Reading Other Book Reviews: A Matter Of Opinion

Before you read a book, do you head over to Goodreads and read a few reviews? When you’re about to make your decision on a rating, do you check out the ratings on Goodreads first?

If you’re debating on whether or not you want to buy a book, do you check if the average rating is five stars or two?

If you do, then… Stop.

Opinion Matters: Reading Other Book Reviews

I’m not here to tell you what you can and can’t do, but I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to read reviews before reading the book yourself.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check out the ratings and such beforehand, but I do try to shy away from reading the actual reviews.

Reviews are meant to help the author. The more positive reviews, the higher up on the pedestal the book goes. The more people will likely buy the book if they see it has 5,000 ratings, especially 5,000 5-star ratings. If it remotely seems interesting to them and they see it has a decent following, they’ll pick up the book.

Still, I’ll admit that there have been times when a book has seemed interesting to me and then I look at the ratings and see it didn’t do that great. Instead of getting the book, I’ll put it on my wishlist for later (and often times forget about it) or just put it back on the shelf.

This isn’t really a fair thing to do.

I know I’ve stressed this enough in my other book reviewing posts, but… everyone interprets the story differently. We all have different opinions on what we like and don’t like, what we thought worked well in the book and what we thought didn’t work.

If you pick up a mystery novel and there are five people who didn’t care for it, you may still enjoy the book simply because mystery is your favorite genre.

It’s not fair to put a book back on the shelf simply because a few people thought the main character was a bit dry.

You might as well judge a book by its cover if you’re going to base your bookshelf on other peoples thoughts.

But let’s be honest here; we all judge books by their covers. But that’s another story for another day.

Do you typically read reviews before buying a book? Do you shy away from them? Let me know in the comments below!

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Why It’s Okay To Say No To Book Review Requests

When you run a book blog, the more it grows, the more authors may come across it. If you have a decent following then they’re going to want you to review their work.

Everyone likes different genres, some more than others. If you love mystery novels and can’t stand historical fiction, then what do you do if an author asks you to review their historical fiction book?

Why It's Okay To Say No To Book Review Requests

A lot of reviewers don’t like saying no to authors when they ask such a request. I’m one of those reviewers. Sometimes it’s hard to say no.

When an author, a publisher, or a publicist contacts you, you feel flattered. How could they have possibly come across a blog such as your own? And your blog looked good enough to them to make them want to contact you. It makes you feel good so of course, you want to please them.

However, saying no to a review request will please them better rather than reviewing a book you won’t enjoy and therefore won’t give a good review.

A book review is nothing more than your opinion on the book. We all like different things and read books from different perspectives.

There are no bad books, but if there’s a book I don’t particularly care for, I’m not going to give it five stars.

When writing a book review, be sure to make it clear that you’re just stating your own opinion. Authors obviously don’t want anything 1- or 2-star ratings on their books, but you can’t please everyone.

That’s why, if there’s a genre or even a summary of a book that you don’t seem into, be honest with the author and say no to the request. Being honest and not wanting to risk a bad review will be much better than not enjoying the book.

The author will appreciate it.

Have you ever said no to a review request before? Let me know in the comments below!

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