Let’s Talk: Bookish Influences

Lets Talk Lets Talk: Book Influences

Let’s Talk is a weekly meme created by Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession in which you talk about whatever the topic is. And if there’s one thing you know I love to do, it’s blab.

Today’s question:

Do reviews often influence your book choices, or are you someone who doesn’t read reviews until after reading the book?

I’m a bit mixed on this. I read some reviews, but honestly, not all of them. I follow a LOT of blogs, so unless it’s a favorite blogger, or the cover sounds interesting, or it’s a book I’ve heard of before – I might not even look at it. But I do read some reviews, and they can definitely make me decide whether I should read a book or not. The book I’m reading now, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, I discovered because a blogger did a mini-review of it and it sounded fun (which it is, so far. I’m kind of loving it.) The mini-reviews can be kind of perfect – they don’t give much away, but can definitely entice you to read that book. Also, they’re quick to read and I know that’s a plus for me.

Sometimes I know that a book is supposed to be really shocking or is full of plot twists, so I avoid the reviews if I want to read it because I want to avoid spoilers. I want my face to be like this when I read that kind of book:

shock gasp


Which is why I think I’ve only read one review of Gone Girl (thank goodness, it was very vague). I still haven’t decided if I want to read it or not, but if I do I bet I will be very, very surprised.

So how about you guys? Do you read book reviews, or do you avoid them so that the review doesn’t taint your opinions while reading?




  1. Same here, I generally read them after I’ve read the book to compare thoughts and so that I don’t get spoiled. Mostly I go by twitter recs, as they are short and sweet, or most wanted lists.


    1. Reading reviews after you’ve already read the book is funnest, I think. Because then you have no fear of spoilers, and then you can actually have something constructive to say in a comment! Reviews of books I haven’t read might be interesting, but there’s not a whole lot to say comment-wise except “Sounds good, great review!”

      Sadly, I don’t hear about a lot of books via Twitter recommendations. I think I’m not on Twitter enough.


  2. I hate reading a review and coming across a spoiler … though, sometimes this can happen OUTSIDE of a review. I was once on Twitter and someone posted something MAJOR about the end of a series I had just started reading. I’m still ticked off about that. I feel like I need to go through the blogging universe with shields on. 🙂

    I’m hit and miss with reviews, too … sometimes I read them and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it depends on the book, sometimes on the reviewer, and sometimes on how much time I have. So many variables!


  3. I’m starting to play around with mini reviews. I enjoy writing them more and hope to find the balance of explaining the book enough while not giving anything away.

    I’m a review skimmer just to get an idea.

    I’m avoiding all reviews for the Mara Dyer series right now. I hear it’s quite twisty and I’m starting it next week. Which is weird because usually spoilers don’t bother me.


    1. I’m thinking of coming up with a way to do mini-reviews, in addition to regular reviews. Maybe like a monthly post where I do mini-reviews of all the books I reviewed month? It’d be good for skimmers like us. Hmmmm…


  4. Oh I read reviews all the time. I like to read other blogger’s opinions on things, particularly if I’m not sure I want to invest the time. I have people whose opinions I trust, and none of those people are fancy schmancy literary critics. Spoilers don’t really bother me, unless it’s like a HUGE thing. Like with Gone Girl. It was all BAM! Shocking! Even I wouldn’t spoil that in my review, and I’m the queen of spoilers. So. I guess I really had nothing useful to add other than to ramble and tell you I typically trust your opinions on books.


    1. I don’t think I’ve ever read a fancy book review from like The New York Times or anything. I trust your opinions on books too 🙂 Which is why I’m getting ready to start that behemoth of a book called The Stand sometime late next week. I’m excited to try it!


  5. I love mini-reviews, too! I should actually write some of those to get some of my reviews written.

    I abhor spoilers like the plague so I don’t even recap books that I review. I just go over what I liked and didn’t like in hugely vague terms. Hey, we all review the way we like to read reviews.

    Oh, I LOVE Kevin Smith!! Thanks for the huge smile tonight!! That’s my face when I read a book and don’t read the blurb and have no idea what’s going on!! 😉


    1. That gif just makes me want to go watch Jay and Silent Bob. I don’t care what anyone says, that movie is great.

      And yay for the mini-reviews! I think I should work on using them more – I tend to ramble and try to explain too much.


  6. I tend to avoid reviews of books unless it’s a post by my fave bloggers. I will read all the synopsis on all posts and if it sounds like a book I want to read I won’t finish the review or just carefully skim.
    If it’s a synopsis only book that I’m reviewing, I won’t read any reviews at all until mine is posted. I don’t want someone else swaying my opinions.


    1. Yeah I don’t like to read other reviews before I write my review either. Although when I read them after, sometimes I’m like “Oh man, I forgot to talk about that in my review!” but I’m usually too lazy to go back and add in any of my extra thoughts, lol.


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