Outside the land of book blogs, I try ridiculously hard to live by the internet law of not reading the comments, though I’ll admit to my fair share of failures. Goodreads seems to be my exception—before I start a new book, I’ll often take a peek at the reviews left by my friends and browse through a few others. Since many of the books I read are new releases, the reviews are often fairly limited and wading through them rarely brings on rage. But oh, how the internet loves to teach me lessons! Late last month, just before picking up Toni Morrison’s Beloved for a first read, I followed my usual path in checking out a handful of reviews and found this:
I mean, clearly I’d been living in a Goodreads bubble. I’d heard about One-Star Book Reviews and the drama around Stop the Goodreads Bullies, but this? I hadn’t even picked up Beloved and I knew how completely off base it was. Of course, I had to read the comments (because I can’t follow the rules!) in hopes that all 25 were some variation of “No, just no.” Sadly, many of them echo the reviewer’s sentiments.
So, it looks like it’s time to climb back in that bubble. From here on out, I’m saving myself the misery and sticking to my friends.
Have you been surprised by reviews you’ve read on Goodreads or other sites? Do you try to avoid reading them or their comments for that reason?