I don’t like reading book reviews before I read the book. That might sound totally crazy as someone who created a blog in order to write reviews, but it’s become kind of an issue for me recently.
Why don’t I like to read reviews, you ask? Well, thank you so much for asking, so I can now try to organize my thoughts into a coherent discussion.
I’ve discovered I’m easily influenced. If I read a bad review before I read the book I will go into the book with points already against it. I will pick up on the things the reviewer had against it, and it will color my own opinion. Yeah, I should probably learn not to care what other people think, but if I haven’t learned it in 26 years of life, I don’t think I can start now.
And then if I read one 5 star review after another , I go into the book with high expectations that are usually dashed and I end up bitter and angry at the book for not living up to my expectations and myself for clearly not understanding why so many others love it.
It’s a bit different after if I read reviews after finishing the book, but before writing my own review. This happened to me most recently with This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp. I already didn’t really enjoy the book, but after reading a few reviews, I just couldn’t ignore something that had barely bothered me while reading. It didn’t necessarily change my outlook on that particular book, but it did affect my review.
So in 2016, I’ve decided that I’m going to try and be a lot more careful about reading the review until AFTER I have read the book and written my own review.
What about you? Do reviews affect how you read, rate and review books? How do you stop other people’s opinions from coloring your own?