Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Reviews & Spoilers

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the January 2023 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Do You Read Reviews and Spoilers Before or After?

Prompts: Do you like looking at reviews for books before you read them? Is reading reviews important to you when choosing what books to read next? Or do you prefer to wait until after you’ve read a book to look at reviews? Do you ever look at spoilers before you read a book?

Reviews & Spoilers: Before or After?

I think this is a great topic that I’d be curious to hear about from others. For me, the answer is both. I do like looking at reviews for some books before I read them but mostly, I tend to wait until I finish a book to read a review in full. I go into most books knowing the bare minimum anyway because, by the time I pick it up, it’s usually much later than when I first heard about it and my memory is a terrible thing! 😂

Often when I look at reviews beforehand I only read the intro and skim through the rest, but I tend to do that mostly for reviews with ratings that either stand out as very high or low. The only times I read a review in full is when I’m unsure if I want to read the book or not or if I have no interest in picking it up (at least, not anytime soon). I do read the full review when it’s written by book bloggers I follow though, especially if they’re written by those I know have similar tastes as me or whose reviews haven’t led me astray before. Mostly though, I look at ratings rather than reviews even though I know it doesn’t give me that much of an indication about what made the book good/bad!

I don’t like reading reviews in full beforehand because I can get pretty easily influenced, especially when it comes to the “negative” aspects of a book. If a reviewer points out things that irritated or bothered them, I find that those points stick in my head while I’m reading and that influences my mood and feelings about it as well. This is especially the case if the things that irritated them have also irritated me before! 😂

I’ve always been a mood reader

When it comes to choosing what to read next, I actually never look at the reviews to help me decide! As a mood reader, it strongly depends on where my head is at but I’m also not one to immediately jump on the hype train most of the time anyway cos that just leads to high expectations and a greater chance for disappointment. And I do consider hype to be a form of review in a way, too! However, something I do oftenish is looking at reviews while reading a book, especially if it’s a title that I find myself not enjoying. I get curious and want to know if it’s just me or if others who read it felt the same and it tends to be half/half unless the book is bad bad.

Do you ever look at spoilers before you read a book?

Absolutely not! No spoilers for me, thank you. As with many of us in this community, I really don’t like spoilers and I appreciate it when people include spoiler alerts at the start of their post or at the start of whichever section the spoiler starts so I don’t have to read them by accident. It’s happened a few times and some of the spoilers were pretty shocking and it honestly really irritated me. 😂 I never intentionally seek out spoilers and now that I’m trying to think of a time when I ever set out to look for them, the only time I can think of is looking at spoilery reviews for Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I looked it up because I’d seen such mixed feelings about the book and I was uncertain whether I could handle the content or not. Other than that though, I really can’t think of any other time I’ve actively sought to be spoiled.

Do you read reviews before picking up a book? What about spoilers—do you mind them or are you not fussed? Do you find that reviews influence how you feel about a book?

24 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Reading Reviews & Spoilers

    • Oh, that’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever responded to a review in my review! 😂 I do read reviews written by certain people who I know give just the right amount away for me to be intrigued but I find I do that less when I’m about to start reading a book soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s tricky with reviews. I only read full reviews from trusted sources, reviewers I know don’t put spoilers or mark them. If I am on the fence, I do like to see what people liked/disliked about a book before committing to read it, but again, not all reviews are helpful. Many are summaries of the story with no real opinion (my pet peeve), but I have a circle of bloggers I trust.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree! Sometimes reviews will even change my mind about not reading a book after seeing what people liked/disliked about it. Since I started blogging or reviewing books I do realise that a lot of people do just summarise the story in their “own” way without sharing their thoughts on it. I always found that a little peculiar because why? 😂 I also have a circle of bloggers I trust for reviews and it also differs based on genres!

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  2. I prefer to avoid spoilers if possible with the exception of content warning stuff like if there’s a lot of gore in a story.

    I am so grateful for other reviewers who make note of common things that people may not want to read about. (I don’t expect every reviewer to do this or for everyone to make note of every possible thing that might be a trigger. It’s simply a nice thing to do for the most common trigger warning stuff when possible. 🙂 )

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    • Yeah, I know people do consider content warnings spoilers but I personally don’t think so. I prefer to know in advance if there’s going to be something uncomfortable beforehand so it’s not just a whole bunch of shock while reading! I do try to do it more often with my reviews now but I also found a way to include it in a drop down so people can look at it if they want and skip it if they don’t, which is nice! I very much appreciate content/trigger warnings and I love it when I see authors include it in the books as well! 🙂


  3. Totally relate to being easily influenced and especially to having already forgotten what a book is about by the time you come to reading it haha. Feel like all I ever say in my TBRS is “I swear I knew what this book was about at one point”.

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    • Haha, I feel like my memory is getting worse for remember what books are about 😂 Most of the time I do eventually look at the synopsis again once I’ve started reading and realise I have absolutely zero clue as to what’s going on! But it’s kind of fun going in with the bare minimum knowledge, lol

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  4. Great topic! I like reading full reviews for books I’ve already read, so I can talk about it with whoever posted it. I tend to skim them when it’s for a book I’m not sure about. If it’s a book I know I want to read, then I try to avoid the reviews, but I’ll check out the stars. Like you, I don’t want to be influenced by someone else’s opinion.

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    • Oh, I love reading full reviews for books I’ve already read, especially if I have different thoughts about the book. 😂 It’s quite fun, actually, lol! I also mostly check out the ratings for books I know I want to read, and if I do want to read it soon. But I do have a tendency to skim reviews for surprising ratings (like if someone I thought would absolutely love the book ended up disliking it, I always get curious and want to see where it went wrong for them, lol) but I only do that for reviewers whose tastes I’m more familiar with!


  5. I don’t mind spoilers so I often look it up 😂🙈 And I do read reviews before picking up a book, just to adjust my expectations. I tend to not read them in full though, just skimming to look up things I’m curious about, for example if I’m reading a mystery/thriller, is it full of twists, boring, predictable, or slow paced?

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    • Oh wow, I actually don’t know a lot of readers who don’t mind spoilers, haha, so that’s interesting! I had a former colleague who didn’t mind spoilers though and she always read the last chapter before starting a book. I was shocked, haha! I tend to adjust my expectations about a book if I see that a lot of the ratings are low, especially if they’re by reviewers who I know and whose opinions I usually connect with. I don’t read a lot of thrillers but I do like to keep the mystery alive and just hope I’ll be pleasantly surprised by the end! 😂


  6. It’s a mix for me! Sometimes I look before finishing because I want to know if it is worth finishing haha. I do look at content warnings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’m definitely guilty of doing the same. It’s usually when I’ve started a book and I can’t remember the synopsis and it’s just not fully clicking with me. I’m horrible at DNFing so I usually end up finishing it anyway but if the reviews/ratings are bad, then I do end up skimming more just to get it out of the way, LOL 😂 I also appreciate content/trigger warnings a lot! I’m always glad when authors add them to their books.

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  7. This is such a great topic. I never understood people trying to learn spoilers before reading a book. My friend will read the end sometimes before the beginning. LOL. I have learned to go in without knowing anything or even reading the blurb if it’s an author I love and know. Honestly, half the time I just go off what my friends are recommending and still don’t read the blurb. lol It really has made the reading experience so much better. Also, I will never have spoilers in a review for this reason too. I would hate to ruin that for someone else, especially if they don’t want to know!


  8. DINNY THIS IS SUCH AN INTERESTING POST TO READ!!!!! look am completely with you on being influenced by other people’s reviews, especially negative ones AND ITS ACTUALLY VERY COMFORTING TO KNOW IM NOT THE ONLY ONE?? And sometimes they tend to affect my opinion even after finishing the book in question AND I BLAME THAT PARTWAY ON THERE BEING SO MANY DIFFERENT INTERPRETATIONS IN THE WORLD ON EVERY SINGLE STORY. but that makes it all the more interesting tbh.

    AM ALSO SOMETIMES A HUGE FAN OF READING NEGATIVE REVIEWS OF BOOKS IVE HATED. Mostly so I can agree with everything they say and cackle whenever they point out more of its problems. LOOK ITS SO MUCH FUN OKAY.

    Ooooh spoilers!!!! I never intentionally seek them out either (THEYRE THE WORST EVER. AGREED) except that one time when I was a smol little newbie in middle school and didn’t know about all the free book sites online AND LOOKED UP ALL THE HARRY POTTER SPOILERS BECAUSE I WAS DESPERATE TO KNOW AND HAD NO ACCESS TO THE BOOKS AHAHAHHA. it’s one my biggest regrets in life.



  9. I didn’t think about it in my post, but I will also look more closely at reviews if I’m reading a book and it’s not working for me. I did that with Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood. I was struggling with it, but I read through some reviews that were glowing, so I picked it back up. I ended up really liking it! Great discussion, Dini!


  10. I love your answers! I have also been known to forget what a book I wanted to read is about before I start it. I think it’s because I read blurbs when books are announced but not necessarily released. I also like to go in blind to a point. I try to avoid teasers authors put out for that reason. I will pull up the GR page for a book and see what my friends on there have rated a book. If they have given it less than 3 stars I will read their reviews. I try to avoid reviews until after I have written my own if I can. But sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes, I look them up in the middle of a book if I’m not enjoying it or if I need to know a spoiler because I’m too stressed out.


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