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Booking Through Thursday | Let’s Review

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is suggested by Puss Reboots:

btt.jpg

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?

A most interesting and yet common question that I have to confront with every time I make a trip to the bookstores. I used to rely on book reviews from Amazon and a couple published sources like the New York Times Book Reviews until I realize that the reviews are either biased, or the reviewers haven’t paid enough attention on what the author’s meaning is. The social decline in reading also reflects upon a diminishing amount of information on books, let alone in-depth and insightful ones. Also to my disappointment, book critics nowadays focus only on potential bestsellers or titles that are hyped up. Very little attention has been given to literary fiction.

To answer the question, I do read reviews but I only use them as a reference pointer. If the premise of the book interests me, I would go ahead and give it a try even if the book has got negative reviews. But I would not venture to make an online purchase unless I’m assured this book is something that will have staying power.

The emergence of a book community in the blogsphere has changed the channels with which I acquire new books and reading ideas. Book bloggers are usually people who love books, gorge books, and read books with break-neck pace. They are the savvy ones whose insightful opinions I can rely on for books that I plan on getting. Usually I’ll give the book a try if it’s recommended by a fellow book blogger.

3 Responses

  1. I agree with your assessment of the blogsphere. Most of my recent reads have come from blog reviews I’ve read. Happy BTT.

  2. I don’t always listen to the book critics on papers anymore, they tend to think they’re more important than they really are. And sure, they tend to focus on books that are really being pushed by publishers, hoping to make huge bucks out of them. But if you pan something, the chance is that I’ll very much likely check it out! 🙂

  3. pussreboots:
    Me too. Other than the books that I nail to read, I draw selections from fellow bloggers. They help save money from buying the wrong books. 😉

    John:
    Thank you for your kind words John. I tend to agree that the media have less resources in reviewing good reads, especially literature and poetry. They tend to focus more on business, finance, and DIY type of books.

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