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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (fireheart223) | 13 comments Just wondering, for how many of us browse through the book reviews, are put off from trying a new book because of someone giving it a bad review?

For me, a good review makes me a bit more likely to want to read it, but I do like to remember that everyone has their own opinions, and there are always going to be people who hated a book that other people loved. Usually, regardless of whether the person reviewing it liked it or not, I'm more likely to decide by a book's summary than just the review.


message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreag) | 27 comments Negative reviews tend to put me off reading a book only if I'm already on the fence about it. The exception to this is if the review is by a reviewer who I consult regularly and have come to find their taste is similar to mine.

There are so many books out there and not nearly enough time to read the ones that sound interesting. I like a bit of help deciding what goes on the TBR list and what doesn't make the cut. A more positive review or recommendation in the future can always change the initial determination.


message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie Negative reviews don't necessarily put me off reading a book, but they do tend to color my opinion of it. I find when I'm reading it that I have that chatter in my head.


message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine (hatorisblindeye) Negative reviews used to phase me somewhat until I saw all the negative reviews for Blue Angel by Francine Prose. It's one of my all time favorite books.


message 5: by Dianne (new)

Dianne Ascroft | 8 comments I don't tend to worry much about negative reviews - unless the reviewer expresses an idea that I already feel strongly about. If he/she is saying what I already think then I will pay more attention to the review. Otherwise I will likely browse through books and be intrigued by a cover or a back cover blurb.

From an author's point of view, reviews are critical - you don't want someone to write a negative review as there's no telling how many people's opinions it might affect. I would hate to think that someone who might enjoy my book would be dissuaded from even starting it because of someone else's opinion.

Dianne Ascroft,
author, 'Hitler and Mars Bars'



message 6: by Eva Marie (new)

Eva Marie (evamarie3578) Bad reviews don't put me off too much. If it's someone that is close to me, knows me very well, and/or has similiar taste in books as I do I will listen more to a negative review from them. Positive reviews do seem to jump out at me though!


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie I agree with Andrea--a bad review will only bump a book off the "to read" list if I'm already kind of doubting it. And honestly, I've read a book on more than one occasion BECAUSE it had gotten bad reviews--I was curious at what the fuss was about. And really, that's out 50/50 with me actually agreeing with the reviews.


message 8: by Beth (new)

Beth I've found that many book reviews are just a summary of the plot followed by a one sentence statement as to whether or not the reviewer liked the book. I'm not influenced by those reviews. But, if the reviewer gives more of an analysis of the writing and specifically what they found to like and dislike in the book, then I am influenced by the review. I like Kevin Tipple's reviews of mystery/suspense books (see http://www.hollywoodcomics.com/kevin/... ), and his thoughtful, thorough review of my debut mystery, A REAL BASKET CASE, is still one of my favorites.


message 9: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Any idea why he hasn't written anything (at least on the link you list above) since 2007?


message 10: by Stef (new)

Stef (buch_ratte) | 39 comments Honestly, I don't care about reviews. I have read a lot of books just because of good reviews and found the books awful and therefore I no longer care about them. I do read them but a bad review never influences my decision whether I read a book or not. I usually choose books by the summary on the back of it.


message 11: by Bill (new)

Bill | 1 comments Hey. Just wondering. Has anyone else noticed that some of the goodreads top reviewers are just copying published reviews? Is that kind of thing ok?


message 12: by LJ (new)

LJ (ljroberts) Copying the synopsis of a book from the publicly available book description or inside flap of a book is okay, as far as I'm concerned, but not copying an actual review written by someone else. That's called plagiarism.


message 13: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W (ericw) LJ wrote: "Copying the synopsis of a book from the publicly available book description or inside flap of a book is okay, as far as I'm concerned, but not copying an actual review written by someone else. Tha..."

LJ: I believe that technically even copying from the book jackets without attribution would be plagiarism. The key here is attribution. For example, several folks copy sections of a review but they always cite the source and attribute it to the original author. It becomes plagiarism, I believe, only if presenting someone else's work as your own.

As far as negative reviews. Sometimes a negative review will encourage me to read a book. A prosaic example might be a book on evolution savaged by and intelligent design supporter. I'd rush to read that book. If a science book is panned by a science writer I respect then I would avoid it like the plague. Fiction is a little trickier because so much depends on personal taste. Often, you can tell from a negative review that the reviewer didn't like it for reasons of taste, e.g., too much violence, graphic gore, misogynistic, etc., that, all other things being equal might not bother me, so a negative review in and of itself is not a disqualifier. But that also holds true for positive reviews.


message 14: by LJ (new)

LJ (ljroberts) You're right, Eric. And I've been guilty of not giving attribution on the synopsis for my older reviews where I read the book long enough ago that I don't remember the specifics of the plot and use the book flap description. Newer reviews are completely written by me.

I try to write honest reviews. I never attack the author but am forthright about what I do or don't like about a particular book. But my opinions are my own and don't expect people to agree with me.

I read both positive and negative reviews to get a balance of opinions. The only negative reviews to which I pay attention, are ones where the reviewer has detailed why they didn't like the book rather than just saying they hated it.


message 15: by Diana (new)

Diana Green | 6 comments Negative reviews tend to encourage me to borrow the book from the library as i tend to buy the books i want to read, (i like having them to hand if i want to read them again). However if i'm unsure about a book because of the summary, or what others, such as friends or reviews say, there is no point in buying until i am sure. Mostly though reviews dont influence whether or not i'll read the book


message 16: by Bluedaizy (new)

Bluedaizy | 12 comments Reviews don't influence me, at least not much. I usually don't read reviews on books I haven't read, but sometimes I'll read a review a friend wrote and want to read that book myself, regardless of the review.

I love reading reviews of books I've already read. Even the "negative" reviews are interesting and sometimes I'll think about the book I read a little bit different. I recently read John Connolly's Book of Lost Things, then read the reviews. Someone had mentioned that most of the female characters were negative influences, and after reading that review, I realized the reviewer was right. I hadn't thought about it while reading the book. I still like the book, though.


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