May 07, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Why Do You Like to Read Book Reviews?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:


...Because you do, don't you? 😉
I mean, I know of bloggers who review books but hardly read any reviews (which strikes me as odd at best LOL). While others usually read reviews only if they come from trusted buddies (which makes much more sense to me. What with unmarked spoilers coming out from nowhere, biased opinions and other incidents).

Me? I'm an avid review reader, under the right circumstances. I can only read (e)ARCs if some author I've worked with in the past provides them (I also used to get them from Curiosity Quills Press, but alas, they went out of business at the end of 2018). I very rarely am able to buy my books when they come out, even when I trust the author and I'm committed, because my budget only allows me the random purchase. So, I RELY on reviews. I stalk Goodreads like a madwoman and read all the reviews that I can in order to make up my mind about buying a book. Of course, I stumble onto the occasional spoiler at times 😡 - but this practice has probably saved me from a few unfit books, and it will continue to do so. I usually start with the lower-rating reviews in order to see if those readers' pet peeves are the same as mine, and them sample the 4 and 5 ones. It may sound like a chore, but believe me, it's not. I find myself "liking" reviews from complete strangers because they're a joy to read, or/and have been useful to me.

The thing I need to get better at is reading reviews for books that aren't my cup of tea on my friends' blogs (sorry friends 😳). I do read some, but I skip others...because the books aren't my genre, and because there are only 24 hours in a day LOL (a lot less if you can never get enough sleep). I will admit though that I never fail to read my friend Carrie's reviews on Goodreads (well, she does have a Tumblr, but of course I can't interact with her there!), because she articulates her thoughts so well and she's serious about reviewing books, but she's also funny (and punny) at the same time! Check her out? 😉 I make a small commission out of this. (HAHA I'M QUITE THE JOKER AREN'T I 😆).

Well, that's it for now. And if you're interested in participating, here is the TMST prompt list for the rest of May:
  • May 14th: Do you prefer action-driven books or quiet books? (pssst...I suggested this one! 😉)
  • May 21st: Are most of your review books for publishers or are you reviewing books of your choice?
  • May 27th: Who are some of your favourite authors?
I'll be back for the meme on May 14th of course 😀 - and then on May 27th, skipping the middle question, since I don't get any bookmail, neither am I in contact with any publisher at the moment (and I doubt things will change in the near future...).

Now tell me you read random reviews, or just the ones by trusted friends? do you ever read reviews for books you're not interested in because you like the blogger's style (or because you're friends with them)?


  1. It's really weird but I don't read blog reviews to add books. I read and enjoy them because I love the bloggers (but yes, I do have my trusted sources - I tend to contact them directly via DM's) but I scour Goodreads when it comes time to purchase a book. And I start from low to high with the ratings too.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. Not so weird, since apparently lots of people do that LOL.

      Re.: Goodreads: Hey, we do the same thing for once?!? 🤣 Seriously, low ratings may be tricky because some people, if they hated the book, tend to get revenge on it by spoiling its bigger twist(s) and saying it (they) was (were) stupid or something...but they saved me from many wrong choices. Or sometimes, instead, I read about something that didn't work for the reviewer, and I decide to buy the book exactly because I know that very thing will work for me!

    2. I don't mind spoilers *GASP* lol

    3. 😮 😮 😮

      Not even the really HUGE ones? Like, all the people in this book are dead? 😉

  2. I love reading reviews, but not the ranty ones. I like fangirl reviews, especially when they are for a book I loved. I mostly read reviews AFTER I have read a book to see if people agree or disagree with me. I seem to always find the spoiler reviews, and therefore, am really picky about reading reviews prior to the book. I have some trusted people, but otherwise, I wait.

    1. The ranty ones are not funny - though their authors obviously think they are. Look, I'm being edgy! I'm using all my bad words! LOL. Spoilers are always a threat, but I prefer to be spoiled than sorry 😉. I understand reading reviews of books you have already read (I do that on occasion) - it might even help understand a plot point or dispel a doubt. It's a bit sad when reviews don't serve their primary purpose, but when one has trusted friends to turn to, their reviews probably suffice!

  3. I try to avoid reviews for a book I'm planning to read, unless it's someone I trust. People spoil things even when they don't mean to, and I'm sure I've done it as well. I like to go into a book blind, so everything is new and surprising. I like to read reviews for books I've already read, books I'm on the fence about, and new books I've never heard of. That still leaves a lot of reviews! Sometimes I skim reviews if it's something I plan on reading, so I just get the gist of their feelings and not actual book content.

    Ranting reviews are distasteful. You can not like something and present your feelings in a professional and respectful way. It's why I do my DNF&Y posts, and specify that there should be no author bashing if others want to participate. You should explain why you didn't like something, preferably with examples, and not just say how awful a book is.

    I also like reading reviews that have a different opinion! I think it's fun to discuss, although other people don't seem to think so.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

    1. Quote: "I like to read reviews for books I've already read, books I'm on the fence about, and new books I've never heard of."

      As a matter of fact, I second everything you said. And yes, it's rare that a review starts a discussion...usually, people tend to keep their opinion to themselves when they don't agree with you one way or the other LOL. But it would be fun to be able to do that among friends, or people who are respectful of one another.

  4. Aww, they did? I wasn't aware about Curiosity Quills Press going out of business! (Okay, but to be fair I eventually became an inactive reviewer of sorts and probably got removed, whoops). I usually look at reviews if I'm on the fence about the book... and I almost always look for negative reviews since they sometimes have trigger warnings and other issues that may come up and irk me a little (especially if the review isn't a super quick review that's only 5 words long). I also read reviews from trusted bloggers and friends and books I've already read because I can actually have a longer conversation than something I have mastered the art of BS on. 😅 (Or books I'm genuinely interested in reading or seems interesting...)

    1. Yep. It's a shame - they have feed me some pretty great books over the years. And some of their authors were in the middle of a now they have to find a new home, republish the first installments and then put forth the last ones!

      Ditto to everything you said! Except I usually don't read negative reviews specifically for trigger warnings, but OF COURSE it's important to have them mentioned (though, to be fair, I've seen positive reviews do that as well, like the ones my friend Carrie above writes. And mine of course LOL).

  5. Awwh, thank you so much for the beautiful shoutout! That made my day. 😍 You are without a doubt my most dedicated reader, and I hope you know how much I appreciate it! (And I try to return the favor in kind. <3)

    I love how serious you are about reading reviews to find books that are a good fit for you. I have nowhere near that kind of self-control, but I admire it so much!

    Bloggers that write reviews but don't read them always strike me as faintly hypocritical. It's not very fair to want people to read your reviews without giving anything back. I'll admit that if a review on my Goodreads feed already has 30+ likes and that reviewer has never once bothered to read one of mine, I'm more likely to skip over it.

    Then again, I love reading reviews and would never dream of stopping. I usually scroll through Goodreads/Tumblr, nearly every day, to see what's new there, and I read anything that sounds interesting or covers books I've already read. Once I've decided to read a book, I try really hard to avoid reviews for it though, since not everyone is dedicated about marking their spoilers! After I finish a book, I usually read through any reviews my Goodreads friends have written. If there aren't any, or I need validation for my feelings about it, I might take a turn through the rest of the Goodreads community. (And, of course, I read everything that you post! You're a top-notch reviewer, and whether or not I end up reading all the same books, I know it's going to be interesting! 😘)

    1. 😊 😘

      Quote: "I'll admit that if a review on my Goodreads feed already has 30+ likes and that reviewer has never once bothered to read one of mine, I'm more likely to skip over it."
      LOL, that's only fair.

      I sometimes feel bad for reading reviews and not commenting (just like I feel bad when no one comments on mine)...but the fact is, we don't always know what to say if we haven't read the book or don't know the author. Well, at least GR has a "like" option - and I do read the review in question before using it! 😉

      Quote: "You're a top-notch reviewer".
      Awww, I did need this! I've been feeling a bit burnt-out about reviews lately - that was the main reason for my hiatus - and I still find myself procrastinating because words don't seem to flow.

    2. "I sometimes feel bad for reading reviews and not commenting (just like I feel bad when no one comments on mine)...but the fact is, we don't always know what to say if we haven't read the book or don't know the author."

      Please don't feel bad! Comments are always nice, but the like means a lot to me. I can almost never think of things to comment on reviews. They're not a form of writing that prompts a lot of natural discussion, I don't think. I do, however, enjoy quoting lines that I really enjoyed, but that seems to be only a you and me thing... I've never seen anyone else do it, and I can't tell if other people enjoy it. But seriously, who doesn't love to be quoted? 😂

      You'll get back into the swing of reviews. <3 Sometimes it's even harder after a break and your skills feel rusty.

    3. Quote: "I do, however, enjoy quoting lines that I really enjoyed, but that seems to be only a you and me thing [...] But seriously, who doesn't love to be quoted? 😂".
      LOL, true! We both have a thing for quotes. Quote galore for us! 😂

      It's indeed difficult to comment on a review, unless you have read the book AND you have it fresh in your memory, or it etched itself in your mind and heart forever. You can only hope that someone, somewhere, got curious about the book after your review, and will give it a chance (or at least look it up on Goodreads...).

      Thank you for your encouragement hon!

  6. I read this when you posted it but it was when I couldn’t comment because of Google. I love to read reviews for books I have read because I like to compare notes and see if we agree. I also like to read reviews for books that I am unsure of because it helps make my decision. Great answer, Roberta!

    1. Thanks! and no worries - I love late comments as well.

      It's a pity that we never seem to find the time to discuss books that we have read with other people who did! But it's really nice when it happens - even if we don't agree 100%.

  7. I also scour reviews before deciding whether to read a book or not, usually. I don't have to be quite as picky since I fortunately do have access to a lot of eARCs, but I am still pretty picky anyway. I also use reviews of all different ratings to help me get a feel for the book, so if the negatives are things I can deal with, if the positives outweigh them for me, etc. I try to read reviews on blogs just to support other bloggers and learn more about their tastes and whatnot, but like you said, sometimes it's hard when the books just aren't your taste, so I get it!

    1. If there were more hours in a day, I would read more reviews and/or comment on them more for sure - even for books that aren't my genres. Maybe I need a schedule for that too haha.

  8. I definitely read a lot of reviews... unless I'm busy/stressed, because then it just seems like a chore. *cries* I do mostly stick to reviews of books I think I'd enjoy, or am curious about, because I *love* commenting on posts - I consider that a huge part of visiting blogs tbh - and when I'm not interested in a book I found it so hard to comment on a review. UNLESS it is a negative review haha, because then I can share why I'm not interested (if there's a concrete reason.) I def try to check out everything by friends, but commenting is another story - I'm repeating myself, but if not interested in a book I can hardly comment. Great post, as always. :)

    1. Quote: "UNLESS it is a negative review haha, because then I can share why I'm not interested".
      😂 😂 😂 That's so true! My friend Lindsi does a "DNF & Y" post series (she's always respectful though), and I find myself commenting on those posts far more often than on positive reviews LOL. Here's an example:

      Quote: "if not interested in a book I can hardly comment".
      Eh, that's the same problem I have. One says "great review!" and it sounds so insincere, even when it's not.

  9. I don't necessarily like reading reviews but some reviewers (is there a better word for them?) make them so enjoyable even if I don't end up reading the book. but I find most reviews to be a bit bias and sometimes there is too much girl/boy fanning involve, like these people love the book so much that they gush, they overflown with feelings (maybe repeating how much they like the book several times over) but I don't mind these as long as their reasons for loving the book is, well, reasonable.

    I especially love snarky reviews especially if a book is bad. some books I am certain I won't ever read & so reading reviews and even reviews that contain spoilers is kind of fun to me.

    I admit, I may have read one-star reviews on goodreads now and then for enjoyment especially if I found a particular book annoying or awful. and I sort of like to read the low-grade reviews first on sites like goodreads and amazon and all those book shopping places. for some odd reason, these review seems to pinpoint the problem of certain books so much better than, well, book reviewers who have positive reviews. I know when I dislike a book, I can pretty much tell you some bits that might be a problem to me but probably not to other people.

    I think reviews are hit and miss because there is no one way of stating your opinion without some people going against you but I like to read the positive and the negative reviews because that is easier to judge a book before you read.

    have a lovely day.

    1. I don't mind emotional reviews either, as long as they DO tell me something about the book itself, not just about the reviewer's overflowing feelings LOL. Snarky reviews, I'll admit, are more problematic to me, because they often tend to bash the author and the people who enjoyed the book, but if they pinpoint its issues ironically, I kind of enjoy them as well (even if I DID like the book in question!).

      Quote: "I admit, I may have read one-star reviews on goodreads now and then for enjoyment".
      😂 😂 😂


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