In the February 2022 newsletter, I asked readers if book reviews or ratings on various sites impact their purchase at all, or if they look at those prior to the purchase of a book.

Here are the responses:

John: Actually, I base my decision on reading a particular novel solely on the premise of the story, or the personality of the characters presented. Ratings and reviews may be items of curiosity, but I can’t let them dictate my reading. My tastes don’t always align with popular opinions. Never forget: Pee Wee Herman had the number-one movie at the box-office for a sad period of time!

Kenica: I do not rely on ratings or reviews at all. I find it surprising if the books I read make it on to a bestseller list.

Nancy: Regarding the question of ratings & reviews, they do affect my desire to purchase & even my inclination to ever borrow the book from the library. The book’s description may sound intriguing, but if reviews show that the book doesn’t align with my tastes or values, I won’t waste my money or my time investing in it. (as has happened in the past before I took the time to check out reviews by regular folks who’ve read it)

Kathleen: Do I rely on ratings and/or reviews? Sometimes. I usually know if I want a particular book or not, but if I’m dubious I’ll check the reviews. (Don’t check the ratings too much; they’re too easy to manipulate.) And I don’t pay too much attention to 4- and 5-star reviews. I look at the lower ranked opinions. If a large portion of them talk about the writer’s desperate need for an editor or the large number of typos, I usually don’t buy it. However, I also check the date the review was written and if later reviews fail to mention the typos, I assume the problems have been corrected and I might take a chance. Hope this is helpful.

Sue: I don’t even go by the cover, I rely solely on the synopsis of the book.

Viki: A comment first about the books to TV series. J.D. Robb’s In Death series is often discussed as a movie or series. I don’t think it can be done. All her readers have their preconceived ideas of Dallas and Roarke. I can’t see any actor taking on any of the major roles and keeping fans happy. My two cents.

Do ratings influence my choice of a book? The best I can say is “sort of”. If it’s a new author to me and the ratings are below average, I’ll probably give it a pass. Sometimes the story description still pulls me in. If the book is by an author I already like and read, I rarely look at the rating. It’s an automatic purchase or put on hold at the library. Depending on the author, I may not read the book description, either. (i.e. J.D. Robb)

When it comes to my reading choices, online ratings are a lower judgement point. Instead, a personal recommendation or rejection weighs more with me. These recommendations can be from other readers I know or from trusted sites like this one.

Tracey: Not even a little. I prefer to get recommendations from family or friends, or from the recommendations section in your wonderful newsletter

Tom: Hi Graeme. I usually will check out the ratings wherever I can find them. Even if I am going to borrow an E-book from the library, I will try to find ratings. I am no longer that much of an Amazon buyer, so I look on Goodreads for many reviews.

sven: I check out authors that you mention but I don’t buy. I wait for my local library to get them in.

Susan: If a book sounds at all interesting to me I usually check it out on Amazon first. I read some of the positive and negative reviews. But then I make sure to go inside the book and read the first few pages just to get an idea of the authors style. And then many times I’ll order the book as used from other sellers on Amazon as long as the book is in good or in very good condition.

Phil: Hi Graeme, To answer the Q – I read the ratings, but I wouldn’t say that I rely on them. They don’t usually change my opinion. If I’m interested in a book I’ll most likely buy it. There have been some instances where I’ve decided otherwise, but not often. Maybe 1 out of 5 times. – Thanks for the newsletter.

Terry: In response to your “question of the month”, I’ve learned that, over my 60 years of being on this earth, I rarely, if ever, rely on other people’s opinions. I base my own opinions on the book description. This is not only with books, but with most purchasable items. I’ve found that, by doing this, I’m happy with my purchases most of the time.

Mominbug: Seeing your column in my email always brightens my day. I do not always read a book because of ratings. I read Gone Girl and felt it was a waste of my eyesight. I should have known better when I was bored at the beginning, and it never improved. Lesson learned. And, usually, I am hard pressed to read a book that is not in a genre I enjoy, no matter what the rating is.

Mark U: I don’t rely on ratings at all. I read a few pages to see if it “hits” me. Also I think Christopher Farnsworth’s “The Presidents Vampire” would make a terrific TV series. Be Blessed.

Linda: Hi! I do check out Amazon ratings. I pay attention to how many readers rated the book and the breakdown of the starred ratings. When the reviews are divided mostly high/low I read some of the low ones to find out why. I’m not interested in reading books with a lot of swearing or graphic sex. If I read a description of the book and it strongly grabs my interest I may disregard the reviews. I often enjoy books that are not popular with the majority of readers. During the past couple years I have missed just going to the library and “winging it” with a book that just grabs me.
Have a great day!

Karen: I do read the ratings. I don’t always pay attention to those that find certain things like language or violence offensive. Many times I will read the single star reviews just to see what the complaints are and then base my decision on whether to buy or not on what people don’t like about the book. Most of the time if the book description has drawn me in I will buy it regardless of the reviews.

kat: What about you? Do you rely on ratings or reviews at all?
no, i dont look at or read them

Or is the book description and book cover enough to get you to purchase regardless?
the book cover does a lot for me, and i try not to read too much of the description, i dont like it when they give away the whole end to the book

thanks for all your hard work !!! enjoyed your review of the reacher series since i cant see it on tv…

Joyce B: Just got your newsletter and enjoyed it very much. I read reviews of books but I mainly get books by authors I like. I just got the new J D Robb book but haven’t started it yet because I know I will probably stay up reading til I finish it.
It’s like visiting old friends when I start a new book in a series that I like.

I enjoy reading the reviews from the people who write in to your newsletter. I am probably more influenced by them than the professionals. I also like your comments on the books you read.

Joyce: At my age I have decided to weed out the ‘stinkers’ by reading the reviews BUT only of those with 4-5 stars. At my age, there are too many books for me to read without including all of the 1-3.9 stars!

Joy: I rely on reviews especially if it is a new author I have yet to read

Joan: Thank you for your latest news letter. Always very interesting with
lots of good recommendations.

I never take any notice of reviews. I like to make up my own mind.
Reviews can be very misleading, a case in point is, Richard Osman’s
books, ie, the Thursday Murder Club, and The Man who died Twice.
Grossly over rated in my opinion, but stayed on the best seller list
for ages!

I have recently reread Peter May’s Chinese series, which I enjoyed
just as much second time around, and have now started to reread
his Enzo Macleod series. He is, in my opinion, one of our truly best
authors.

Hope all is well with you. Carry on the good work.

Lynn: I’ve spent hours, days, weeks probably, reading reviews, primarily to decide whether I want to invest time with a new author or series. Quite often one review leads to the suggestion of another author and those reviews lead me onward until I realize, with a laugh, I could have spent the time reading one of the books I’ve already purchased. I can see now, that I read these reviews because I like feeling connected with other readers. I love it when I find someone who is equally passionate about a particular book or author but even when reviewers flat out disagree with me or my experience, I’m glad we hung out together for a while.

Jim: Lately I have been shying away from recommendations on Amazon. As you know, they own Goodreads, so what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Personally, I am into mysteries/crime and I rely mostly on friends that I have in Goodreads. It’s like the NY Times “Bestselling author” descriptions. Often I have gotten duds that way. And, I am a print only guy. Too old (75) to mess with a kindle.

Jane: I would say I do use ratings but with a grain of salt. Some reviews are so out there, it’s ridiculous. This goes both ways whether someone gives a book 1 star or 5. If a book is recommended to me, I do check reviews, but I take the recommendation first.

Irene: I don’t pay much attention to reviews and/or ratings, especially on Amazon. Some of those reviews are by people who haven’t even read the book and just like to talk. If I listened to most of the reviews I wouldn’t have read half of my favorite books. I make up my own mind. That’s why I like getting most of my books through the library, I can try anything and it doesn’t cost me anything. I’ve found a lot of great books this way.
Thanks for a great newsletter. I look forward to getting it twice a month now.

Gail H: Just like in movie reviews, I like to make up my own mind. Usually the inside description in a book does make a difference as to my decision to read or not. I also like suggestions of books from friends and members of my book club.

Gail: I read descriptions of books. If the description captures my interest, the book goes on my list for purchase. Easy.

Elsa: To answer this months question I say, ratings are important but readers reviews are what does it for me. I trust my fellow readers to give an honest opinion. After all they wouldn’t be reading that book if it wasn’t in their genre.

Now after saying that I will also admit that the cover is important but never a deciding factor. I hope you remember the poem I sent you titled ‘The Cover.’

Debb: I find reviews only help decide what type of book or genre, otherwise reviews don’t help. I seem to have odd taste in my reading.

Deb: I do not consider reviews or ratings when choosing reading material. The first criteria, for me, is that it is NOT written in the first person and secondly that it is by an author I enjoy. The suggestions in your newsletter are always helpful! If all else fails, a catchy title or cover will sometimes attract my attention.

Corinne: I do not care about ratings at all. People can rate a book good or bad for any reason in their heads. I will read the reviews of books I am interested in, to see why people don’t like it. If it’s just their own opinion I ignore it but if it has solid facts I will take the review into consideration. Like if they are telling me there is something I do not care to read at all in the book (for instance, a graphic description of a child rape) then I will have been influenced by that review and will not buy the book.

Claire: In the past, I used to rely on ratings and reviews. But after getting burned a few times, I don’t trust ratings and reviews any longer. I’ve come to realize that everyone is different and based on my analytics, I am considered a stricter reviewer than most.

As an example, Circe by Madeline Miller had glowing reviews and a pretty impressive star rating. After reading it, however I ended up DNFing it and rated it 1 star. Another example is Gilded by Marissa Meyer. There was so much hype behind this book that I preordered it with high hopes and expectations. It ended up that Gilded was another DNF and a single star rating. Needless to say, I now just rely on the description and if there is an excerpt, I’ll scan the excerpt to see if the narrative grabs my attention. Granted, there have been a few duds. But so far, my methodology is working out better for me than getting caught up in the hype and ratings of other

Christine: I rarely read reviews, unless I happen to have had the time to look through BookPage lately. As for ratings, I don’t notice them. I tend to look at the description on the cover flap, or, if there’s none, I’ll flip through some pages and try to get an idea of what the book is about, the author’s “voice,” and so on. (To take one example, I just half an hour ago picked up Sosuke Natsukawa’s The Cat Who Saved Books–two of my favorite things, a cat (talking, no less!), and books, so how could I resist?) Of course there are some authors I always get the latest of, like Patricia Briggs. And when I’m in the library I always glance at the sf and mystery New shelves.

Carole: I don’t generally look too much at the ratings when I look for a book, but I do read what others have said about it in addition to the description of the book. Since I retired I can’t afford to spend as much on books as I used to, so if it looks like it might be interesting but I’m not sure about it, I ask my librarian to get it for the local library. Most of the time, especially if it is new, she gets it and I am the first one who gets to read it. I’m not sure if all libraries do this or if it is just that I used to work at this library, but it is a good way to get to read a book that you aren’t sure you want to spend money on.

Carla: I do pay attention to ratings….generally I don’t look at anything less than 4 stars, though if there are few ratings I don’t give the rating much credence. If there are few ratings that are lower and I feel it’s something I’d like, I take a chance.

Fran: Years ago I read a bio of Picasso by A. Huffington (big thick book). Made Picasso to be a real mean, inconceivably insensitive, arrogant ahole. I know he wasn’t the sweetest chocolate in the box, but this was really bad. Then, months after finishing the book, I read several reviews that trashed her book on all levels, verging on, but not claiming, untruths. I read other bios on him and saw immediate differences. I no longer read a book or author without reading reputable reviews. I find this especially important if reading bios because of the prejudice it can cause. Sorry to be windy, but my reading time is precious, and malice is unjust.

AJ: I rarely look at the ratings, unless I am really on the fence about buying something – then I will read the reviews to see if a more thorough description will reveal whether or not I would be interested. I really don’t care about the number, because I know what I like and don’t like and there are lots of 5 star books I have no interest in.

Rob: Do reviews & ratings impact whether you purchase a book or not?

Yes but only in the number, if a book has at least 500 ratings it’s probably worth reading, at least for a new author.

Janet: I don’t depend on star ratings. I’ll read the revies to see what they say about the book. I read a review a while back on one of Stuart Woods’ Stone Barrington books that rated the book a one star because he used vocabulary they didn’t know and they had to look up words in the dictionary.

I don’t like books that have a cast of characters an entire page long and those who include two people with the same name should be banished. If I have never read the author before I will read snippets to see if it rambles or is clear in meaning. A friend of mine retired after being a high school English teacher and he won’t read the rest of a book if they are more than two typos in the first chapter and then give it a bad review.

Chris: Great ratings and reviews for a book won’t necessarily make me buy a book but it will definitely make me consider it. I take several things into consideration: reviews by trusted critics, recommendations from other booklovers and whether the writer has written other books that I’ve liked. If I can, I try to look the book over in a bookstore or a library to see if it speaks to me. In those cases, a really outstanding cover and a well-written synopsis on the back can go a long way to convincing me to buy it!

Gary: Pretty much no. I occasionally see reviews (like on Amazon or Goodreads), maybe when I’m researching all of the books from a particular author, but, don’t make decisions based on them.

The only books that I buy are ebooks (Kobo). I normally buy 10 or more a 4th, picking them up at prices between free to $ 2.99 (before tax). Occasionally/rarely, I’ll pay a much higher price for something like the newest Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, Scott Harvath, Jonathan Grave series book. I have discovered a ton of authours that I didn’t know existed and have enjoyed to varying degrees.

I have just over a 1000 e books in my storage; I add more than I read each mth, so, will probably never get through them all.

Occasionally, I get a physical book from a neighbour who has similar tastes, so, get some books that I won’t pay high prices for as e books.

Jennifer: I do rely on book reviews and ratings. I have to admit if it has less than 4 stars I read the bad reviews first, sometimes those reviews are because the book arrived in bad shape or some of the grammar was incorrect – etc….. I don’t want those type of reviews affecting my purchase.

Susan: I always look at the ratings before buying a book or even getting one from the library. Unless it’s an author I know and like, I pass by all books rated four or fewer stars. With four+ rated books, I usually read some of the critical reviews to see if their complaints are issues that would affect my enjoyment of the book. There are just too many books out there to read mediocre ones.

One of my friends started a book club, where instead of reading the same book and discussing it, we all rate and review (briefly) books we have read and email the group with results. I have discovered many new authors from the recommendations of this group. It has also saved me from bad purchases. I have learned with one friend in particular that if she liked a book, I will too.

As an aside, you mentioned heroines doing dumb things-that is something that will undo any good feelings I have about a book. In a book I recently read, the pregnant detective returns at night by herself to the scene of the crime-an isolated, dark cave on the outskirts of town. If it causes me to shake my head and say, “What are you thinking?,” I am turned off.

Jessica: Hi. This month’s question is tough. I have to say yes and no. I don’t read ratings or reviews on Amazon or Goodreads before I read a book. But I have read some reviews by book bloggers. I was influenced to read The Stranger by Harlen Coben by a guy who posted about it on a website. I loved the book and want to read some more of his books and watch the Netflix shows. I was influenced by a blogger to read Tess on the Road by Rachel Hartman. I loved the book and I plan on reading two of her books. I also was influenced to read The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor by a book blogger who sadly stopped being a book blogger. I loved the book and want to read two other books by her. I also have many books on a list on Overdrive that book bloggers have posted about. I also followed an author who posted ads for his books and I got his books and loved them.

Right now I am finishing up reading Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi. I think I actually already read it. I love the Shatter Me book series even though I have read negative reviews for it. I had written a similar story in college before the book series came out. I don’t mind if the story was stolen because the book series is better than what I wrote. I will be reading next The Simillarion and then two audiobooks by Steve Berry.

Joyce: I must admit, I rely heavily on Amazon’s ratings especially of books written by Authors I am not familiar with. I usually read a few of the 5-star reviews as well as a few of the 2 and 3-star reviews. Many times, I find the poor ratings are for reasons that mean nothing to me. Too many grammatical errors, editing issues or a disagreement with the Author’s depiction of an area or event doesn’t hold a lot of weight with me. About the only time I choose a book that is not highly rated by Amazon is when it is recommended to me by a friend whose taste in books, I know to be similar to mine. There are times when I have set a book aside for one reason or another, only to have it recommended to me by a friend making me revisit it.

Tim: I order a lot of kindle books thru Amazon. Always ck out the applied ratings to all books b/4 deciding on “to purchase or not to purchase”!!

Tom: Hello. Yes, I often look at the ratings from anywhere I might be interested in buying from. Or, if a library E-book is of interest, I might check the ratings on Amazon. I think you can use ratings as a general guide. You know how it is, so many books, so little time. But I will sometimes look at the lower star ratings, the ones and twos to see what people may not like about a book. I do this with products in might buy also.

Denny: What a great question: Do you rely on ratings or reviews at all? Or is the book description and book cover enough to get you to purchase regardless?

Let me start by saying that 99% of the time a book description, and cover, totally turn me off. Most descriptions are so full of crap hyperbole that it is an obvious red herring sell. The use of over the top adjectives makes the book sound ridiculous. For example: “Logan Tanner lives the exhilarating life of a professional gambler, taking risks with nerves of steel. From casinos in Macau to Monte Carlo to Milan, he’s racked up a fortune and become a living legend. ” Who cares?

On the other hand, I do read the Amazon reviews but ONLY believe them if they mention the quality of the writing. e.g. ““A Train to Moscow” is not the typical WW2 novel, in fact, there’s nothing typical about this book at all. It’s a debut offering from author, Elena Gorokhova and is a history lesson inside a superb character study.” or “The author is skilled with descriptive language which is peppered throughout this novel. For me, the history of that era came alive through the excellent use of interspersing life in Russia during this period of time.”

I don’t need a book report, which is usually a regurgitation of the plot. A good review is almost as hard to write as a good book!

Sharon: As an avid reader, I too have had a reading slump and not been able to get into anything. I always have holds from the library but as they’ve come up I just let them expire. I can’t explain the reason, but I was interested to read about your experience.

I usually read books based on recommendations from others or from the best sellers list. I don’t trust ratings so much as many have different tastes. I like to read authors who have given me pleasure in previous books.

Sandra: I don’t purchase many books anymore but get all my reading material from the library or online. I read your reviews every time they come out and keep a list of books in the genres I prefer. I love finding new authors that I haven’t read. I begin at the start of a series and read all the way through. Recently I went to find Damage Control at the library by Robert Dugoni, recommended on your sight. The library didn’t have it (I have since found it and will be starting it soon.) but I discovered another Damage Control by John Gilstrap. It was the 4th book in the Jonathan Graves series so I started with the first book which was No Mercy and am up to Damage Control and very much enjoying the series. I highly recommend it. Thanks for all the information you share!!

Phoenix: You asked if I took reviews into account before purchasing a book. My first instinct was to say no, but then I thought about it and decided that, in some instances, the answer was yes. Though sometimes I get a dud anyway. Book in point: the latest Outlander novel, “Go Tell The Bees That I Am Gone.” It took the author SEVEN years to write the dang thing and all us Outlander fans were just waiting for it with bated breath. Well, by the time it came out, I had long since forgotten what had gone on before, so I was just wading about in the storyline wondering how we got there. The writing fell flat for me, and I didn’t even finish the book. Disappointing. Yet, some diehard fans just loved it, saying it’s one of her best books ever. If she takes another seven years to write the next one, I’ll probably be dead before I can read it.

All that being said, I often find that I pay attention to what is said about medieval mystery writers. As that’s my favorite genre, I would like to know what the reviews have to say. And if the reviews are horrible, I’m most likely not to purchase. Sometimes…well, often actually, I’ll borrow the first in a series from the library, if it’s available, and if I like it, I’ll purchase it for my Kindle and go from there. I looked the other day and I actually have 500 books on my Kindle. What’s funny is when I go to order a book and a little notice will pop up saying, “You ordered this book on such-and-such a date.” Oops. I’d totally forgotten I had it.

Right now I’m taking a short break from medieval mysteries and am reading “Out of the Silent Planet” by C.S. Lewis. Full of description I could probably live without, but enough story to keep me reading. Only about a quarter of the way through, so far. Before that, I read “And Then There Were Nuns,” by Jane Christmas. A memoir about a woman who takes a year out of her life to explore the possibility of being a nun. Well worth the read.

I see this has gone on forever, so feel free to shorten it if you need to. Thank you so much for your newsletter. I enjoy reading it whenever it comes out. May I make a non-book suggestion? I have recently discovered the joys of loose-leaf tea from a company called Plum Deluxe. If you like tea, I’d highly recommend them.

Pat: I’ve been burned so many times by reviews that I usually don’t even read reviews. I do read the book synopsis on Goodreads or Amazon and if that interests me I’ll purchase the book.

I find my taste in books is extremely individual and what I like others don’t. And books that have been raved about I usually can’t get into.

It’s the same way with authors. Authors others don’t care for are some of my favorite.

Pam: Thanks as always for the great column and tips on books. I do use Amazon ratings, but if I’m really tempted I download the sample and give it a try. That usually tips the scales.

Maureen: I rarely read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. I belong to the UK Crime Book Club on FB. There are reviews on there from readers and I have discovered lots of new authors I wouldn’t have normally come across. The cover of a book usually draws me in too. There are posts on there as well when a book is reduced and so I will sometimes try an author at a reduced price and go on to purchase more after reading it. I have been in the group for over 3 years now and am familiar with some of the names who seem to like the same type of book as I do.

Louis: On your reviews and rating offering I go with the author, generally speaking. Reviews are too subjective; I can’t honestly rely on someone else’s opinion with, however, one exception: Bruce Tierney from BookPage does a clear and concise review in his monthly Whodunit? articles. Do I take a look at the star rating at Amazon? Sure but it perhaps has a 10% score bottomline.

Linda: I would say that ratings play an important part in how a choose a book. However, if I find a book in the book store or half price book store that just sounds good to me , I buy it without a rating. I like to pick books on what others have recommended, too. Just today, I went to our second hand bookstore in search of a book series that my friend recommended. I got the first 3 books in the series. I usually give a book a few chapters before I toss it as not interesting. Last month I read the book by Gabaldon “Go Tell the Bees that I have gone” and was very disappointed. In my opinion her books have gone downhill since her first ones. This one was boring to me, with too many plots and too many characters. But yet, the rating on this book was very high. Just shows that not all have the same opinion. So ratings can be nice, but sometimes just a good recommendation from someone else is just as good. I just read “The Replacement Wife” and loved it. I think someone from this site recommended it and it was just my type of book. Thank you for the newsletter and hope you can get back to reading soon. Have a lovely February.

Laurie: Its the DESCRIPTION of a book that makes me put it on my very long list.

Kim: I read through the library app Libby – so no purchases are involved and the library doesn’t actually put a rating on the website. However, all the books on my read list are because they were recommended in your newsletter or on some top-selling-books list. So apparently I only read books with a 5-star review!

kat: i like to read a short blurb to see what the book is about. i dont like reading the first chapter (then when i start reading the book months later i think i already read it) or other peoples reviews. i just need to know a little about the book to see if im interested or not. i need to know where its set and if its mystery, fantasy, etc.

i keep track of what i read on goodreads, sometimes i cant remember if i read a book before or not, some of the titles are so similar

Julie: In response to this month’s question, “Do reviews & ratings impact whether you purchase a book or not?”, I do not read reviews until I have finished a book. After I’m done reading a book, I go through the reviews and LOVE those that share my thoughts and opinions and am appalled and dismayed at those who think differently. Hahaha. It really is intriguing to me how so many people have different thoughts on the same book and characters.

Jon: Ratings and reviews will have an impact on whether or not I read a book, but usually only if it is an author that I have not read before or if I have only read one or two of their books and have not decided if they will be one of my go to authors. A three to five star rating will entice me to read the synopsis and then decide. With all that being said, any book by my favorite authors (Stephen King, John Sandford, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sahri Lapena, etc. etc.) will be read regardless of reviews.
BTW – I really enjoy your newsletters. I often wonder how you manage to do all the reading you do and still keep up with all the other projects and things you are involved with. Thank you for your efforts.

Jennifer: I do not generally pay attention to Amazon ratings. But I follow a number of my friends on Goodreads, and those are the ratings that count to me. Not everyone’s mind you: I know people who give four or five stars to every book they read so I honestly take theirs less seriously!

But some of my friends are serious readers, so if they give four or five stars I sit up and take notice. By the same token, if they give less than three I don’t even look at that book. In fact, I read but few of their three-star recommendations.

This may seem rather limiting, but I still end up with more books than I can read!

Greg: Ratings and reviews very much impact my decision to buy and/or read a book. My personal standard is for a book to have at least ninety percent three, four, and five stars; heavily weighted toward the four and five star end. Anything below this I will read the reviews to see what the complaints are. I often find that I think I would agree with these and will therefore pass on the book. There are just too many excellent books to mess with the mediocre.

Elizabeth: I just wanted to let you know that I almost never look at ratings before getting a book.
I get most of my books from the public library so it’s not a big deal if I don’t like a book.
I rarely buy books for myself, though I do give them as gifts. Usually when I give books, the
title has been requested.
I wish you would have a question or an article on getting books from libraries. Our public libraries
are a wonderful resource.
Thanks so much for the newsletter.

Deborah: reviews – I don’t read the reviews a lot unless I’m on the fence about a book that’s by an author that’s new to me.

Debbi: I do look at the reviews and ratings, but usually after I’ve read the book, I may glance at how many stars before starting, if I see a lot of low ratings I might not read, but for me the description is what I use, if it sounds interesting to me I’ll give it a go. I have a friend that is a librarian and she will give me a stack of random books she’s picked every couple months and I will read them, this way I don’t always read the same genre and end up finding new authors I like. I also have found a lot of new authors and books through your newsletter.

Christine: Yes, I definitely like to read reviews on Amazon, and I also like to see the reviews that are given inside the book jacket of library books by other patrons. I do not read it if it got a bad review since there are so many books out there to read. But if someone I know who has similar taste in reading recommends it I do read it without bothering to check the review.
Sincerely,
Christine Boera
Oh, and P.S. I get the books temporarily on the back burner due to binge watching – my husband and I just did the entire 4 seasons of Yellowstone so now I have to plow through a few books I have here from the library that are due soon. TTYL, gotta get to reading! 😊

Barbara: Before computers and websites were available choosing a book meant walking through Barnes & Noble reading the flaps on titles that caught my eye or authors I’ve gotten to enjoy. Now in the computer age I do miss my weekly B&N trips, sitting in a club chair with a dozen books around me and asking other people if they read any. After trying many book review sites online, I found Amazon to be the best. It gives good descriptions without ruining the story plus other info such as # of pages, release dates and reviews. I usually “preorder” books for my kindle and keep a list on my iPhone so I remember to turn on the Wi-Fi the morning
of the release date so the book is delivered promptly. If you’re not using Amazon, try it.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Do You Look At Book Reviews and Ratings?

One Response to “Reader Mailbag: Do You Look At Book Reviews and Ratings?”

  1. Connie Henderson: 3 months ago

    I don’t listen to audio books, but I have read that Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series read by Gerald Doyle is terrific. As a fan of the Sean Duffy books, I might see if I can find an audio copy and take a listen. Anxiously awaiting the last 3 books in the series. Book 7 and 8 are completed and 9 is almost ready for editing. I guess they will be released one at a time after the 9th is complete.

    Reply

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