Booking Through Thursday: Reviews

Do you read book reviews? Whose do you trust? Do they affect your reading habits? Your buying habits?

Absolutely! Otherwise I’d be an angry little hermit, unaware of the greater book blogging community. I also read mainstream book reviews, such as the ones found in The New York Times and occasionally The Atlanta Journal Constitution, but I do tend to prefer book bloggers. After a while, you get a feel for their taste and how it relates to you, allowing you to make better decision about the book they’ve reviewed; while you can do the same with mainstream book reviews, it’s a bit harder (especially with The New York Times‘ new digital subscription limiting free access).

They do affect my reading habits since it’s where that reading habit springs from—reviews and other such recommendations are where I get a lot of books to add to the old reading list. But they don’t affect my buying habits. I’m extremely picky about the books I bring home (…well, for full sticker price, anyway), so it has to be a fantastic book that I will read again and again. In theory. So I very rarely buy books based solely on a recommendation or review, unless I come across it at a thrift store.

9 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Reviews

  1. If there’s a book I’m not sure about or I’m looking for more info about a title, I’ll read book reviews. Sometimes they save me from making purchases, sometimes they make me want to know more.

    For most books that I get, I still rely on word of mouth, my own curiosity, and the back covers. Those are the big draws for my attention.

  2. Because books are expensive amirite? You cannot be buying books just because someone awesome told you they were awesome. If I bought every book an awesome person told me was awesome I’d own, like, Let the Great World Spin. Boo.

  3. I tend to value the recommendations of friends and family more than book reviews. Both professional and informal book reviews have steered me wrong too many a time. The only times I take reviews into account are (a) when a book intrigues me but is outside my comfort zone, or, (b) when I’ve read some collected essays of literary criticis such as Camille Paglia, Clive James, or John Crowe Ransom, and they’ve given me ideas.

    Why am I reading this blog, then? Because I like the Omnivore. She’s interesting and fun.

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