Nix Review – Why I don’t read reviews which include casting photographs before I read a book.

Posted July 12, 2014 by Nix in random musing, Random musings / 9 Comments

Over the last few months, I have noticed a growing trend on GoodReads. It no longer seems good enough to just review a book, now people are adding their own “casting choice” photo’s to go along with them. What I mean by this is that there will be pictures added, usually of actresses and actors, that are the reviewers representation of what the character looks like. I say usually actors or actresses but there have been models I’m not familiar with (dicey ground Ladies and Gents … if the images are copyrighted, you are playing with fire) or even porn shots (not cool … it’s not an age-restricted site).

So why do I not like reviews including such pictures? More often than not, they are only a problem when I’m looking at reviews before I read a book. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and these reviews often include pictures that, although obviously work for the blogger, just don’t work for me. I have the type of brain that latches images to names and, after I’ve seen a image with a name attached, I cannot picture anyone else. If I’d read the review that had Aaron Eckhart as Soren before I’d started the book, I’d never have picked it up as he just does not work for me and that is just one example of many that I’ve seen. I’ve been put off many, many books because of these reviews; I’m never going to read a book where the lead characters remind the reader of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez and YES, I have seen this on erotic romance reviews. I think this is one of the reasons that I also choose covers that have no faces on them … man-titty is always fun to look at but I don’t want images with features that can stick (especially when I recently read one that hinted at a hero with blonde hair and the author wrote him as a red-head!).



Sometimes, I read reviews after reading a book to see someone else’s opinion on the book or plot. When I start looking at reviews, these picture reviews can be quite useful as, if the reviewer has an opinion that differs to mine on what everyone looks like, it’s clear that we didn’t see the book in the same light anyway so I probably won’t find what I’m looking for. This is the only time I will glance at reviews with pictures … probably not the reaction the reviewers were looking for!

So what is your opinion on “casting choice” reviews. Do you love them? Do you hate them? I want to know if I’m in minority … it’s possible I am!

9 responses to “Nix Review – Why I don’t read reviews which include casting photographs before I read a book.

  1. Susan W.

    I don’t pay attention to photos of who someone thinks a character looks like. Actually I don’t really even look at them because I know that my image of a character will be different. It does annoy me when the character and the cover person look totally different. What will keep me from picking up a book are the abstract covers that tell you nothing about the book. I need a visual interpretation in a picture of the basis of the story.

    • Ah, so the new trend of just colour splashes doesn’t work for you then 🙂 I think some genre covers are becoming so repetitive too and that annoys me!

      • Susan

        Oh yeah, when all the covers look the same it’ annoy’s me too! When the cover is just a cover and a single item on it I so passing it over. Covers boring so I relate that to the book being boring too and don’t even bother to read the blurb. Superficial, I know but I have to be grabbed visually too.

        • I’m exactly the same and I’m so surprised that it still matters to me as, as a eBook reader, I barely see the cover after purchase as kindle always seems to open the book on the contents page!

  2. I like them, honestly, though I feel a bit superficial admitting it. Hot models on covers and hot photos in reviews will catch my attention and get me to check out books I might not notice otherwise. Also, I am not as technically adept as some GR friends, so I appreciate people who figure out how to find and post cool photos. I also really like Pinterest boards tied to books. If I don’t think the photo matches my idea of a character, I just look at more reviews, hoping to find a better one.

    • Totally agree with you there on the hot covers 🙂

      As I say, I do use them on reviews I use after reading a book to match ideas to my own but I just hate them on reviews before. I’m an odd duck I know 🙂

  3. Mzcue

    To be honest, I quit reading the reviews on GoodReads because of the way some people lard their posts with gifs. I scan reviews to see if a book is likely to appeal to me, not to admire how clever people are with importing images they didn’t create.

    While I’ ranting, let me say that I don’t even care for many of the models that publishers put on the covers of their books. When the height and hair colors don’t match the authors’ descriptions, it really irks me. Plus I’m not a fan of waxed man chests. I’ll say no more about that.

    There. I think I feel better now. Thanks for the topic and chance to complain! ;^D

    • I was at an author panel at a conference where an author was saying that a cover was changed after she approved it, by the publisher, and the new cover had no relevance to the book and seemed to just signify that it was a historical book. I honestly don’t understand this kind of cover!

  4. Amy R

    I don’t pay attention to the photo posts, I am mainly looking for if the book was a cliffhanger and quick pick at what was thought of the book.

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