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    Are Book Reviews Necessary?
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  • Published: Nov 27th, 2007

It’s a question that needs an answer. As I was going through my formative years – the only time I ever read a book review was in the Sunday Times – and even then just to pass the time because I happened to be eating breakfast alone. I’m not much for what ‘other people’ say. I feel the same way about movies. I shudder when someone says, “It got terrible reviews.” So what?
I’m at a point, where I really don’t give a rat’s teased up hairdo, what other people say. Why, because it’s their opinion. One definition for opinion is: a personal view, attitude, or appraisal— the operative word being personal. Certainly they are entitled to it, and I’m entitled not to read it or be influenced by it. I’m entitled to form my own opinion. I don’t listen when supposed experts tell me what to wear, so I’m certainly not going to listen when they give their opinion on what to read. The fact is, there are reviewers out there who will give a book I thoroughly enjoyed a “Grade D” – Gotta say, it’s a matter of taste. That’s what it comes down to, ones personal likes and dislikes. Things rub me one way, they rub you the other.

Here at RNTV – we already review books – in a video format, with Gina’s Picks and with the Smart Bitches. But we’re thinking of taking a bit further and featuring written reviews. Our reviews will be the facts, and just the facts. We’re just going to give you enough information about the book to make your own decision as to whether you purchase it or not. We also provide Book Excerpts every month as do many other websites – you can try before you buy. Make your own decision – what a novel idea.

So – what do you say? Do you read reviews? Do they influence your purchase?

5 Responses to “Are Book Reviews Necessary?”

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  1. Kim
    on Nov 27th, 2007
    @ 12:11 am

    I read some reviews but don’t let them influence my reading dollar. I buy what I’m interested in no matter what others say.

    I do hate reviews that spoil the plot of the book and reviews where the reviewer doesn’t even seem to have read the same book I did.

  2. Haven Rich
    on Nov 27th, 2007
    @ 2:10 am

    I’ve written reviews for a couple of sites and now for my group site and I do read reviews! And they do influence my book buying. I will admit, a book with bad reviews will actually get me to buy it quicker than nothing but rave reviews. Why? Because I want to know why they found it so horrid and if my opinion of the book matches theirs. Often because like you said, the opinions are always so different and personal, I like to form my own opinion.

    The problem with excerpts is they often leave out some key clues as to the direction of the story. So a good outline/review can actually be helpful. The reason I like some opinion in reviews is to see the passion. A person who loves or hates a book will be very passionate about their feeling. They have to have reasons as to why they feel that way. That makes me curious and I want to know what struck them to feel so passionately.

    I’m sure that’s more than you wanted to know! But it is, my opinion *hehe*.

  3. Maria
    on Nov 27th, 2007
    @ 6:07 am

    Haven – I like your opinion. You make a valid point – sometimes the book excerpts don’t show the direction – but they do show the writing style and introduce the main characters – and sometimes that’s enough to get me to read the book. After all, if you can’t get in the first chapter – I don’t really want to read on.

  4. AndreaW
    on Nov 27th, 2007
    @ 7:38 am

    I can pretty much ditto everything that Kim said. I read them, but don’t let them influence what I buy and read.

  5. Melanie
    on Nov 27th, 2007
    @ 12:11 pm

    I never read reviews, books or movies. I don’t want to be influenced either way. I like to form my own opinions about things. I try to read a new author at least 6 or 7 times a year. Of course, I have my auto-buy authors and I don’t want to know before hand if the book is dissapointing to someone else.

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