I read book reviews for a lot of different reasons. Of course there are the reasons you’d expect…to get an idea from other readers as to whether or not I should actually bother buying or checking out a particular book from the library. I usually start by checking Goodreads to see whether any of my “friends” on their have the title and have a few reviewers that seem to have pretty similar tastes to mine and so I usually end up trusting their judgement. I also utilize reviews in regards to my job because I know I need to buy books for the library that will be universally appealing and may not be necessarily up my alley taste wise.
Then, after I read the reviews of my trusted sources, I generally check the most negative reviews even though that occasionally leads to my being spoiled about some plot point (though most Goodreads reviewers are actually good about tagging spoilers so I can avoid them) . Sometimes people point out things that I know would irk me and other times a person’s gripe makes me laugh out loud and immediately go to pick up said book.
And then there’s the aftermath of my reading a book that I either particularly liked or didn’t like. After I finish a book I feel strongly about I start looking through reviews of readers who thought the complete opposite and, sometimes, I end up seething in anger. Now, I never give into that anger. I never reply and start a heated debate with someone who has differing views than I do but boy do I compose retorts in my head. And there’s mental name calling because, usually when someone gives a negative review to something I love, I can tell that they just don’t “get it” like I did.
Yeah I know it’s silly but here’s the thing…I may let it get me riled up for awhile but, in the end, I’m just glad that people are reading things and are obviously willing to get riled up as well. Plus, when it comes to reviewers that I know in real life I don’t let our differing book opinions get into the way of our friendships.