Bookish Musings: Has Blogging Improved My Choice in Books?

BookishMusings

In the grand scheme of things, I really am still a newbie blogger — so it’s only natural to assume things, and chalk them up to my status as a new book blogger.

Still, I can’t help but wonder about my review style (as I think every book blogger does, haha). I really tend to be pretty positive in my reviews, and while I don’t give stars on my blog, on Goodreads I tend to give most books 4 or 5 stars.

Now, in all honesty, I think this can mostly be attributed to me going easy on books when I review them. Usually when I’m writing a review for a book, I get a little sentimental remembering it and I’m inclined to remember the good parts rather than the not-so-good parts. Or when trying to give the book a rating, I’ll aim higher, if only because I did enjoy reading it, so why not give it 4 stars? It’s a problem — looking back, I know that all the books I rate as 4 stars I did not feel equally about.

But maybe — just maybe — these high ratings aren’t only because I go easy, but because I really have been reading 4/5 star books.

I’ve only really been using Goodreads to rate books since I started blogging, so I don’t really have any back ratings to consult. But perhaps joining the book blogging community has had an impact on the quality of the books I read.

Think about it. Following other book blogs, reading a plethora of reviews, recommendations, and critiques of the same book from tens of different opinions, and getting to hear different details about the book from each blogger gives so much info about a book. Reading blog posts about a book is about as good as getting a full background check on it; it gives you as much info on the book as you can get without actually reading the book.

So by the time I go to the library and pick out a book, or add it to my cart on Amazon or B&N, I feel like I already know the book. I chose it because something that I have read about it appeals to me — its good writing, its lovable characters, its futuristic spaceships, or simply because it’s set in Hawaii.

Some of these aspects can be known just by reading the book flap, but others are divulged only though the advisory praises of fellow bloggers. So, armed with the knowledge of the trusted readers around me, I am guided to the books that I know I will enjoy most. It isn’t too far a stretch to say that this is why the books I have read lately get such high ratings; reading book blogs has helped me chose books that merit 4/5 stars.

Now, this is just my working theory, and maybe it really only is partially true, but I really do think blogging has improved my choice in books for the better. Of course, there’s always a dud or two along the way; a book that seemed promising but disappoints. Still, how can blogging not have affected my reading?


Do you tend to go easy on books, or are you a strict reviewer? How has blogging affected your choice in books?

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Comments

  • […] Lina wonders if blogging has improved her choice in books. […]

  • I feel the same way. It’s not an exact science, because I still end up buying books I don’t enjoy in the end, but thanks to Goodreads, I definitely have a better idea of what I like and don’t like; what I need to avoid in order to buy something I’ll like. Things like that. Or I’ll go to the bookstore and see a cover that I recognise from lurking at it on Goodreads for a long time. But all in all, it’s made me a much more certain reader 🙂
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…Book vs Movie: The Fault In Our StarsMy Profile

    • Yea, it surely has made me more sure about buying books! I like the idea of stalking books on Goodreads, haha. It doesn’t work every time, but it’s a lot more helpful than going into a book blind!

  • acps927 says:

    I think one thing I’ve learned as I’ve blogged is to pick books with discernment, but it took me time to learn that, because at first I was thinking about picking up anything that was hyped. But then I learned to discern through reviews and such whether or not said hyped books were actually for me, and that has definitely helped me pick better books to read, I think. However, sometimes expectations get to me and might affect how I feel a book; if I had not expected something from the book ahead of time because of what I heard about it, maybe I would have liked it more! But I accept these possible consequences because of all the pros of being engaged in the book blogging world!
    acps927 recently posted…Star Trek TNG Season 2: My Top 5 Fave EpisodesMy Profile

    • I’d have to agree — the times when I do pick dud books are usually because there was so much hype surrounding the book. It’s really tough to ignore it though, and sometimes it still does lead to must-read books! But the pros definitely do outweigh the cons, and I can no longer imagine not having the advice of the book blogging community!

  • When I first started the blog (and reviewing) I thought, “how is it that I keep rating 4 & 5 stars?! Am I doing something wrong?”. And it turns out it wasn’t my style of reviewing or anything of the sort. I just took very good decisions xD I always try to read a book I think I’m going to enjoy, anyways, so I think that influences my reading. Also, I’ve become much more attentive to detail when it comes to certain tropes like love triangles…
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…Weekly Wrap Up #6 & Stalking the Shelves #22… All About Them Review Copies.My Profile

    • Good to know it’s not just me! I feel the same way — I don’t really have the extra time to take a chance on books I’m iffy about. And yea, blogging has definitely made me more attuned to to what I don’t like, like bland MC’s.

  • Laura says:

    I tend to give a lot of books 4 or 5 stars too, and I was starting to wonder if I was maybe being too generous, or only remembering the books good points. In fact I even started using decimal places like 3.5, to try and diversify my ratings a bit more! This post has kind of made me wonder if I’m perhaps just picking books better now I’m a blogger. I’m fairly new to it too (I’ve been blogging now for six months), so like you I unfortunately have no previous book ratings to compare it to!
    Laura recently posted…My Top Ten ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ CharactersMy Profile

    • I think it’s entirely possible — we learn so much about books we haven’t even read yet by reading countless blogs, which makes it so much easier to pick books that we know we might like. Only time will tell…? Haha

  • Annie says:

    I like how you compare reading blogs and reviews to doing a background check on a book! Excellent comparison 🙂
    Annie recently posted…Fairy Tale Legacy: Sleeping BeautyMy Profile

  • Totally agree on this one. I’m very picky with my 5-star ratings – those are only for the best of the best of the best! – but I give out a plethora of 4-star reviews, and I think that might be because I’ve been influenced by the opinions of the bloggers I follow. I tend to remember them whenever I’m in the library or whatever – if I recall a specific blogger disliking a book, I rarely check it out, but if I recall quite a few singing its praises, chances are I’ll be reading/loving it!
    Topaz @ Six Impossible Things recently posted…Friday Poetry – January 24thMy Profile

    • I do the same for books that I know bloggers didn’t like, but sometimes — every once in a while — I’ll have to totally disagree with the books that some bloggers loved, and then I feel like the odd one out! The Kiss of Deception was definitely one of these books for me.

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