Do You Read Reviews Before or After the Book?

Legitimate question! I was wandering the shelves today (the day I’m writing this, not the day I’m posting it) and somehow managed to strike up a conversation with another girl there. (Somehow meaning I very rarely have the gall to talk to other human beings, but managed to do so this time.)

The conversation, at one point, went a little like this:

Her: “Oh! Starfall, I love that cover.”

Me: “Me too, I’m a sucker for anything with space-y covers. I haven’t read the first book though.”

Her: “Me either. I’ve read some great reviews on it, a lot of people really like it.”

Me: “…”

Me: “I’ve … looked at some star ratings?”

And it was with that conversation that I realized (not for the first time, but I’ve managed to forget as I go and re-remember each time it comes up in my head) I don’t bother reading reviews on a book, be it spoiler-free or otherwise, until I’ve already read the book. In most cases.

Why do I do this? I don’t know. It’s not like I’ll spoil myself by reading a majority of the reviews that I read after I’ve read the book, so why do I do it?

I suppose it’s because, much like how I very rarely read the synopsis/blurb thing before reading the book, I want to be wholly surprised by what I’m getting into. It makes it a little more difficult as I go, sure, but I find myself enjoying a book more (or less, sometimes) when I don’t know what’s coming and I don’t know how other people feel about it.

But, that being said, I love to see what other people are saying about the book after I already know what’s up.

I know I’m not the only one who does this. If you do it, what reasons do you have for doing it? Are they the same as mine?

And if you do read reviews before going into the book, I suppose that’s the intended method, right? Do you have a reason why you do it that way?

Is there a third way to go about it? Such as reading spoiler-free reviews beforehand, then spoiler ones after? (Yes, I just answered my own question. No shame.)

Spill your secrets to me.

Your book and review ones, I mean.

Well … if you must spill the others, too, go right ahead, but. You know. Public platform and all that. Ahem.

… Thanks for reading!

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13 thoughts on “Do You Read Reviews Before or After the Book?

  1. I often look at reviews beforehand if I’m not certain about a book. Sometimes they will disclose a couple of details that make me change my mind, and more often than not I’ve been thankful for that. Once I’ve read a book, especially a hyped release that I’ve disliked, I will look at the reviews on Goodreads to see if others have similar opinions – there often might not be many but to me it is reassuring that I’m not the only person with particularly unlikeable opinions about a book.

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    1. That’s a good reason to! I get suckered into reading so many overhyped books that I don’t always enjoy. šŸ˜•
      That’s also why I do it! It’s nice knowing there are others with similar opinions, especially if I disliked a well-liked book šŸ˜…

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  2. For me it depends on the book whether I look at the reviews beforehand- if it’s halfway through a series I’m already enjoying I might just glimpse over the reviews, but since I know I’m gonna read it, I’ll usually wait till after to properly look at reviews. But I’m also like you- I like to read reviews where I already know what’s going on! Great post!

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    1. Thank you so much!! And honestly, I think I might do that on occasion too šŸ˜‰ Especially if a review for the book just happens to be on one of my feeds, I’ll just … pop in for a peek.

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  3. I usually don’t read reviews before reading a book, I might look at the star ratings that some people have given but that’s about it. I don’t want to know what to expect or be influenced in my feelings about different aspects of the book. I think the only reviews I actively seeked out were ones for Caraval (then again, you couldn’t really avoid them at some point) and I actually liked hearing spoiler free thoughts on the book!

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    1. I feel that! Sometimes it’s so hard to avoid reviews if the book is blowing up or a lot of people got an ARC or such, I find myself accidentally reading reviews on Goodreads when they pop up on my dash before I realize what I’m doing.

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  4. I read them before and after. Usually I’ll read them before because I’m curious to see what others think of a book I want to read, or just to discover a new book. And i read them after the book to see if other peeps have similar thoughts about it.

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  5. I usually never read reviews before reading a book because I am terrified that there will be spoilers, so I totally relate.
    I do enjoy reading them afterwards to compare notes.

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