Discussion Post: Do You Let Other People’s Book Opinions Sway You?


So, the other day I saw two women, who I personally know and respect, talking about a book online. They both said that they thought the book was dumb and that they didn’t like the writing style. Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but here was the problem for me…I loved the book they were talking about. I enjoyed the writing style and thought that it had several great points.

I went into a bit of a personal crisis spiral. What did this say about me? The book they were talking about happened to be in the Christian Living genre, so I also started to question my faith. If I liked this book that another of my Christian friends thought was one of the dumbest books she had ever read, did that mean I was a bad Christian? Did it mean that I was dumb for liking this “dumb book”? What would other people think if they knew I enjoyed the book? (As you can see, I became a bit of a mess.) I legitimately started to wonder if I should change my star rating (which was 5 stars, by the way).

After some digging, I realized that not all of my friends hated this book. Only a select few did, but they were certainly the most vocal. I also realized that they wanted something different from the book than I did. This made me feel better about my own experience reading this book, and about the rating that I gave for it. But, it took me seeing that I wasn’t alone to feel okay about my original thoughts on the book…and that’s not okay.

This is just one example. But this has happened to me before, even with fiction. Especially here in the book blogging world, where everyone has a different opinion, it can make me a bit self-conscious to voice my own thoughts on a book if they differ from the rest of the crowd.

Does anyone else freak out about this? Is it just me? Do other people’s opinions on books sway your own? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Love and happy reading,

20 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Do You Let Other People’s Book Opinions Sway You?

  1. I’ve definitely found myself in this position before! Even when I know that plenty of other people love a book that I love, it seems to stick more when I hear about people who hate it, especially if it’s from people I respect, ESPECIALLY if it’s a book that means a lot to me! But it’s good to remind ourselves that not everyone has the same experience with a book, and them disliking a book that you like doesn’t mean they dislike you 😊

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  2. Whitney never feel self-conscious about your opinions whether it be about a book or anything else. Your opinions are YOUR opinions. Don’t let yourself be swayed… When it comes to books, I have a few trusted personal friends and several trusted blogging friends that seem to share my taste in fiction overall. If they say the book is good, I generally agree with them. But not always…
    When it comes to book ‘hype’ I don’t usually trust it unless one of these trusted people say that the hype is merited. Only then do I take a chance on the book. I find that the higher the expectations of a read, the more likely I am to be a tad disappointed. The lower the expectations, I’m more likely to be delighted with the read. Perverse I know…

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    1. You’re right! I need to be more confident in my opinions. I am a recovering people pleaser, so that can sometimes be difficult for me.
      Yes, I have friends like that too. One of those friends likes the book that I talked about in this post, which made me feel much better.
      I have started being more discerning when it comes to hyped books as well. And I agree about the having low expectations thing ☺️

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  3. I do let opinions influence me – but only if it’s a friend who knows my taste. The fact is while there are some genuinely bad books out there, most books are going to have people who love them and people who hate them. Most books you dislike aren’t bad, they’re just not for you.

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  4. This is a great discussion topic! I respect my fellow bloggers’ opinions, and if I’m on the fence about reading something, I’ll let it sway me one way or another. Sometimes I’ll pass on something if I see it reviewed unfavorably by a blogger that has similar tastes as me.

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  5. I’ve been in this position many times! I don’t let it sway me, unless I haven’t read it yet. The best way that I’ve dealt with this, is finding bloggers/people/friends with the same kind of tastes, and trust those reviews and recommendations. I don’t let things sway me after I’ve read a book though. Everyone reads the same story differently! So don’t ever second guess yourself. I joined a book club and quickly realized many of them were WAY more critical readers. I always wondered, did we read the same book? Haha!

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  8. Hello! I found your discussion and really enjoyed it! I have felt that way a lot and you’re not alone. If you did enjoy it, that’s for you alone and people really shouldn’t sway you differently unless there’s concrete evidence otherwise. Great post and I love your blog design 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oooh this is super tough. I definitely freak out and worry over this. I know I am super susceptible to other people’s opinions, so I NEVER read reviews before I read a book. I need to go in with a blank slate so that I can form my own opinions, and I think it is super important that we each have our own opinions. But I also think that we need to be willing to change our opinions if we learn new stuff. For example Paper Princess by Erin Watt, I loved this book when I first read it, and I devoured the whole series. Later after I read other peoples reviews I realized that it is actually kind of messed up and promotes toxic masculinity and boarder-line rape situations. At first I was super ashamed that I ever liked it so much. It took me a while to realize it was okay that I liked it because I learned from it and that is ok too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point. It’s similar to how I was a giant fan of Twilight when it first came out (and I mean when it really first came out, before she had plans for it to be a series! I’m totally aging myself here haha) and then found later that it promotes toxic relationships and many other problems I won’t go into here. It took me a while to feel ok telling people that I loved it, but I do now.

      I also never read reviews before I read the book!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is exactly why I don’t read reviews of books that I’m either about to read, am currently reading, or haven’t written & posted my review yet. I find that if someone else has a great point, then I’m likely to gravitate to that point and talk myself out of disliking something, or vice versa. I’m in a book club, and just talking about a specific title will many times change my opinion of it – for example, we recently read The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which I didn’t like until right before the ending, but our book club discussion of it was great, and other people had some great observations that I had missed, and so I look back on that title more positively than when I was reading it!

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    1. Ooh yes, my book club has an uncanny way of making me like a book I was certain I disliked before! I also try to stay away from reviews of books before I have my thoughts thoroughly squared away.


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