Confession Time: I Don’t….

Posted December 7th, 2012 by in Discussions / 11 comments

read book reviews….unless I’ve read the book. I abhor spoilers and enjoy going into a book without any preconceptions. Back in 2009 I was in a reading slump and preparing to read the Twilight series. A coworker was also reading the books and was already on Breaking Dawn. She would tell our cubicle room at large everything that was happening and had already happened in the book. Needless to say she gave away major plot points and ever since then I shy away from getting too much (really any) information about a book before I read it. I do have to say that it has affected the way that I review books and how I recommend books to people. I try my hardest to not give away any information that could be perceived as a spoiler.

I know that I would read more reviews if I were a pickier reader. I would use the reviews of those I trust to skip over the books that didn’t look to me spectacular. But I almost always like everything that I read. I enjoy some books more than others but there are few that I don’t like. This of course is another problem on it’s own. If I like most of the books that I read then it is harder to eliminate books which generally leads to a rather large and ridiculous TBR. It’s a vicious cycle! 🙂

I also retain a lot of information and I am always afraid that if I read a review before writing my own that the original reviewer’s thoughts will influence my own review. I would be mortified to find that something I had forgotten I had read ended up sneaking into something that I wrote. Plagiarism is not cool. A book blogger influencing an audience isn’t necessarily a bad thing because by reading reviews written by others we come across ideas we might not have thought of on our own. It makes for a great community!

I have harbored this secret for a long time and have to say that I feel ashamed of it. It is on my list of things to work on starting pretty much immediately. I have a few bloggers whose reviews I am going to start reading. I trust them and I’m hoping that I will eventually move past these feelings. I shouldn’t let one small instance ruin a whole experience.

Do you read reviews of books before you read the book or after? Do you like or dislike spoilers? I’m looking to expand my reading contacts. Do you have any bloggers that you would recommend? I really look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions on the matter!



11 Responses to “Confession Time: I Don’t….”

  1. Amanda @ On a Book Bender

    I’ll read reviews of books I haven’t read if a) they’re not on my wishlist yet, b) I have no intention of reading the book, or c) I have the book, but it’s way, way, way far down my TBR and there will be many books between the review and the time I read it.

    Once I get close to reading the book, it’s no reviews for me. Less because of spoilers, and more because I don’t want to be influenced by anyone else’s opinions.

    (Many people–like me and Kelly, for example–don’t talk plot points much at all, and stick mainly with our reaction to the book itself. Sometimes I’ve written reviews and felt like I’ve said NOTHING about the book itself–just how it made me feel. If that makes sense. o.O)

    Amanda @ On a Book Bender recently posted: 2013 Reading Challenge: Seriously Series
    • Stephanie

      Good points! I may have to adopt some of these when it comes to reading reviews. I find that I will remember the most minute detail from a review. I try my hardest to not include spoilers in my reviews because I find that there is nothing worse than a spoiler with no warnings.

      Don’t worry it makes complete sense. Sometimes I look back at a review and wonder if it will mean anything to anyone. Reviewing can be pretty tough at times.

  2. Jessie

    The only time I might hesitate about reading a review is if it’s a sequel to a book I’ve read. With the first book, or even just stand alone books I don’t mind a little spoilers but I do for sequels. Of course, if I’m worried about what direction the book might take, I’m likely to find out whatever I can about the sequel so then I break all my rules about not reading reviews and not looking up things about that book.

    Jessie recently posted: What's Next? (2)
    • Stephanie

      Yes! I don’t think that i will ever read a sequel review. That’s an excellent point. 🙂 I refused to talk to two of my coworkers about The Evolution of Mara Dyer until they themselves had read it.

  3. Brianna (The Book Vixen)

    I will not read a review for a book I have on my TBR pile or wishlist. I already know I want to read the book if it’s in one of those two categories.

    I do not like spoilers in reviews, at all. And I think that what one person thinks is not a spoiler could very well be a spoiler for someone else.

    Great topic!

    • Stephanie

      Exactly! It is so important for me personally to try not to give anything away that you wouldn’t know within the first few chapters OR what the cover blurb says.

  4. candace

    Oh I read reviews all the time and most books I read are books that were recommended by bloggers. If its a sequel I tend to skip the review but personally when I do sequel reviews its vague and is mostly just the way I felt about the book without any plot points, etc.
    The blogs I read daily are Supernatural Snark, Bewitched Bookworms, Books and Things, Kimba the Caffeinated Reviewer, Rainy Day Ramblings, Xpresso Reads, Ivy Book Bindings, and… geez, I know there are more… oh, Bookswarm is another… just few of the 20 or so I read most days. Oh, Always YA at Heart and My Guilty Obsession (she reads loads of Indies).

    • Stephanie

      I have a feeling that if I read more reviews I’d end up with an even bigger TBR pile! I don’t know if that’s possible or not! I guess we’ll find out….

  5. Anne

    I am EXACTLY the same way! I never read reviews before I’ve read a book because I don’t want my opinion to be colored by their opinion. If I do bring up a review of a book it’s usually to read the summary because I’ve seen TONS of reviews of a book and haven’t heard of it yet. If they don’t have a summary, I might read the topic sentence, but never further. I’m just too worried that I’ll get spoiled – I read reviews of a series about halfway through one of the books, and it complained about how chauvinistic the books were, and suddenly that was ALL I could think about anymore, even though originally I loved the series. Needless to say I learned that lesson!

    • Stephanie

      I am so glad to know that I am not alone! Sometimes I think I may be borderline paranoid about it. Lol.I am sorry that a series was ruined for you. 🙁 Not cool. A lot of times, I won’t even read the book blurb until I’m ready to actually start reading the book.

  6. Alexa

    I have to say I skim reviews that are on books I haven’t read. I like to get a general idea of if the book was good or bad but nothing particular about it. I fully read reviews where I have already read the book because I like to see what the reviewer liked and didn’t like and how that compares to my feelings on the book.

    I do think that book reviews are valuable though, they have helped me find some books I never would have thought to read and they also help me steer clear of books that I probably wouldn’t like.

    Alexa recently posted: Still On My Mind [15]

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