This might sound odd coming from a book reviewer, but I rarely read book reviews before buying a book.
Mostly because I’m a book reviewer. Reviewing means I get a lot of books free (so I’m not buying them at all), and I’m often reading pre-release or new release books that don’t have many reviews.
When it comes to buying books, I’ll sometimes buy pre-order books (e.g the entire Tuscan Legacy series). Again, I’m often buying before release date, so there are often few reviews if any. Pre-orders are tempting, because many of the books are offered at special low prices for the preorder period only.
I also buy sale Kindle books, such as those advertised through email newsletters like BookBub. These are often free or 99 cent books. I never look at reviews for the free books (they’re free. Why would I). And I rarely look at the reviews for the 99 cent books. If I buy, it’s on the strength of the cover, author name, and book description (and price). I figure BookBub has already checked out the reviews, and they won’t advertise the book if there is an obvious issue.
I do check book reviews most when it comes to buying full-price Kindle books or paperbacks. But even then I’m checking the reviews that point out the faults (so the one-star and two-star reviews), or the reviews from authors, friends, or reviewers whose opinions I trust because we like similar books