Treading Goodreads Carefully

I’ve come to realize lately that as a user of Goodreads, I need to be careful with it.  Not in the same way you need to be careful with Facebook or Twitter though.  What I mean is that I have recently noticed that I can be highly influenced by the ratings and reviews on books that I’m interested in on Goodreads.

I try to stay objective when reading reviews or looking at ratings before I dive into a book, or buy it, but it doesn’t always work.  I get afraid that I won’t like the book if I see a lot of negative comments about it and then I don’t know if I should bother reading it or spending money on it.  I know that not everyone is going to enjoy the book because the world would be boring if we all liked the same things, but still, you don’t want to waste your time or money on something you might not end up liking.

On the other hand, if a book I’m interested in has good reviews and it seems as though everyone loves the book, my expectations can get too high and I might end up disappointed.  I don’t want that to happen either.  I know that’s something that we all have experienced as readers because even before Goodreads was around I would get excited about a book because of the synopsis, but then the execution was terrible.  Goodreads only makes it harder because you see a good synopsis, then good reviews, and you still could end up disappointed with the book.

So, in a way, Goodreads is great to see if the book is worth your time and/or money, but at the same time, we need to be careful to not let ourselves get too influenced by the ratings and reviews we look at before reading.  Personally, I think I’m going to stop looking at the reviews before reading because I don’t want to take the risk of being influenced by what other people think of the book (plus, there could be spoilers).

Have you ever been influenced by ratings and reviews of books on Goodreads or other book rating sites/blogs?

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4 thoughts on “Treading Goodreads Carefully

  1. Sharon E. Cathcart says:

    I don’t typically read reviews until after I’ve read a book, which saves me this problem.

    That said, Goodreads has had a different “feel” for me since Amazon bought them a couple of years ago. I don’t know how to quantify it, to be honest … but it’s different.

    • Tabby says:

      I never used to, but lately it’s like I have a compulsion to check and see if the book is worth my time or not.

      It’s silly though, because we all like different things, so just because a chunk of other people don’t like it doesn’t mean I won’t.

      Same thing about me not liking one…. I mean, I couldn’t get past 50 pages in A Court of Thorns and Roses, but most people tend to love it.

  2. fefelemos says:

    I agree with you, some of the books I really enjoyed have low ratings. And some “flaws” that I haven’t seen before, and that are pointed out in the reviews, started popping to my eyes like popcorn. Now I look at the summary, the rating, and try to make my own mind about the book I want to read.

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