly reading blog content, I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean. Reviews are mostly read by people who are interested in the book and are trying to decide whether to read it or not, hence why they get less views. A lot of people just randomly scroll through!

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  9. Oo, this is a good question! I don’t mind reading reviews of books I haven’t read or heard of, as they may inspire me to add them on my TBR list. But I mainly skim over them or look at the blogger’s review rating, as I don’t want to spoil myself. I will only read one or two reviews for books I haven’t read yet, and if I have bought a book I wont read any reviews until I’ve read them. Unfortunately for me I read books after the hype has passed (I’m a bit slow at catching up on my TBR), so once I finish there aren’t many new reviews of the book for me to read. But generally I use reviews to help me add to my ever-expanding TBR pile 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Honestly Ashleigh, I read a ton of book reviews about books I haven’t read/heard of. Mainly because everyone else has read them and are screaming at everyone to read them. That’s why by TBR list is so big xD But it could be bigger, I guess.

    I definitely read out of interest. Everyone’s raging about how good Fantasy is compared to Contemporary so I borrowed Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardargo today. A little intimidated by the new genre, but we’ll see what happens next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice that you read all the reviews though! It’s lovely to be introduced to new things. I adore fantasy, so I really hope you like it too. I wouldn’t say it’s “better” than contemporary though, since you can’t really compare genres. That’s definitely a matter of taste/interest! Shadow and Bone seems like a good one to start with 🙂

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  11. Great discussion 😊! I actually do read a lot of reviews for books I haven’t read or heard of. I love recommendations and usually find them in reviews rather than asking on other social media only because I chat more on here than twitter 🙈. So far, I only avoid reviews based on spoilers or how excited I am for the book if I haven’t read it. There are some books I want to go into blind and so I avoid every single review. But yeah, I don’t really let having not heard of the book stop me from reading the review because you never know what hidden gems you could end up finding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesss I love your reasoning! There’s so many good books out there – you’re only going to find them if you actively go and look for them! I know what you mean about going into books blind, I LOVE doing that. Usually I read the synopsis, but by the time I actually get round to reading them I’ll have forgotten everything but the genre 😆

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! There are so many books I would have never found if it weren’t for reviews. I do them same. I usually still have a vague idea of what the book is about, enough to remember that I want to read it, but by the time I actually get to it I’ve pretty much forgotten everything else too. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I love that I forget though ahaha! 😆 Like I’ve no idea what I’m getting myself into, apart from that it’s fantasy (for example), so I can’t exactly judge beforehand! Everything is new to me 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Of course, I’m more inclined to read a review if I’ve already read a book. And even though there has been a lot of press this past year about how other bloggers don’t read other bloggers’ reviews…I still do read them. But not all of them! I’m more likely to read a review for a book if I’m a fan of the blogger’s writing style. Or, sometimes it’s something as simple as a catchy blog title that makes me click on over. There are so many books I’d overlook if I didn’t read reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think as well, a lot of bloggers follow each other and when it comes to catching up, it can be hard to read every single one with there being so many, so sometimes you DO have to filter them somehow.

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  13. I skim read over Goodreads reviews of both books I’ve read and books I haven’t. When I haven’t read it, I’m usually looking in reviews that have a dramatic rating. For example, a unique sounding book of both 3.6 and 4.2 rating to see why it was loved and loathed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I read reviews for books all the time! Mainly ones I don’t know about so I can know if I should add the book to my “reading repertoire.” I have found all sorts of good free books this way. I tend not to read reviews of books I want to read if they are spoiler-y…and you never know when someone will accidentally spill the beans in a review. I’ve read some reviews where the book is reviewed all the way to the end and I’m like, “NOOOOOOO!” 😱😱😱
    But I like indie authors and smaller titles, so I read a lot of Amazon reviews to make sure I’m not downloading a book that later I’ll wonder, “what the hell was I thinking?” I’m sure it’ll still happen, but hopefully less often, you know? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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