Friday, February 15, 2008
BTT: Let's Review...
(From 17 January 2008): How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?
I love reading reviews of books before I read them myself. If I've heard of a book that I think sounds OK, I'll usually head to Amazon and read a selection of reviews. I'll also check out what fellow members at the BCF have to say about it. Bad reviews rarely put me off reading a book, but sometimes it will push a book lower down my wish list.
Two recent cases in point: I saw Patrick Suskind's Perfume going cheap in a bookshop. Before I bought it, I went back to work and read up on a thread at the BCF that had been devoted to this book. Opinion seemed very much divided and I decided that the only way to know for sure was to read it myself!
The second case is Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I must admit that the title alone put me off for a little while because it sounds very new age (something that might have once attracted my attention, but nowadays doesn't). I had read some good reviews and was thinking of buying it, then read more reviews, this time bad, and now I'm sitting on the fence again :)
I don't think one should let bad reviews completely dictate whether or not they read a book, because often what one person loves another person will hate. The only person who can ultimately decide whether or not a book is any good is the individual themselves. I like taking into account other people's views and then comparing my own once I have read the book myself (which means I usually read reviews twice over!)