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Booking Through Thursday – Reviews

btt buttonDo you read book reviews? Whose do you trust? Do they affect your reading habits? Your buying habits?

When it comes to actual books (as opposed to comics), no, I don’t usually read book reviews–at least, not prior to purchase/reading. Occasionally while reading others’ blogs, if a title sounds interesting or a cover image posted grabs my attention, I’ll read a review. But my reading time is so limited overall that generally if I’m not already planning on reading the book, a review isn’t going to convince me to buy it.

I do sometimes seek out reviews AFTER I read a given book, as I’m generally interested in what OTHERS think of the book; how my feelings compare to their feelings, and often someone else will pick up on something that I entirely missed. So book reviews don’t really affect my reading or buying habits, and I don’t really have any one reviewer as a go-to before I acquire a book.

The primary exception to that is that in the course of listening to his podcast and reading other content he posts at Evertime Realms and cxPulp, Blake Petit turned me on to the Percy Jackson series as well as The Heroes of Olympus series (The Lost Hero) and The Kane Chronicles (The Red Pyramid).

Where my buying habits are most impacted and there are reviewers whose work will influence me is comics. At roughly $4 or under, a comic is a far smaller investment in the short-term, so if an issue is highly regarded, it’s usually not much effort to track it down and read it myself. When a reviewer highly recommends a series, similar deal–easy enough to track down an issue or a single volume (of a graphic novel series) to try it out.

As a reviewer at cxPulp I’ve found other reviewers often managing to get me to try new series, or plant the seed that eventually leads to a minor obsession with a given series. This happens both from actual reviews, and recommendations (which, while not formatted/intended as an official “review” accomplish the same end result).

There are podcasts that–in this context–I actually realize could technically be considered “reviews podcasts” (never thought about them specifically in that sense before). Whether it’s Blake & Co. on 2-in-1 Showcase, Michael Bailey & co. talking about specific issues on Views From the Longbox, or the Raging Bullets guys, I tend to enjoy hearing others’ thoughts on stuff I’ve read…but they also tend to get into talking about stuff I have not read, which often leads to a heightened interest for me such that I’ll end up going out specifically to buy something, or look for it the next week at the comic shop.

Another aspect to this topic: I find that there are times I find myself reading something I wouldn’t “normally” read, in the interest of writing a review of it myself, for others. And I’m confident that much of my comic-buying habits the last few years have been heavily impacted by being a reviewer…though what I actually get around to writing reviews for thends to be on the sparse side, these days.

And perhaps it’s merely pride, but I’m aware of occasions where my own reviews or recommendations have led to others trying something or buying into a new series. (I suppose there’s plenty of room for academic exploration within this topic as well).

One Response

  1. I like to read reviews after I’ve read the book too just to compare opinions.

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