As a librarian, I've been trained to read reviews and to be discriminate about what to purchase for a collection. I went through the "must buy every starred review!!" stage and emerged with a better understanding of what is appealing for my students and what is a good buy for my school, and what will just sit on the shelf. Basically, my readers don't read reviews (though I am sharing blogs and websites with my olders). They hand-sell books to each other. If a book needs a review, it won't get read unless I put a lot of effort into it. So I have to watch student interest and changes in grade level curriculum carefully, and select those just-in-time purchases that will appeal to them in the moment. This is where reviews really come in handy, and concatenations of reviews like the ones on Titlewave are absolutely essential when I'm looking for just the right book.Do you read book reviews? Do you let them change your mind about reading/not reading a particular book?
As a lifetime reader, I read reviews with trepidation because I hate spoilers. I typically read only as much as I have to to decide if I want to read it or not, and then quickly classify & stick it on my TBR list. (This is currently on Goodreads and it's working well for me.) You might notice my list is way, way too long. I try to tag TBR books thoroughly to help me remember where I got a particular recommendation. This is the time of year when Newbery predictions really get going, so I pay close attention to those and develop a summer reading list of 2011 hopefuls. Last night I added a 2010-stars-so-far tag to my books on Goodreads to reflect the new additions on Elizabeth Bluemle's fantastic list of this year's starred reviews. Many of these books were already on my TBR list, but it's good to have one more reason to read a particular book.
So, knowing a book was reviewed positively is usually all I want before I read it myself. but if I'm buying for a collection, I'll read reviews in a completely different way.