Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Power of the Book Review

I've been writing this blog for a while now and whilst I was typing the last post on environmentally friendly reading, I started thinking about how much influence book reviews have, on people's choice of reading.

I write this blog mainly for writing practise and also to keep a record of the books that I have read (I have geekish tendancies!). However, if I can inspire people to read the books that I have reviewed or to get people interested in reading in general, then that is a great thing.

Personally, sometimes book reviews influence what I read next. If there are titles that I am thinking of reading, then by reading reviews either in magazines, websites or blogs, it helps me to decide whether to read that book or not.

Also, if I read a book review which says that a certain novel is awful, then that makes me what to read it, just to see whether it is as bad as they say it is. On the other hand, I also like to read books which are either obscure or recommended by friends, so it's not always a review which draws me to a book.

What about you? How much do book reviews influence what you read?


  1. I try not to be influenced by book reviews! but i admit it's difficult, same thing goes about movies. I usually read critics before.
    I also tend not to reach too promptly for books which received a prize or the book everyone else is talking about at the moment. This is why, very stupidly i never read Amélie Nothomb and it's only now that i do want to read her!

  2. I think that I am quite heavily influenced by book reviews. i am pretty busy and there are lots of books that look good, so if a lot of people suggest that one of them is a waste of time, I will probably not bother. Having said that, I guess that there are certain reviewers whose taste I know is more in tune with mine than others - and so i take more notice when they say yay or nay....
    Interesting post,
    Thanks for sharing,

  3. I do read book reviews but mostly to see if the subject or plot of the book would interest me. I rarely pay any attention to whether the reviewer actually likes the book (or film, for that matter) because we all have different tastes, so I don't really see someone else's opinion as a value judgement in something like this.

  4. Well, Hannah's review of The Green Hat influenced me but, on the whole, it is the cover of a book that draws me to it ....sooo, maybe it was equally the cover and the review that did it.

  5. Some reviews I read (mostly from book blogs) make me want to run and out read a book. I try not to let bad reviews get in the way of my decision to read a book or not. Everyone has a different experience when they read. BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog :-)

  6. Thanks for all the comments, it's nice to read other people's views, instead of writing about my own! I think the stem of it is, that the topic or story has to appeal first, then the review secondly.