Do People Actually Read Reviews?

Posted March 20, 2018 by Bee || 55 Comments

Today’s topic is a question many of us have asked ourselves ever since we started blogging about books. It’s something we worry about and maybe even lose sleep over. The answer could either motivate us to read even more books and share our opinion until eternity, shouting it into the void. Or it could rob us of all that motivation and stomp us straight into a life-sucking slump.

Do people actually read reviews?

The truth is… I don’t know for sure. I can’t give you a straight answer and be 100% sure I’m right about it. And I think to know if people actually read reviews, we have to look at why we write them in the first place.

We write reviews because we love books. Because we want to voice our opinion about it, good or bad. We want to rave and fangirl when we love a book and we want to rant when we hated one. We review books because we love sharing these opinions in the hope we find other like-minded souls that want to chat with us about those books. People who love books as passionately as we do. I always thought myself to be the only person in the world that loved books this much when I was growing up. But when I found Goodreads, I knew that to be false. I wasn’t alone anymore. And so I started sharing MY opinion too because I wanted more people to talk books with. More even, I wanted friends.

When you think about it that way, it seems pretty clear what the answer to that question is. Of course people read reviews. Because we are always looking for others that share our opinion about a book. Or we trust that other person’s opinion so much we depend on it and let it help us decide if we read a book or not. Or we just like the way they review even if we disagree. It’s all possible. But in the end, yes, we do read reviews.

BUT I think there is a lot of room for doubt with that answer too. Because what if we don’t get comments on that one review we were so proud of? What if nobody wants to talk with us about that book we absolutely adored? What if people don’t comment because they’re ignoring us for that negative review on that popular book everyone else seems to love?

Readers can be very insecure when it comes to their own blogs and content. And I get it! I am too! I always worry nobody will read my posts, whether it be a review or something else. But that shouldn’t stop us from creating that content in the first place. Because people DO read it. They might not have the time to comment, but people do read it. And if you’re very worried about it, share your review on social media! Participate in link-ups and challenges! Comment on other blogs so they return the favor and comment on yours! Eventually your reviews will be read. And who knows? Maybe someone stumbles across your blog and falls in love with your review style.

It’s a fact that people in general love to talk about things. Discuss. And in the end, reviews are just another way of discussing something. But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?

Love, Bee

 

Bee

Co-Blogger at Novel Ink & Quite The Novel Idea
Bee (born as Bieke) is 27 years old and from Belgium. (No she won't send waffles.) She's a strange, nerdy and anxious creature floating around somewhere on the ace spectrum. Oh, and she also writes books as Nelly B. Jones. Or tries to anyway. She also blogs over at Quite The Novel Idea.

55 responses to “Do People Actually Read Reviews?

  1. Personally, I still read reviews, however, I am being picky of it. When an anticipated book is being released, usually my feed will be flooded with the reviews of the same book over and over again and it gets tiring you know? I usually would just pick 5 or 10 of them and ignore the rest. Other times it depends on whether I am interested in the book or the review format. But I do still read reviews 🙂

  2. Oh I think people definitely read reviews! I just think sometimes it’s the type of reviews that’s the thing?! Like if I review an obscure book I get waaay less views/comments. But a hyped book-review gets a TON. So like if people recognise the book, they’re more likely to read the review. Which is a bit annoying because then the underrated books keep getting passed over!! But yeah, sometimes reviewing does feel like shouting into the void.😂 I still can’t give it up. I looove getting my thoughts together about a book!

  3. Ali

    Great post! I’m always wondering if people are reading my reviews and I’ve been reviewing books for a long time. It’s hard not to worry about it really, I mean you’re putting your voice and your thoughts out there and if you get no comments then I tend to be like well I guess they don’t care what I think. Kind of sucks, but I still enjoy putting my thoughts out there. It’s a two edged sword of sorts.

  4. haha I have wondered this but to be honest I definitely write reviews for myself! The irony is I read a few book blogs – this one being one of them! despite having one myself but I’m defo that person who’ll go on Goodreads or Booktube on a regular basis before purchasing a book!
    http://www.susanetc.co.uk

  5. Definitely something I think about a lot haha. I do love talking to other readers about books I’ve read especially ones I’ve really loved! It’s really nerve-wracking to think people are reading what I’ve wrote but at the same time I really hope they get something out of it. It always makes me happy when they tell me they’re interested in a book I reviewed 😀

  6. I’ve been going back and forth on this as of late. With the popularity of bookstagram and booktube (which don’t really highlight reviews), it kind of made me think that maybe reviews aren’t what book people are looking for. I’m super insecure about my content and wonder if I’m putting out content worth reading (especially reviews).

    So thank you for this reaffirmation post Bee!

  7. I admit to being awful, and I tend to only really seek out reviews if I absolutely HATED a book and I want to see if I’m the only one. I really should stop because it’s such negative behavior, but it feels nice knowing sometimes I’m not a complete outlier. But I’m starting to read normal reviews now too, but it’s usually only my favorite bloggers and such.

  8. I definitely read reviews unless it is something I’m currently reading or about to. Then I may just skim so that I don’t get any details revealed. I agree with a few points the above commenters mentioned, like hyped up books do tend to get a higher response than the underrated. And that with bookstagram being so popular, it seems reviewing isn’t necessarily a priority as perhaps making books visible nowadays.

  9. There is definitely an audience for reviews. I know, I like to read reviews AFTER I read a book, because some people don’t quite embrace the idea of tagging spoilers, and it makes me bananas.

  10. Okay, I think people read my reviews, but they get waaay less attention than my discussion posts. I always want to help less-known authors promote their books, so I review a lot of books that are not well-known, and I think because of that, as Cait mentioned, less people have interest in those reviews.

  11. I read reviews for sure. Before taking on arcs, I would read them to see if the content of the book really met expectations of the title/cover . . . Now that I take on arcs prior to seeing reviews, I often want to see if my opinions trend with others on a new book or author.

    And, I always scan reviews for that hated word – Cliffhanger!

  12. shooting

    Oh, I love reading book reviews. It’s fun when I’ve read the book to see what others think, but even if I haven’t, I’ll read them anyway to get different point of views. Reviews have definitely made me read a book that I would have otherwise ignored -or not gotten to as quick.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

  13. I think that people do read reviews. I do. Not on every book, of course. But I always read positive and negative reviews on given book before purchasing it. And whenever I discover new blog, I HAVE TO check their reviews to see what kind of books they read and what are their tastes. Discussion posts are fun, and more commentable (is that even word?) but reviews are always the priority for me as a blogger and as a reader.

  14. I think they probably do? I mean- I don’t read every review published obviously, but I think there IS a market for it. As for the commenting part, I think sometimes it is hard to comment on reviews- especially if you haven’t read the book yet- but that doesn’t mean that the review wasn’t helpful. I know personally, I’d rather not say anything than leave a generic “great review” type of comment, so perhaps that is why! Great post, it is definitely a question on people’s minds!

  15. I read reviews. I prefer short ones, which tell me just enough for me to decide if I am tempted or not.
    I also read reviews of books I’m asked to review, I especially read the lower rated reviews for these books, as this is where you’ll find the nitty gritty of a book.
    For a popular book, I might read the book first and form my own opinion before I read what everyone else thought, that way I’m not influenced when I read it.
    Reviews are important they help others decide to buy books.

  16. This question always puzzles me, because of *course* people read reviews…? I read more reviews than I do memes or cover reveals or whatever, because reviews interest me more.

    I’m also lucky in that my review posts are usually some of the most-viewed on my blog. I really have to promote other posts, but review posts just carry on, on their merry way, collecting page-views and comments and the occasional share as they go.

    I get that this is apparently the exception rather than the rule – and honestly, I’m not trying to brag here – but I have absolutely no idea why this isn’t the rule, tbh. I don’t know anyone who *doesn’t* read reviews, after all!

  17. I mostly read reviews if I’ve never heard of a book, or if it’s one I’m on the fence about and I’m trying to decide whether to read it. I love reviews of books that are totally new to me! I don’t need to read the 50 reviews on To Kill A Kingdom that every blog I follow is posting all in the same month, though…

    Great post – it ties nicely with the one I posted today on What do you look for in a review? 🙂

  18. I don’t think people read my reviews very often, and sometimes it is difficult for me to write them, but I still write them anyway when I can. I usually only read reviews for books I’ve already read because I love seeing other people’s thoughts.

  19. I know my reviews get less views than other types of posts, but I’m okay with that—I’ll keep writing them anyway. I like to read reviews, but I’ll confess that I often skip over reviews of books I haven’t heard of unless they spark my interest in some other way.

  20. In some ways, I do think that book blogging is changing in regards to reviews. There was a time when book blogging was just writing reviews. Recently, memes, discussions, and other types of posts have been introduced into the community. These kinds of posts are generally easier to comment on than just reviews, at least in my experience. But this doesn’t mean that no one reads reviews or that they are worthless! Book blogs are just shifting to add more content that can help the community fangirl about books in a different way.

  21. I read all the reviews. I love to read them on books I have read. Books that are new to me. Books I have on my tbr. And books I am currently reading. Love reviews. I love writing them too. I am real insecure about my reviews. I am not one of many or flowery words. I am not witty or charming or funny either. So I feel that mine don’t get read a lot because of the lack of comments. But. I don’t always comment on reviews. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to review. Discussion post are just easier to comment on.

  22. I love this post, goodjob! Id probably include it aswell in my « end of march early april Bujo » post.

    I will be honest; yes I read few reviews and I dont like blogs consisting of reviews entirely 🙊 Nothing in particular, I just dont like it personally.

    Thoses I do check, however, would be from authors I know as I read former books by them, or a book presently on my tbr, OR even something that the title peak my interrest. ((Sometimes maybe of a book I reviewed already to see the other’s POV)) i will gladly write a comment to say how good this book looks, or that I now have added it to my tbr, or something along thoses lines. If I did read it already, i may cheer or talk about it.

  23. This is such a wonderful discussion post Bee! I totally agree, reviews tend to get the least amount of views especially compared to book hauls and discussion posts, maybe people don’t want expectations for books or don’t want to be spoiled, or they have no interest in the book that we reviewed. But I love them so much!

  24. I love this post and relate to it being something that a blogger worries about. Particularly as a new blogger ☺

    I also struggle with do people OTHER THAN OTHER BOOK BLOGGERS read reviews? And I mean, even if that’s the case, it’s not a bad thing. Book bloggers are readers too. I feel like I get more general exposure via my Goodreads than my blog though? Thoughts?

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