Do you read book reviews? Do you let them change your mind about reading/not reading a particular book?
Yes I do read book reviews of all sorts, shapes and sizes. I will read professional reviews by those I know have similar tastes to myself to find new books or series. In the professional reviewer world, I often find that a glowing recommendation from Stephen King means that the book is probably going to be right up my alley and I will immediately head out to find it either at the library or bookstore.
I’ll also read the reviews on various social networking books sites, but I tend to read those AFTER I’ve read a book. I sometimes disagree with people on what exactly constitutes a SPOILER and while most are good at labeling the information, there are some times when it just jumps out and ruins the book.
Generally, reviews won’t make me change my mind about a book, though it is interesting to consider what others did or didn’t like about the book. It sometimes gives me something to think about and to ponder and it may encourage me to re-read the book with a different eye in the future. Also, where a review is published and who writes it is something to consider. As helpful as Amazon reviews may be, I find that you have to be careful in reading them as it seems only the most polarized views tend to show up–either the reviewer loves it or hates it. I realize that we all have our own set of favorites, but I can’t believe that every book is the best one ever written.
Hence why I tend to look at and trust book bloggers who have similar tastes and interests and social networking reviews on LibraryThing, GoodReads and Shelfari more than the reviews on Amazon.