Do you read book reviews? Do you let them change your mind about reading/not reading a particular book?
Of course I do! If I just read summaries, I’d never get anywhere. Book reviews, especially by people whose taste is similar to my own and who I trust, are where I get the bulk of my recommendations. I also read “professional” reviews, such as The New York Times Sunday Book Review, and occasionally reference back to Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust and More Book Lust. I initially drew up my reading list from Pearl’s books, actually!
I have a fairly hard and fast rule about books on my reading list–I can only take them off if I’ve learned that there’s something offensive to me in them, like animal cruelty or wanton homophobia on the part of the author. Book reviews are a helpful way to gauge that. They’ve also made me change my mind about reading a book. For instance, I initially passed on The Poison Throne, since the protagonist’s name is Wynter (it just bugs me), but upon reading a review about it, I decided it was worth a shot.
As a book blogger and as a reader, book reviews are extremely important.