Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book reviews - Do they really work?

Last Thursday I posted a poll about what makes you purchase a book all so I could gather some unscientific data for this very post.  (Kudos to PK Hrezo who seemed to figure out at the get go where I was heading with this!)

First off, here are the results.  Drum roll please!  (and yes, the typo is still there!)

So, according to this, out of 17 votes, only 7 would choose a book based on a book review.  Most fall into the blurb/recommendation from a friend.  Surprisingly, the cover was the least likely thing to influence your choice.  That surprised me a bit

But, the book review didn't.  I know I have a tendency to skim through reviews on line as I either don't want to know too much about the book, or don't know the poster well enough to know if we have the same taste in books.

There was one review I read last year, that had an opposite than intended effect on me.  The poster lamented how much they didn't care for the book that I went out and bought it, certain it couldn't be that bad (and it isn't.  I haven't finished it yet, through no fault of the book, but am close to halfway and have enjoyed it so far.)

Have you ever bought a book because of a bad review and was it as bad as the reviewer said?


  1. No, I've never bought a book based on a bad review - how funny that you did, though! I guess if I know I like the poster's taste in books (for example, Carolina Valdez Miller, who I mentioned in my comment on the previous post as the blogger who wrote a review of a book that I ended up really liking), then I'll be swayed to buy the book based on her review, but it has to be a book that sounds good to me anyway.

  2. It was certainly a first for me. I did leave out the fact I had read a different book by this author--in a different genre--so was pretty certain this one couldn't be as bad as I was being led to believe.

  3. Oh, I've definitely chosen a book based on the cover. And been disappointed! Sometimes the cover is better than the insides. :) Some reviews have turned me off to a book, though some have made me WANT to read a book. I'm hard to predict, I guess. LOL

  4. Yep, I've chosen a book based on a cover and certainly stayed away from a book based on the cover too. I rarely read the back blurb. If it's in my genre, then I'm interested. I used to read reviews, and sometimes I still do, but I always look for the bad reviews first. I'm not interested if someone loves the book--it might be a friend of the author. However I AM interested in if they don't like the book and what it was they didn't like. What I've also done lately is read the sample chapters before buying. That gives me the best judgement.

  5. OMG mary you need to look at my post for today. It's about book cover blurbs and how they impact whether or not you purchase the book. You and I were channeling each other's thoughts!

  6. Interesting! And no I've never bought a book with a negative review... but I'm sure it happens... especially if it's controversial!


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