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SURVEY: How Many Books Do You Buy Because of Reviews?

Truly effective reviews motivate you to buy a book you were not initially inclined to consider.

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Today’s feature story notes the opening of a new book discovery site, iDreambooks, that promises a “Rotten Tomatoes-like” experience for book buyers, one that offers a percentage approval rate of a book. Over 70% of books on the site now a “must buy.” Yet, as noted in the article, some very popular books, such as the Fifty Shades series, are not favored by critics. Could the many millions of book buyers be wrong?

Reviews can move books — provided they appear in particular venues: People, USA Today, the daily New York Times, to name just a few. But then, there are wonderful reviews that remain all-but-unknown to the mass market (to wit: the erudite Barnes & Noble Review run by James Mustich — who operated the late, lamented “A Common Reader” book catalog).

While it makes sense that people will buy those titles in which the topic already interests them and the review is favorable, truly effective reviews, in my estimation, motivate you to buy a book you were not initially inclined to consider.

So tell us, how often do you buy books because of reviews? And, note, this assumes you’re an avid book buyer — someone who likely buys two or more books a month.

How Often Do You Buy Books Because of Reviews?

  • 3-6 times a year (35%, 40 Votes)
  • Every month (23%, 26 Votes)
  • 1-2 times a year (21%, 24 Votes)
  • Never (14%, 16 Votes)
  • Every week (7%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 114

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5 Comments

  1. Posted July 13, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    A book review or recommendation from a trusted friend goes a long way. I instinctively avoid massively popular or madly hyped books unless a friend vets it first–no friend has ever recommended the Fifty Shades books, but several recommended the A Song of Ice and Fire series (of which I am now a huge fan). The wisdom of close-knit, similarly minded crowds trumps the opinions of “millions of book buyers” every time.

  2. Eric James
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The best book review is the one the author presents to an audience. All other reviews must be consumed with suspicion.

  3. joyce hardin
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I read reviews in the ny ties, harpers, atlantic, vanity fair and my local paper, Arizona daily star. Also tech sources like maclife and macworld. They help me mac book purchase decisions.

  4. joyce hardin
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I read reviews in the ny times, harpers, atlantic, vanity fair and my local paper, Arizona daily star. Also tech sources like maclife and macworld. They help me mac book purchase decisions.

  5. joyce hardin
    Posted July 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I read reviews in the ny times, harpers, atlantic, vanity fair and my local paper, Arizona daily star. Also tech sources like maclife and macworld. They help me makc book purchase decisions.

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