Books reviews, particularly positive ones, are something author's are hoping for. But as a reader do they help? By that, do they influence you in your decision to read or to ignore a book?
However, the reviews (opinions) that do sway me the most are those from people that I know. One good friend of mine has praised a couple of books so that, despite my reservations, I did pick them up and read them. Sadly, I didn't like them as much as my friend. I'm not sorry to have read the books, and there have been many that this friend has recommended that I have enjoyed quite a bit. Conversely, there have been some novels that have peaked my interest and when a friend has criticized it I have listened to that as well.
When getting book reviews from those you know you can question them and find out specifics about why they liked or didn't like a book, something you obviously can't do when reading a review in a magazine or online.
So my question today is, do book reviews influence you?