Sunday, December 15, 2013

Random Musings (6): Do reviews matter...?

Do reviews matter when you're choosing your next read?

For me, every time before I pick up a book or put it on my TBR list, I'll research quite, well, assiduously on its plot, reviews and such (I'm okay with spoilers, though not the big ending spoiler kind), weigh up all its elements and whether or not it fits my current mood then decide whether or not to add it to my ever-growing mountainous TBR pile. It sounds...does this sound very redundant? I don't know, I feel very insecure if I don't though, cause time is such a ruthless bastard nowadays and I feel so bad every time I DNF a book! Bad to the author, guilty to the book in question, and just generally like a mean B every time I do.

But every time I research on a book though, I'm not sure if readers' subjectivity is depriving me of a chance to get to judge the book for myself. One man's joy is another's pain, or something thereof. I usually try to rely on the reviews of readers or bloggers who share very similar tastes as I do, but that is also not fullproof as I've come to realise.

I've come across books where I really truly genuinely love with a passion but said readers and bloggers don't. (One example is Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I mean, whoever doesn't like Graceline is a fiend. Haha, but my friend said the world-building was too shallow for her liking though I thought it was great. So, either I need to undergo more critiquing lessons or readers' subjectivity is wreaking havoc again. I'm much inclined to believe in the latter though. :P)

If I go all the way with the idealistic framework--indulge me for a moment here--I'd say that all authors and their work deserve a fair chance, and that means going in without reading any reviews that is anything other than neutral (3/4 stars, depending on the reviewer's rating system) or just none at all. This system sounds all fair and square and candy dandy, doesn't it? But, well, my original viewpoint still stands though, I depend on reviews because I want to minimize the number of DNFs I come across and if there are some collateral "good books" that I don't get to read/got judged beforehand...well, at least it saves me from getting into all those reading funks and the effort to get out of it. Are the banes still overwhelming the boons?

My fear of DNFs has gotten so bad that I'm terrified of accepting ARCs. I don't want to disappoint authors, their publicists, editors, publishers, etc, and I don't want to affect their sales rates after the release of a book so many people have slogged hours on with a less than stellar review.

I try to read more than 3-5 reviews when I'm deciding whether or not to read a book, but...all these morality issues start to pop up.

Am I thinking too much? Are y'all like that too? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for reading though!

Just wanted to add this cause, y'know, Christmas and all. Haha, Happy Hols, good readers!

**TBR: To be read, DNF: Did Not Finish, ARC: Advance reader's copy


  1. I hate DNFing books...but, just the other day, I read a book I was sure was going to be "meh" and it ended up totally blowing me away! So, I make sure to try books I wouldn't normally try. When I'm picking a book, I sometimes check out reviews of it, but mostly I pick it up because *I* think it sounds good and I want to read it. Other people's opinions don't matter too much...until afterwards. Then I want to compare thoughts! :)

    1. Hey, cool! But that rarely happens to me anymore, that's why I'm so wary. :(( I think I'm the opposite of you! Tho I do like to compare thoughts on a particular book, I tend to read more reviews before I read the book than after.

      But when it's a book I feel super strongly bout, usually in a good way, I'll like to read 1 star reviews to see the aspects of the book that people don't like. I find it interesting, and sometimes I try to defend the book if I really like it a lot. :P Haha, thanks for visiting, Cait!


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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