Book Bloggers Influence My Reading Choices

After the most recent Filipino Book Bloggers meet up, the few of us who were left decided to grab dinner before going home. Before we headed off to get food, I asked if we could stop by the local bookstore because I needed to buy a book that I reserved – The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier. I told the others that both Ana and Thea of The Book Smugglers loved it and gave it a rating of 9 in their joint review. Aaron asked, “so you’re going to buy a copy right away because of their review?” Um, yes? I do that all of the time with other favorite bloggers like Angie, Holly, Michelle, Janice and Nomes. There are times when I feel the urge to buy the books that they feature based on what they say on their reviews. If I don’t get the chance to grab a copy of the book, I add it to my wishlist.

When I’m with other Filipino book bloggers, it’s enough of an explanation when I say that *insert name of favorite blogger here* recommended a book because they’re familiar with the blogs that I follow. Just the other day, Celina and I were saying that we hoard more books now that we follow other blogs because we’re more aware of what’s out there. When I’m with my other friends, I just say that a fellow book blogger liked the book and that’s why I’m interested in it. Like I’ve said before, we don’t have nice public libraries here in the Philippines and I don’t get a lot of review copies so I buy most of the books that I read. Because I spend my own money, I’d like to make sure that I spend it on books that are worth buying. I remember a friend was surprised to discover that I get most of my recommendations from the blogosphere and I don’t buy a book based on just the cover, the title, the publisher or the blurb. Maybe because I used to do that and I’ve ended up disappointed with some choices so I’d rather go with recommendations nowadays. Although there are still authors that are included in my auto-buy list regardless of what’s said about them.

Anyway, I wanted to ask the rest of you – how do you decide what you read next (whether you buy a copy or you borrow it from the library)? Do you go with book blogger recommendations or are you willing to try whatever looks interesting? Also, I wonder if a follower of my blog ever says to his or her friend, “oh hey, Chachic gave *insert book title here* such a glowing review so I want to get a copy of it”? I’d be thrilled if that kind of thing actually happens. 😀

40 thoughts on “Book Bloggers Influence My Reading Choices

  1. I find that I buy new books based on a step by step selection process. First, I look at books by authors I already have read and loved. Then I move on to searching through the shelves until something catches my eye, whether it be the cover art or title. Then I read the back and if it still sounds interesting, I turn to the first page and start reading. If I find it interesting and wanna read more, I close the cover and go buy it. Sometimes I will completely dismiss a book based on the rave reviews that are shown on it, especially if it has a review by an author that I have read and disliked. Because obvious to me, if they liked it and I didn’t like their stuff, I won’t like this one either. I will also pick up books that friends recommend or that I find bloggers and reviews on. I’ll take a chance on most any book in the genres I love because I never know what treasure I may just stumble onto. =)

    • Hmm because I’ve been following book blogs for a while, I already have a list of trusted bloggers and I mostly go with what they recommend. I still browse in bookstores but I take note of the titles that I’m interested in and then when I get home, I’ll look it up in Goodreads and see what my blog friends have to say about it. If the feedback is positive, I add to my wishlist.

  2. Mm, yes, blogger recs do indeed impact the TBR pile. Either I will see a stellar review and that is it: I have to have the book, or it’s a series of positive reviews from bloggers whose taste I trust. Of course, I also do what I usually do too, which is buy a book because it’s an author I like or has a premise I love (you know me: retellings are a weakness). Either way, the TBR is a mountain range.

    What do I do to decide what to read next? First I think about what I need to have reviewed by when and that orders my priority. Then I kind of decide what I’m in the mood for (romance? action? fast-paced? meandering?), and I pick a book from the pile that looks like it fits my mood.

    • Yes to both the stellar review and the series of positive reviews. Hey me too, retellings and romantic fantasy are my weaknesses. 🙂 And yes, Mount TBR is huge but nothing that I can’t handle. LOL I mean it hasn’t come to a point where I’m scared by it.

      I usually pick a book based on what I’m in the mood for because I don’t have a lot of “required readings” so no deadlines to meet, yay.

  3. I would like to recommend some good reads to you as well. Based on what genres I see you like and they are similar to my interests too. Five books, I’ve just recently read, which I found amazing. Cold Magic by Kate Elliott, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge, and Delcroix Academy: The Candidates by Inara Scott. They all fit into either Sci-fi fantasy, magic realism, epic fantasy and young adult fiction.

  4. Well you know that your reviews influence what I buy. 😛 You and several other bloggers. I usually only add them to my wish list if I see good reviews from people I follow. That, and if it’s my kind of genre.

    I used to do impulse buys based on cover or blurb too, but I stopped doing that because like you, I was disappointed too many times. Of course, there are auto-buy authors that I get immediately, no need for reviews. That’s a different story. If I’m feeling really crummy, though, I tend to allow myself an impulse buy and hope the book surprises me. 😀

    • Aww Tina, thanks for following my reviews and trusting my recommendations. 🙂 You know I think it’s great that we both like the same genres.

      Yes to impulse buys and retail therapy! Although when I do that, I still go with books that are in my wishlist (which are usually recommended by trusted book bloggers). Speaking of which, today’s pay day so maybe I should buy something? 😛

  5. I know what you mean about impulse buys. They are almost always a mistake for me. Plus since I feel like I have little time for reading these days I better make it count, so it’s best to go with bloggers I trust. 🙂

    I’m thrilled when you read a book based on my review! 🙂

    And btw, sorry I haven’t been around for the last few days! All your posts have been great, too! Shame on me.

    • Holly, I find it amazing that you still manage to squeeze in some reading and blogging time while taking care of a newborn baby and a toddler. You know I value your recommendations. 😀

      No worries about not being able to check my posts all of the time. I appreciate that you always take the time to leave a comment.

  6. I go by book blogs, or sometimes recommendations on Amazon listings of books by authors that I like. But I also buy books based on cover art (witness my huge collection of Signet regency romances with Allan Kass artwork, many of which I haven’t even managed to read yet) because book jackets (for these I prefer hardcover) are a relatively cheap way to own artwork by artists that I like (as even just prints of their works are hideously expensive!). LOL. Well, I did give you a rundown of my favorite book cover artists already, so you probably already knew that…

    • Kim, have you tried Goodreads? I love that site because most book bloggers have an account over there so whenever you click on a book’s page, you can see the star ratings and the reviews of the people that you follow. Also, you can follow and friend some of your favorite authors. 🙂

      So you judge books based on covers, huh? 😛 I think it’s great that you’re familiar with the artists because I rarely take note of them. Although I usually pay attention to what the covers of the books that I read look like.

  7. I almost never buy a book anymore without looking up reviews. There are too many great books out in the world to waste my money on one that’s going to be bad. I find books by browsing Amazon, or other book bloggers’ sites, and seeing what appeals to me. I usually try to see if my local library has it (or can get it) before I read, then if I like it, I plan to buy it later. 🙂

    • Yep, there really are so many great books out there and book bloggers help us filter out the owns that are more interesting than others. I used to check out Amazon but now I go with Goodreads and book blogs. Lucky you, you get to borrow books from the library! 😀

  8. Fantastic post Chachic (as always)! Like you, I hardly ever buy books now that have not been highly praised by a trusted book blogger. Everyone you named is definitely on my trusted list too 😉 And that includes you – who else would have gotten me to pick up CROWN DUEL or The Jessica Darling books? Too often I have also been disappointed with a book when I picked it up based solely on advertising. A glowing review from a respected blogger though? Auto-buy for sure and usually always a winner.

    • Michelle, why am I not surprised that we trust the same book bloggers? 🙂 Hey, I heard through Twitter that you met up with Holly and Angie recently. How I wish I was near you girls so I could’ve joined you!

      I always appreciate that you’re willing to try out the books that I recommend because I’m curious what you’ll think of them. I’m thrilled when I discover that you like/love them just as much as I did.

  9. Same with me and this is the reason why I do bloghopping every week to find what other book lovers are reading at the moment. I recently joined the World Book Night in the UK launched on the 5th March where 1 million copies of 25 book titles distributed to the public. I visit the bookshop every week to find ongoing store offers and new titles, including highly recommended titles (like summer read, etc.). Online newpaper sites are also the best way to get interesting read. Finally, having a book club is a great influence to invest in buying books…No reason at all not to read and share or give a book… All the best.

    • Hi Reymos, most book blogs have giveaways from time to time so I think that’s similar to World Book Night and how you described it? I also visit bookstores almost every day but I just take note of the titles that I’m interested in and check out what others have to say about it when I go online.

      I’m not much of a book club person because I don’t want to feel like I’m required to read something. Also, most book clubs read best sellers and I already have certain genres that I read.

      • There is a big difference between the World Book Night(WBN) and book bloggers giveaways. The WBN initiative is encouraging people to read and release the books using the 10-digit tracking system of BookCrossing. It means that you read and share or give the books… This is also my personal challenge to offer free books of my own fav authors or even from my collections thru my blog.

        Im not giving out books for the pleasure of one reader, but sharing the books with others (through clubs, friends, colleagues, etc.). Even I have book clubs (including online), I dont participate with the reading challenge…I have my own pace of reading, not with bestsellers ones but my fav authors or unknown indie writers (ebooks). Sometimes Im being persuaded with the ratings/reviews online but most often my decision to grab a certain book is still dictated by my own personal choice. Aside from novels, Im addicted to read short stories and classics ones published by Penguin.

        Having my Kindle, it allows me to explore unknown authors thru free ebooks from Amazon, Manybooks, Feedbooks, Gutenberg, and Library Thing. My ultimate goal when I go back to Pinas in May is to grab more of Filipino authors.

  10. ahh, thanks chachic 🙂

    I love all those bloggers too (and have found a new one!)

    I am influenced by bloggers and also my goodreads friends. I also take risks just because i get in my head that I *really* want a certain book.

    I use my library a lot and find lots of random books that way ~ but I have purchased HEAPS in the last year since finding the book depo which stocks a lot of titles that are not available here.

    I often take things off my wishlist that i had thought I’d get for sure (most recently I removed “wither” and ‘Bumped’~ two upcoming YA titles. I am also fairly certain I won’t be read Delirium by Lauren Oliver ~ all due to reading friends reviews.

    I didn;t even used to know about upcoming titles before reading blogs! haha, and I now recognise most books in the fiction section of the book shop 😀

    • Who’s your new discovery? Just curious. 😛

      Back when I was more active in Goodreads forums, I was influenced by my Goodreads friends as well. But nowadays, I don’t have time to follow the threads there so I mostly go with book blogs.

      Book Depository is amazing, isn’t it? I’m so happy that they have free worldwide shipping and that our countries are included in their list of places they deliver to.

      I probably won’t be reading the titles that you mentioned either since I’ve seen mixed reviews of those books. Yep, I feel the same way whenever I go to the bookstore – most books in the YA and sci fi & fantasy sections look familiar. 🙂

  11. Yes, book bloggers definitely influence the books I read. Most books by new-to-me authors I buy are ones recommended by book bloggers. And I love to try new-to-me authors. 🙂

    • Me too, I love trying new-to-me authors but I only buy books that are recommended by book bloggers. 🙂 It’s exciting to try out new authors and to explore their backlist when you fall in love with one of their books.

  12. Hi!

    I choose my books for all sorts of reasons. Reviews from other bloggers, authors that wrote other books I like, next book in a series I started, goodreads recommendations – all sorts of reasons.

    • Hey Melina, I think it’s great that you get so many recommendations from various sources. I would’ve loved to have something similar when I was your age. I’m making up for lost time now. 😀

  13. Most of the time, I rely on my favorite bloggers for book recommendations. Aside from that, I check goodreads and see if any of my other friends have added or read a book I’m interested in.

    But there are times when I see an interesting book that none of my friends have added and I just take the risk. Sometimes the risks pays off and I eventually see good reviews from bloggers.

    I think overall, I’m very easy to please when it comes to books, so even if some people have given a book a not so good review, I would still be willing to try it out. Which is probably why I’ve got a huge pile of books on my TBR.:D

    • We have similar methods in deciding what books to get – book blogs and Goodreads. I think you’re more willing to take risks than I am though.

      LOL yeah, you have a higher tolerance when it comes to reading. Usually when I see mixed reviews of a book, I’m not that willing to give it a try.

  14. I rely on some book bloggers, goodreads rating, and friend recommendations. But sometimes it’s weird that you just want to start a specific book that no one really recommended. It’s just your instinct or maybe you have a feeling that this book will be awesome. That’s what happened when I chose to read The Hunger Games. It was an ebook. I didn’t know that it was a bestseller and everyone’s talking about it until I googled it after reading! 🙂

    • I used to try what my friends recommended as well but I realized that we really have different tastes when it comes to books. I feel like my tastes are more in line with my trusted book bloggers.

      Really, you didn’t know anything about The Hunger Games when you read it? I read it when it first came out and there was already a lot of buzz about it.

  15. Yes, book bloggers’ opinions definitely influence what I read! I’m also lucky enough to have a small group of friends who love YA and are constantly book pedaling and gushing all the time about what they’re reading.

    Then there are those super random moments where I’ll be playing around on Twitter or see a comment from an author and check them out and lo-and-behold their novel looks AMAZING. But it’s very rare that I stumble upon gems this way. I typically like to read reviews or research the crap out of novels that look interesting to me. =)

    • Aww I’m jealous that you have real life friends who read and love YA. I don’t have the same thing although there are Filipino book bloggers who also read YA and I’ve met them in person several times. Maybe that should count?

      I think it’s great that so many authors are active on Twitter or have their own blogs because it makes it easier for us to get recommendations from them. 😀 I love reading books recommended by my favorite authors.

  16. I bought (and loved) “Tall Story” because of the post you wrote about it. 🙂

    When reading book blogs, I usually tend to filter good reviews between “things I read” and “things I’m interested in.” If it falls under “things I read,” I usually list it down in my notebook to look for it the next time I’m in a bookstore. If it falls under “things I’m interested in,” I don’t write it down. If I remember it the next time I’m in the bookstore, then I figure it’s worth a shot. That way, I don’t contribute too much to my hill of books to read. 🙂

    That said, I love perusing books at the bookstore. What I usually do is look at titles. I’ve been fooled way too many times by nice covers, but titles have yet to fail me. If a title sounds interesting to me, then I buy the book. I usually end up liking it. Save for “Married with Zombies” which I didn’t hate–but I wasn’t that big of a fan either. Then again, I found that book online…

    • I like your method of filtering the books that you read and the books that you’re interested in. So that’s why your TBR pile isn’t that big. In general, I keep track of the books that I’m interested in by adding it to my Goodreads wishlist. Otherwise, I have a feeling I’d just forget the titles.

      I still go inside bookstores as much as I could, I think that’s something that every book lover enjoys doing. If there’s something that interests me, I take note of the title and then look it up when I get home. Hey, you’re different because you judge books based on titles instead of covers.

      • Haha, funny you should mention forgetting titles–because I tend to do that a lot. Even with books that I want to read. I usually go by the author’s name, or the semblance of an author’s name. This is one reason why the Fully Booked staff know me by name.

        With regards to books found in bookstores though, I prefer not looking it up online. Online reviews tend to make me expect too much or lose interest (with the exception of “Tall Story”)

      • That’s why I keep my Goodreads wishlist shelf updated! I’d forget titles and authors if I didn’t. Whenever I feel like buying a new book, I just look at what I listed in there to give me ideas of what to get.

        Really? I prefer looking at what other people have to say before buying a copy. We’re opposites in that sense. 😀

  17. Book bloggers absolutely influence my reading. There’s a small group of bloggers whom I have very very very very similar reading taste, these people who read YA, adult fantasy, adult books, and well a variety (you are one) whose reviews I very much trust. Another autobuy blogger I find is Angie of Angieville, she has this way with words that makes me desperately want the books she reviews positively.

    • Aww April, so flattered that I’m included in that small group of bloggers! Can I just say that I love your blog as well? I love how vibrant you are and I enjoy interacting with you through your blog and Twitter. I have to agree with what you said about Angie, that girl can convince me to read any book that she falls in love with.

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