Monday, October 27, 2008



Taking a break from studying. People who've been following my Twitter know exactly how consistent I am in study sessions. (Five minutes of studying and thirty of web browsing. I'm so gonna need my insomnia to kick in tonight...) 


This question just popped up - which influences you more, a negative review or a positive? I know I've picked up countless books because the negative review made me curious. Like, could a book BE as bad as this person is depicting?! 

Positive reviews don't singlehandedly get me to buy any books. (Or request, for that matter.) I've heard of something called the rule of 3, in which if you see something three times in three different places, it becomes fixated on your brain. Or something like that. I like to think that's what it takes to get me officially interested in a book - either I am naturally, or if I see three positives from book bloggers I trust. 

Or something.

And I guess I wondered this because of the comments in my Bliss review and saw how many people were saying they'd give Lauren Myracle another chance. I always wondered how much my blog influences anyone. (I totally think it's somewhere in the vicinity of zero, but you never know.)

Okay back to studying!


Elizabeth Encarnacion said...

I think a positive review by someone who wasn't expecting much influences me a lot more than a positive review by someone who's already enthusiastic about the author/book. It makes me think the book must have been really good if it overcame those negative expectations.

Amee said...

I think you underestimate yourself, Steph. You know how many books I've read just because you told me. So far there has only been one you recommended that I didn't like. ;)

I agree about the positive review thing. It takes more than one to get me interested in a book.

If it's a negative review by the right person (i.e. you) then it may only take that one for me to rethink a book. Most of the time though, the same applies to negative reviews as to positive. I'll have to see more than one to be convinced a book is not worth checking out.

Alea said...

Oh studying/working.... so NOT fun!

I guess i can see being influenced by both. Lots of times I doubt things are as bad as people say but also that it's very easy for people to like other things. So I do think that repetition of a similar opinion makes me take notice that maybe whatever everyone is saying is possibly true.

....I may have six review books more in about a week or so. I can't stop myself!

Anonymous said...

Your reviews, like all book blogs, influence what I read. On Saturday, I was at the bookstore, and after seeing a review on the book InterWorld I decided to buy it.

I think positive reviews influence me more. I don't let negative reviews of a book influence me because I like to give everything a chance.

nadine said...

I'm influenced by the book title, front cover, and sometimes author, if I've read something by them before. If I read a review before the book, especially a negative one, I get discouraged. And while reading the book, I start looking for the negative points. Which isn't really fair cause I'm going into the book already biased and with a set opinion, that isn't even mine. But negative reviews don't really stop me from reading a book.


Unknown said...

For me it depends on why someone liked or disliked a book. They may go on and on about why a particular reason they hate something, when it could be the sort of thing I would love -and vice versa. Either way, I just like elaboration. I can't stand for someone to be like "I loved it -it was so funny" and then not elaborate on just what was supposedly so hilarious.

Sara said...

Like Taren said -- it's all in the specifics for me. But, the thing that influences me the most is when the reviewer compares the book to something else I've read, because it gives me a better idea of how similar my taste in books might be to that of the reviewer.

A.S. King said...

I don't think I'm overly influenced by reviews. Maybe it's the road I'm on, but I see reading and writing as a completely subjective thing. (Also - the very reason I can't actually write reviews.) I know, for example, that lots of people LOVE country and western music, but I personally dislike it so much that I have to leave a store if it's playing. So, when I read reviews, I don't look for opinions as much as I look for a reviewer's real involvement in the book. Did it make them think? Did it make them mad or sad or happy? Can they describe the book to me in a way that I get a basic gist of what the book is about? It's THAT description that I rely on as a review reader. Also, relating to your rule of 3, I do check more than one review, without a doubt.

I could be less affected than most people, though, having dealt with the subjectivity of the business for so long. After 500 rejection letters (and quite a few acceptance letters) it's pretty easy to see that one man's trash is another man's treasure. =]

The Compulsive Reader said...

Frankly, if I want to read a book, I'll read it. I don't really care if reviewers like it or not. Not to say I don't value anyone else's opinion--let me put it to you this way--I was always the kid who had to do touch the oven anyways, even if my mom told me it was hot.

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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph