Because I am TERRIFIED of spoilers. Like just the thought of happening upon a spoiler of a book makes me break out in hives. Luckily, I've never been horribly spoiled. But it's going to happen one of these days with the amount of books I haven't read and the amount of series that are starting and ending. Series enders are the worst, though. I have to stay far, far away from anything involving them. I consider even knowing how a love triangle ends a spoiler. Because it is. Sure, I know the ships but I don't know what happens to them. And I don't know how they end. But there are a few I already know about, like The Selection series and the Covenant series by Jennifer Armentrout. And honestly, I'm kind of nervous to read them because of it. It could very well cloud my judgment. I'm half expecting that I'll choose the other ship and I know I shouldn't because it'll be the wrong and obviously that's not who the MC ends up with in the last book. But then I'll be pissed, because I want the other ship to happen and I know it's not going to happen.
But that's not even the only reason I don't read reviews. I'd much rather DISCUSS the book with someone instead of just reading their review and leaving a nice comment that will probably not get a reply and not be returned (not that I'm expecting either of those things, but it's a one-sided conversation that makes me feel awkward a lot). I've had awesome conversations with people on Goodreads and Twitter (which, in hindsight, makes me worried that I'd ever spoiled something for someone through my tweets). I know how to keep it vague, though, or I at least try to. But I can't say the same for the other person I'm chatting with. Anyway, I love discussing books with people! And I can't very well do that until I've read the book, can I?
I feel bad about this. I know how hard people work on writing their reviews. I know how much it sucks when you don't get as many views/comments on them as any other post. But I can't help it. I don't like reading reviews for books I haven't read. Okay, that's not totally true. There are a few reviewers on Goodreads whose reviews I read because they are always just hilarious and snarky. But usually it's for a book I'm not even that interested in. However, they have totally influenced my reading decisions before and that's a problem for me.
I know that's what reviews are supposed to do, but I've listened to them too many times in the past. Before I became a blogger, I just picked up library books that sounded good and something I would enjoy. I never read reviews or looked at ratings. I'd never even heard of Goodreads. And something tells me that I might have let them influence whether or not I would pick up a book back then. I know they definitely do now. We don't like to admit it, but ratings and reviews are extremely important to our whether or not we add a book to our TBR or buy it instead of borrow it from the library. And, as much as I do listen to those numbers, I will still read a book if I want to even if it's got a mediocre rating. But there are sometimes when I've let them become too important.
I've been better at not letting reviews and ratings cloud my judgment, but I still do it sometimes. I love going into books blind. It makes for a better reading experience, because this way I'm going into it with fresh eyes and and with an open mind. I don't know anything that's going to happen and I can just focus on how I feel about the book and not what other people say about it. Because I've let myself become too influenced by reviews before and that has in turn influenced my feelings about a book. I love just going in without the expectations and opinions of others. And if that means I stop reading reviews, then so be it (I'm not actually going to stop reading them, but I'm just gonna be more careful). I feel so bad about it, but it's a personal preference of mine and is not going to change .
So, I feel like I have to write this disclaimer for you. Rest assured that if I ever put a spoiler in a review, I will make sure to tell you. I always warn people before the review section! And I honestly consider even the smallest of details a spoiler. And also fun fact: sometimes my reviews that say there are spoilers don't actually have any. Since I write a review from beginning to end, that section is always first. Sometimes I just want to rant or gush about a book, and I'm half afraid I'll spoil something and so I write a warning. But then I end up being able to sidestep all of those little spoiler landmines anyway, so there was really no point in a disclaimer. And then I just don't bother to remove the warning. Haha. Anyway, if I put in a spoiler in a review, I will tell you! ALWAYS. :)
Do you read reviews before you read the book? Or are you like me and have to wait for fear of spoilers? Have you noticed a fluctuation in views and comments on your reviews vs. any other posts?