Do You Care about Reviews?

I read an interesting article the other day about the death of the book review. (Read it here.)

Author Adam Pennenberg compared the number of reviews for his first book with those for his current release. He also looked at the life cycle of Amazon reviews and the potential for abuse of the review system.

It made me think about how I find new books and new authors. I don’t read many book reviews. I listen to my friend’s recommendations a lot more than I listen to reviewers. I buy books by authors I have read before. And I learn about books from Twitter and blogs. I enter contests to find new authors, and I check books out of the library. It’s a low risk means of finding new authors.

What about you. What were the last five books you read? And, how did you find them? Reviews? Friends? Twitter or Facebook? Bookstore displays? Ads on TV, radio, or blogs?


4 Responses to “Do You Care about Reviews?”

  1. 1 tamaramorgan
    30 October, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I’m really careful about reviews and how much I take away from them. So much of reading is a personal experience and a personal choice that it’s hard to trust someone else all the time. Most of the time, I base my reading choices on excerpts and recommendations from friends.

    That being said, I LOVE to read the one-star reviews on Amazon. It’s schadenfreude at its best!

  2. 31 October, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    I don’t read many reviews (except for my own books. I take them to heart, looking for what the reviewer felt was missing, so I can improve my writing). I follow so many blogs and am on enough email loops where I can read excerpts, that is the biggest instigator for me. Other than that, I get Fictionwise’s newsletter and read the blurbs there. And I have a growing list of authors who are definite buys. They haven’t disappointed me yet!

  3. 8 November, 2009 at 12:40 am

    As an avid book addict, I can understand how disappointing it is to get rave reviews about a novel and then pick it up and find out you really didn’t care for it. As a book reviewer I must say that I strive to make sure that I am not being biased based on whether I like a genre or not. I have reviewed books and seen the genre and groaned because I am not a big fan of that genre. However, I then look past the type of book it is and instead focus on the author’s message, how well written it is, and whether a person who may like the genre would like a book like this. Have I ever given a book a less than stellar review? Sure. Have I ever given a novel a very different review than what I figured it would end up with? You bet! I had one novel that is a Christian Inspirational book. I sighed as I picked it up because I thought…How am I going to be able to review this one…But from the moment I cracked open the book I was hooked. To me THAT makes a great author. Not someone who necessarily writes whatever the current “it” genre is, but someone who can spin a tale with a genre I may not care for and I just cannot put the book down.

  4. 4 Anaïs Snow
    8 November, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    I love the tongue in cheek reviews on amazon when a whole bunch of hipsetsr all go on and vote for a pretty ridiculous book or album – maybe a puerile celebrity’s third autobiography when they’re only at the grand old age of 23 or something – and they write these really dead pan reviews of how wonderful and moving and dignified and life changing the whole work is. very funny! but def shows how open to abuse the whole system can be. i have a book group with my friends and that’s how we all recommend and suggest books to each other, but i’d be open to finding some new ways as well!

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