I've been thinking about why I read reviews for a while, but the catalyst for writing this post was brought on by the Lone Tiger Gamebook Reviews blog which I contribute to. I noticed that it got quite a few views and I think it's because the blog is about reviews.
First, I'd like to thank David Walters (who has written some great ebooks), Richard Palmer (who has a blog on SF books) and Sam Richards (who has brought gamebooks to Twitter) for their contributions to this post with our twitter discussions. Thanks all.
|A good review gets to the point.|
So it seems that people like reviews. In this post, I'm going to analyse why I read reviews and hopefully, it will resonate with other people as to why you read reviews.
Why I read reviews of things I haven't partaken in yet (but may do so)
|Yes. Even that episode.|
|It will ruin your life.|
Why I read reviews of things I have already partaken in.
This I do a lot. I have read the reviews of Fighting Fantasy books from Mark J.Popp's website at least a dozen times. I scour forums for peoples' opinions on gamebooks I know intimately and I read reviews of films and TV shows I've watched. I don't just read reviews of them either; I also want to understand how they are broken down into their tropes.
There are quite a few reasons actually. I suppose, one reason is confirmation. I want to know if someone else had the same opinion about something as myself. It's a bit like having a one sided conversation with a friend about it, but instead, you are just listening. Reading other peoples' well written opinions on things helps you form your own opinions, express them and lets you understand where you fall in relation to other peoples' views on something. Or maybe it will show you that you are ALWAYS RIGHT and that everyone else is ALWAYS WRONG! (thanks to @redrichie).
|There was no poetry, however.|
|Takes me back towhen I was 8.|
Reviews are informative. Reviews may give some background into the creative process that may have gone into the finished product. It may explain a lot about certain things that you spotted.
Why I read reviews of things I never intend to partake in
I like reading reviews because I can see someone give their opinion in an erudite way.
Reviews in themselves can be entertainment. Charlie Brooker has made an art of reviewing things with his acerbic wit. There are also several hilarious reviews on Amazon for certain items such as this mystical t-shirt or this excellent book on silicon-29.
|'Unfortunately I already had this exact picture tattooed on my chest, but this shirt is very useful in colder weather.' - Overlook 1977|