Treading Goodreads Carefully

I’ve come to realize in my years of using Goodreads is that 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.  This has happened before and it’s really suck-ish (for lack of a better word) to go into a book thinking you’ll like it and see all the good ratings, then end up hating it.  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 review sites/blogs?

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