Judging a book by its Goodreads rating11:26 PM
underlying image is not my own HEAT UP THE PRESSES, I'VE NOTICED A RECURRING PROBLEM! I've noticed this problem in myself, on...
underlying image is not my own
HEAT UP THE PRESSES, I'VE NOTICED A RECURRING PROBLEM! I've noticed this problem in myself, on Sarah's blog Kerosene Lit, and just the overall blogging community. You might have this problem too. In fact, it's likely.
Raise your hand if you've ever spotted a book in the bookstore and thought it looked like a good read.
Keep your hand raised if you didn't have enough money to just purchase books on a whim.
Keep it up IF because of those limited funds, you went to Goodreads and decided to buy the book based on what the collective rating was. I mean who wants to burn $20 bucks on a book that's potentially a mound of poo poo?
If your hand is STILL up... then you, my dear buddy, do what we all do. We judge books by their Goodreads ratings.
There are, of course, pros and cons to judging books based on Goodreads ratings, the big Pros being you save money and time. But today we're going to focus on the cons.
Con #1 We pass up the opportunity to discover a read for ourselves
This is potentially a pro because most people don't want to waste time reading a book they'll hate. But what makes this a con is that readers are now denied the adventure of figuring out what sucks and what doesn't on their own.We allow another's judgement to lead us. I was just struck with the mental image of Goodreads and bloggers being overprotective parents that never let their children figure things out for themselves *cackles*
Con #2 We miss out on good books.
When I'm interested in a suggested book on Goodreads, I always see what the general consensus was from my friends. If they collectively hated it, I pass up on the book. If they loved it, I read it. This is ultimately a time saver, a Pro. Right? Maybe. But it's a flawed Pro. This Pro sets us up to miss out on books we might have otherwise loved.
Con #3 Authors miss out on an income
If everyone followed the average rating on Goodreads, some authors would never get read and therefore never get paid.So much sweat and tears add to the creation of a story and all of that effort is dashed if some big shot bloggers don't like it. How horrible is that?
When I read Dorothy Must Die, I hated it so much. There were tons of fundamental reasons to find fault with the story, and opinionated reasons to hate it. I rated it 3 out of 5 stars, but I was so tempted to give it 2 stars. It's sequel earned almost 1 star from me. But on Goodreads, when I check out my friend's reviews the average opinion is that they loved the story! THERE'S SO MUCH GOOD IN THAT BOOK! It's a great read. If I didn't own the books I would buy them based soley on what Goodreads was telling me. And I would have hated that purchase.
Alternatively, if everyone had judged the book based on my review, NOBODY WOULD OWN THAT STORY! I hated the book, but is that really fair? Just because I found so much to dislike, does Danielle Paige deserve to be out of a job? HECK NO! People shouldn't stop reading her stories because one little girl nobody knows said it was a bad book. but let's get real I'm never wrong *flips hair* Just like people shouldn't buy a book just because everyone loves it.
So we come back to the original scenario. You're in a bookstore staring at a cool book with an interesting blurb, and you don't know if you should buy it. Well I don't have a perfect, fool proof plan for you. In the end, if you buy that book or not is your choice.
But here are some tips to buying books in the future:
Are YOU interested in the blurb? Buy it.
Are YOU drawn to the story? Buy it.
Still hesitant? Read a few REVIEWS. Don't just look at ratings. Read exactly why people didn't like a story. Do their dislikes sound like things you wouldn't like?
STILL not sure? Read a few pages of the story to see if you like it.
STILL NOT SURE?? For the love of God just go get it from the library. Practice a trust fall with yourself. Trust your opinion and fall down that rabbit hole.
More times than not, a persons objections to a story are personal opinions. Another person's opinion isn't YOUR opinion. Books are different. People are different. We have different likes and dislikes. One person might hate romance, another may love it. Someone gets confused during action sequences, but someone else thinks the scenes were fascinating and well written. A handful of people think gore is great, others are squeamish to it. Some are detail snobs. Others prefer things to be sped up. I like fantasy novels containing slow burn romances between a prince and a commoner girl. Adrian thinks those plots are stupid. Bottom line is, people are different.
Do not let someone else's opinion of a story stop you from discovering your favorite book of all time.