Hi everyone!! How are you? I hope you’re doing well since the last time I’ve spoken to you guys, which wasn’t that very long ago actually. 🙂 Today, I wanted to talk a bit about blogging habits… a bit more of an unconventional topic, though perhaps?? I don’t even know what inspired this post, honestly, but it’s something that I was wondering if anyone else had dealt with? Blogging, as we all know, takes much time and there are certain things you need to work on regularly, of course, like blog posts. But that’s not the only thing that goes with blogging! There are so many aspects to it which I am TOTALLY BEHIND ON, apart from blog posts (though I’ve been getting better at preparing blog posts so YAY), that can still be important! And I wanted to share those today!!Read More »
The first discussion of March! Welcome, bookish chocolate bars. Welcome. I had been thinking of doing another blogger-related post, but since I’ve already been doing several blogger-related posts, I decided to change things up and bring out more of our bookwormishness (yes, that’s a word now) with this post. 😉
So, from my title, you obviously know what this post is about, which is: Do you let reviews sway your opinion before or after you read a book? (Lol. Yes, I know, I state the obvious. Your point is?) As part of the book blogging community, most of us, if not all, sometimes or often reads reviews of either books they’ve read, books they’re anticipating, or just a plain book they’ve never heard of. Right? Most plainly put, often reviews are to help the readers reading the review decide whether they want to read a book or not. And if a person has already read the book, well, then it’s because they want to see what the other person has thought about it.
But does reading these reviews affect our opinion, when we’ve already read the book or have yet to read it? Let’s babble!
Reading a positive review on a book we haven’t read
This usually leads to: building up hype and personal expectations. Obviously. Oftentimes this is the case, when I read a review on a book that either has yet to be released, or simply a book I haven’t read. Lately it’s usually the former that occurs most often for me? Though the latter occurs too. It’s kind of natural, when I read a glowing review talking about all the things this person liked in the book, all the amazing things that are all things I love to read about… well, it’s just something that happens subonciously, sometimes for me; I’m intrigued, and as I read more reviews on this book sharing these positive sentiments, I have expectations set! Behold, the power of the hype.
But you already know that, of course—I’d bet most of you can agree that you’ve felt this way before as well! 😉 This, in turn usually ends up going at least one of these two ways:
1. Having super high expectations…that ARE met.
Ahh, this is one of the most satisfying feelings, to be honest. When you have really high expectations of a book, and they actually met them (or even, surpassed them), it’s just SO AMAZING. Seriously, it’s just so nice and comforting to know that there are books that actually can live up to the awesomeness you build up in your head, especially when you think they won’t. Most of the time, having such high expectations leads to disappointment, which brings us to the next possibility (which isn’t so amazing):
2. Having super high expectations… that AREN’T met.
While the above one is absolutely amazing, this one is terrible, really! After having such an awesome idea of the book in your head, having to find that the book doesn’t meet this expectations at all really sucks. Believe me, I know. Even though you know it was a possibility, seeing how having such high expectations definitely makes it hard for books to meet them, you’re still super disappointed, you know? Or at least I am. *SIGH* (Reawakened, I’m looking at you. You could’ve been so much better, gah.)
Eeep, I’m rambling again. Basically my point is: reading a positive review on a book we haven’t read can be both great and dangerous! I guess it all comes down to hype, and expectations, really. Wicked things, our expectations. (Why does that sound like it should be said with a British accent??)
Reading a negative review on a book we haven’t read
This kind of goes the opposite of the above, really! Especially if we read several negative reviews on one book. It creates expectations, for sure… though, let’s just say they’re not that high. For me, personally, I have to say I tend to add many books-with-bad-reviews on my TBR, though oftentimes I don’t actually prioritize them? Well, I don’t prioritize them at all, really. Which isn’t actually a good thing, because, hey. Maybe it’ll end up being a book I like a lot more than the person who didn’t like it, right? But if I don’t really prioritize it, chances are I won’t be getting to it soon. Obviously. Though maybe it’ll be someday?
However, sometimes what happens is that I forego putting the book on my TBR at all, which, although basically leads to the same result as the first, just shows I don’t even really consider the thought of reading it. This doesn’t happen to me often, but I’m sure it happens a lot more for other people, perhaps? Again, it’s not a good thing either way—but what to do? Just like reading a positive review created high expectations, reading a negative review might lead to low expectations—or foregoing the book completely.
Reading a negative review on a book we loved
Soo the other day I was eating chocolate—of course—and reading a review of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia, which happened to be a book I loved. The review, however didn’t share my sentiments—in fact it was the complete opposite. Let me get this clear: I, LOVE reading negative reviews. They’re always so interesting to read! And I’m not saying it wasn’t the case for this book, believe me, it was. Interesting to read, that is. But as I read it, (what later became the inspiration of this post, actually) it made me re-think of all the things I previously praised.. that this person is suddenly pointing out as a flaw.
And I’m not trying to say this was a bad thing. I mean, it’s great to see a new perspective on something, especially a book we’ve read. But at the same time… this wasn’t necessarily a good thing? At the back of my head, yes, of course I was intrigued on finding a perspective so different from mine, but first and foremost I was subconsciously picking out all the flaws in a book I previously loved. So. Kind of awkward. I guess it’s kind of similar to falling out of love with a book, or at least close, because really, if it’s possible for us to start concentrating on flaws of a book that we previously ignored, then what’s stopping us from changing our minds completely based on these newly found flaws? Right? It’s something to keep in mind, at least.
Reading a positive review on a book we hated
In theory, it makes sense why this scenario would result in us falling in love with said book. Seeing how it seems possible to fall out of love with a book based on a review, the opposite would be true, right? But to be honest, I kind of feel like in practice, this wouldn’t actually work out? I mean, if you go searching for reviews hoping to suddenly fall in love with a book (that you disliked before), it’s almost 100% assured that it won’t work. But even if you read a glowing review on a book you disliked, just, you know, by chance, I feel like it would be much harder for it to sway your opinion? (Sorry for all the question marks, I’m really just going by ear on this. I’m kind of totally rambling here, soo. Please bear with me!)
I don’t know. I’ve never actually fallen in love with a book I hated by reading a review, so maybe it’s that which is affecting my opinion on this. But correct me if I’m wrong; I feel like it might be easier to fall out of love with a book based on a review rather than falling back into love? Maybe it’s because for the former, we’re already aware, when we’re in love with a book, that it DOES have flaws, no matter how much we end up sugarcoating them, so when we read a review pointing out these flaws, well.. it’s more easier to be swayed, you know? For the latter, we’ve picked out all the flaws already so we’re less likely to be swayed by a glowing review when we already hated all or most of the things praised in the review, I guess. Lol.
Last minute babbling…
I think I’m going to have to say a yes for this one! You know me, I usually make no sense whatsoever throughout the whole post, and can’t always come to a firm conclusion, but for this, definitely yes. It may be a positive sway, or it might be negative, but I definitely think it’s possible for a review to sway and influence our opinions, before or after we read a book! Whether this is a good thing or not is almost always determined by the situation. It’s too bad though if reading a review before or after we read the book turns out to be not in our favour!
Alright, so I think I’ve ran out of steam for now! Obviously I must re-energize on chocolate, yes yes. So I’m going to be heading this over to you guys! Tell me some of your thoughts on this, I’d love to chat. Have you ever fallen into a situation where you fell out of love with a book based on a review? Or, have you fallen BACK into love with a book, based on a review? What do you think of reading reviews before you read a book? Good or bad? Do you forego books with negative reviews? What are some books that met your super high expectations? What are some that disappointed you? Whoo, that’s a lot of questions. But I’d love to know your thoughts, so feel free to ramble! Heaven knows I did, in this post. (I hope it all made sense, lol.)
Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! ❤
Book Snacks Babbles is a discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish & bloggish! For more info, check out my intro post here.
Hello! Welcome back again to another Book Snacks Babbles discussion post! Like last week’s discussion post, today’s post is another reviewer-type question—the question is directed more towards book reviewers. But, anyone can offer opinions!
Ever have those times where you fall into, say, a reviewing slump? No? Well, it’s one of the times where even though you’re still reading books, you don’t feel like reviewing them. I’ll be honest with you; this has happened to me before—unintentionally, of course. I’m reading, reading, working on schoolwork, reading, and suddenly I don’t feel like finishing the reviews of the books I recently read. Soon one becomes many and, well.. you probably know what that leads to (a very exasperated and frustrated Analee, if you didn’t know… oh, and a lot of books to review.) Which is how this question sprung to me… do we, as book bloggers, have to review each book we read? Well, get comfy and let’s babble!
Reviews have a few purposes, I find. One, of course, is for yourself, to either rant about a book or have a record of how you felt about a book. The second is for others. Because reviews are when you write down your thoughts on a book and with that other readers can make the decision on whether THEY want to read the book as well.
But… what are some reasons we wouldn’t want to write reviews? Because those are the causes for this question to occur at all, right?
Well, I’m gonna answer my own question here and name off a few (with a few tips on how to deal!):
1) Sometimes, it just takes too much effort. I can’t really say for sure how this one works because this was never a situation I found myself to be in, but I can definitely understand it. Just like blogging and reading slumps, sometimes it’s just too hard to take the effort to write reviews.
Tip: Nothing to do for this one other than find motivation! Read some reviews of other bloggers, check out their style and see if it inspires you to come up with your own.
2) Not enough time. I know some people might think of this as a poor excuse, but it’s really not! I think EVERYONE can agree with me when I say there’s not enough time to read/blog these days. Well, it can be the same for reviews! So many to write (depending on the books you read), but not enough time to write them—we’ve all been in some kind of similar situation I’m sure.
Tip: I’ll get back to you on this one…! LOL, just kidding. This one is definitely one I’m subjected to, so right now I’m failing at offering any useful tips other than try to find time on the weekends!
Hopefully you’ll be better at finding time on the weekends than I am. If any of you have any other tips though, I’m all ears!
3) ‘Uhhh… I can’t remember what happened in the book.’ Ah. Those pesky reviews that you have avoided writing since 6 months ago have finally caught up with you! In this situation, since you’ve forgotten what happened in the book and your thoughts on it, you’ve abandoned writing the review, am I right? 😛
Tip: If you know you’re going to have a hard time remembering things in the book, take notes! How you felt at a specific moment, a quote you liked that reminds you of the story, etc. If you’re not much of a notes-while-reading person, I recommend just quickly making notes after you read to keep track of your thoughts for later.
4) Sometimes, there’s just nothing to say ABOUT the book. Oooh, this one can be tough! When you feel indifferent about a book or found it boring, it can be hard to find something to say about the book, hence you put off writing the review on it.
Tip: Dig deep and see if there’s anything, anything, anything at all you can say about this book, whether positive or negative. No book is without some merit!
Okay, so I’m going waaaay off topic now. All this is good and well, but the question still remains; do you have to review each book you read? Well, it’s time for a pros and cons list so we can find out!
Pros of reviewing each book you read
- Great for future reference. By reviewing each book you read, you have more records of your thoughts on different books, so if you ever need to remember how you felt on a book (like for first book in a series or something) then you can always look back to your review.
- Practice makes perfect! Through writing reviews of each book you read, you’re getting more chances to experiment with your reviewing style and practice using the one that suits you and your voice best. And that’s always a good thing, right? 🙂
- More reviews! Yay! A well-thought out review is always fun to read, especially if you’re reviewing a hyped book. It opens possibilities for discussion and different perspectives to be seen, and that’s definitely a pro.
Cons of reviewing each book you read
- It becomes more of a requirement (at times). When you start to review each book, there becomes this expectation for you to do a review for ALL the books.. and if you’re anything like me then you know once you start something, you don’t want to stop because it’ll ruin the pattern (even if you want to or should stop). SIGH. My own personality if working against me.
- Less time to read (and maybe do other stuff like school.. sigh). Now, this isn’t always the case, but as with any kind of activity, the more time you spend on it, the less time you have for other important stuff (also known as READING)!
- More reviews to organize in your review index! (ugh.) Yes, this is a valid reason. (Unless you don’t have one.) Most of us know how bothersome it can be to update our review index(es) with newer reviews! Once you forget to update it for a while and then have a huge pile of reviews, it becomes quite the time-consumer.
I’m sure there are much more pros and cons to add, but I’ll leave it at that. (But feel free to suggest some of your own down below!)
So… do we HAVE to review ALL the books we read?
Personally, I say no! Even though my (pitifully small, I admit) pros and cons list are basically even, at the end of the day, it’s your choice and your choice only. If you don’t want to review a book, don’t! If you do, go right ahead. It’s all up to you.
What do you think? Do you have to review ALL the books you read? Do you ever fall into a reviewing slump? What is the cause for it? What are some pros and cons do you think I missed? Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below! ❤
Book Snacks Babbles is a discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish & bloggish! For more info, check out my intro post here.
Hello everyone and welcome! As part of an attempt to follow one of my resolutions for this year (to write at least 1 discussion post per week), I’m back here today with another discussion post for you all! This topic was actually pretty unplanned; I was going to go with another topic for this week, but I decided to do this one instead because writing negative reviews is generally something of a gray area for me, and I find it to be a pretty interesting debate. It’s always kind of hard writing them, especially when it’s a book that a) you REALLY wanted to like, and/or b) it’s a VERY popular book loved by the nations—but then, it could also be kind of fun. If you’re looking for some inspiration or motivation to post that drafted negative review, read on for today’s post will be dedicated to why writing negative reviews is totally OKAY!
1. They offer a different perspective on a book.
Whether the book is popular or not, negative reviews are useful and essential because they show us the other side. The side where it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, you know? Particularly in the case of a hyped book; it’s refreshing to see an opinion of the book where the less-than-perfect aspects are shown. And I’m talking from personal experience; whenever I see a more negative review of a very hyped book, it’s interesting to see why the reviewer didn’t like it. It gives me the opportunity to really judge if the book is a good fit for me or not, among other things. So if you’re ever worrying about the response your negative review might get—don’t sweat it! The bookish community is always really understanding and will instead appreciate the fact that you shared your thoughts on it, even if they were less than stellar.
2. They offer an amazing opportunity for discussion.
Just as positive reviews (of hyped books, especially) bring out great discussion, negative reviews do the same. Why? Well, it’s kind of obvious; in a negative review, there are usually several aspects of the novel that the reader perhaps did not enjoy, and those aspects generally provide for interesting topics of discussion. For example, perhaps you didn’t enjoy the plot of a novel because it dragged out too much. Topics like the types of plots you usually DO enjoy, or ways the book could’ve been better, are things to talk about. For hyped books, you may be even more worried about the negative review. But never fear! If you didn’t enjoy a popular novel, write about it! Don’t be afraid to post that negative review, for it might just open up the gateway to many new ideas and conversation with other bloggers.
3. They give you the chance to RANT.
Everyone likes a
long little rant every once in a while, right? And there’s nothing more satisfying sometimes, to simply let out all your frustrations over a book. Of course, it’s important to still remain respectful to the author and to people who did enjoy the book, but your opinion stays the same, yes? It’s useless to keep your opinion on a book to yourself just because you didn’t like it—by sharing it, you’ll be able to accept the parts of the book that made you mad or frustrated (if there were any parts like that).
4. You will most likely be able to find someone else who shares your opinion.
The best thing about the book blogging community is the fact that there’s so many people out there, there’s almost no chance of you NOT being able to find someone sharing similar ideas as you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In sharing your negative review, it opens up the possibility that people who share the same idea will see it—and you will no longer be the only black sheep! (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a black sheep, mind you.) Believe me, it always feels better when you find someone else who also didn’t enjoy the book! You have nothing to lose by posting a negative review, really. Unless you count gaining a new bookish friend as a loss…which you really shouldn’t! 😛
5. What you found to be negative, might be someone else’s positive.
Everyone isn’t the same! Say, your tastes in books might be different from the reading tastes of your next-door neighbor. A person across the country in, say, Antarctica might hate the exact books you love, or vice versa. You might hate the love triangle in the book you read, but someone else might love that kind of thing. You never know! Just because you disliked a book doesn’t mean everyone else will, and in sharing your thoughts on it, who knows? Maybe a fellow blogger will stumble upon it and find that the book you seemed to dislike seems to be right up his or her alley. So really, you’re doing yourself and others a favor by posting a negative review.
Aaaaaand, that’s a wrap! There are tons of more reasons to name for why writing negative reviews is perfectly fine, but we’d be here for hours if I were to list them all! Which means it’s now up to YOU all to continue the discussion. Here are some questions to get you started!
- What do you think of writing negative reviews?
- What other reasons are there as to why writing negative reviews is perfectly fine and useful?
- Have you ever had those times where you were unsure over whether you should post your review or not?
Even if you’re not a reviewer, you can still join in the discussion—in fact, you should! 🙂 How do you feel about reading negative reviews? Do they do more harm than good? What do you love most about negative reviews?
Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below! Discussion is always lots of fun, so don’t hesitate to join in!