I recently read a book that I had read a lot of negative (or at least not positive) reviews of. The subject of the book was one I was interested in so I didn’t let it put me off, although I decided I didn’t want to pay for the book. It got me thinking does a bad review immediately make you view the book in a negative light- do you pay attention to the negative aspects more than you would if you had read no review, or had read a good review? I didn’t give this book a good review myself, is this just because it wasn’t a good book? Or have those reviews effected how I approached the book, and how I read it. I’m pretty sure I approached it without trying to keep my hopes high, but I was trying to review it for itself too, not from the reviews I had read. I can’t be sure though that I didn’t have a biased view.
It’s the same the other way round too, does reading a good review of a book make it more likely that you will see the good side of it?
For a blogger there’s then the extra problem of should we blog. If reading my review might effect someone else’s reading of a book should I really post that review? Shouldn’t I just let the book speak for itself? Having said that if I don’t review people may be missing out on books they would have loved- and is making people view a book in a positive light really a bad thing anyway? If I didn’t ‘warn’ people about bad books does that mean more people would be ‘wasting’ their time by reading them? At the same time though if I post a negative review would I then be putting off people who may have liked the book I disliked? I suppose I can just presume that readers would look at a few posts on my blog and see if we had similar tastes before taking on board my review, but I actually don’t think that’s likely. I suppose bloggers can be an author’s best friend, a real reader rather than a critic, but for the same reasons they can be their worst enemies.
So what do you think? Do you think a review effects your reading of a book? What sort of responsibility do you think bloggers have?