A discussion with P.E. and Mari.
The other day, I was browsing the interwebs and came across a statement to the effect of "I'm sorry I can't read your review, I'm planning on reading the book and reviewing it myself". This intrigued me, because it isn't something I do myself. The only time I ever refrain from reading a review is immediately before reading the book. When I decide whether to pick up the book or not, I often read some reviews, both positive and negative, and I usually read the book weeks later. I don't think those reviews influence my own simply because I have an awful memory. Is this shocking to people? What's the etiquette for reviews?
I guess I can say that I understand where they are coming from, being a person who can easily get thrown off a book due to negative feedback and in this case reviews on it. Reviews usually serve as a sort of medium for information and motivation for me. When I'm interested in a book I read a couple of reviews and gather a general idea of what to expect. I usually don't go into a book without knowing how it was received as I've found that most of the time although not always, the community rating is reflective of the books content. Still, if I'm really bent on reading a book I don't think any review can stop me.
Is there an unspoken rule that you can't read another's review before you write your own? I think it makes sense given how much honesty and orginality matters when blogging, but is there a certain time period before reading a book where you say you can't read the review or you'll be influenced?
I think there is that unspoken rule for reviewing because it's really hard not to be influenced by another's writing to the extent that you might not notice that you're using another's writing. I don't know if you have noticed it but writing about the same topic as something you read recently usually results in you spewing out the same information. Still, I don't think this is as important when going into a book. Thoughts?
That makes sense. So do bloggers only read reviews of books they're not going to review themselves? Another thing I wonder is how many people read reviews without actually being reviewers themselves. I know some authors read reviews, but I've always heard that reviews aren't for authors. Do people that don't write reviews themselves read reviews?
Well, I don't know about everyone else but I never know if I'm going to review a book until after I read it and realize I have something to say about it. Is that how it is with you guys? I never thought about premeditated reviewing schedules, unless it is a book you received for review. Honestly, I think not reading reviews just because you "plan" to review it yourself is unconventional, especially as reviewer/bloggers are notorious for their never ending tbr lists. In the end, reviews are for anyone who wishes to know more about a book and how it was received by a certain reviewer. I read reviews way before I thought I would ever review as well.