- Fizzy Thoughts: Let's Review

Let's Review

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?

Hmmmmm...I don't think I let reviews guide my decisions. Much. Sometimes I pick my books from the Powell's recommendations, or the Barnes and Noble recommended reads, or whatever they call it. I seem to have good luck with that. All two of the books I've read at the recommendation of B&N I really liked (The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Garden Spells). Oh wait. I also read The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox based on a B&N recommendation. That one I didn't like so much. Anyways...I don't really consider those reviews. More like a heavy marketing push. One that seems to work on me. It helps that they are usually promoting books and authors I've never heard of, and that the stories sound intriguing.

Powells is an independent bookstore, and their staff write recommendations. That is how I found Special Topics in Calamity Physics, another excellent choice. But I read through many recommendations that didn't grab me. Incidentally, Powells buys used books (they don't pay much, but they do pay the shipping, so if you have a pile of books you can trade them in for something new). I sound like a commercial, enough about Powells.

And if the display tables at Borders count as reviews (because let's face it, those books were judged worthy by someone in order to make it on the table, and that's a review, too), then that's another influence on my book buying. The only other reviews I place any faith in are those from fellow bloggers (I read Twilight only because so many people seemed to be posting about it...I had never even seen it in the bookstores). However, usually I choose my books based on the cover description (and okay, occasionally cover art). I don't care if Powells and B&N and Borders and any of you all judged the book to be somehow worthy, bottom line, if the description of the book doesn't interest me, I won't read it.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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