|I definitely wouldn’t rate these books the same today as I did when I first read them.
I’m not sure why I still even own them!
Last week, the Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish was “Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.).” I didn’t participate in the meme, but I had been thinking about that topic for a long time myself, so I thought maybe I should go ahead and write a discussion post about it.
Specifically, I had been thinking about how we rate books and how those ratings may change over time. For instance, on my blog, I give books 1-5 stars, including half stars. And I do the same on Goodreads, although they don’t allow for half stars there (so I round down). But when I’m looking at old reviews on my blog or if I see some of my old ratings on Goodreads, I think to myself, “Whoa, I totally wouldn’t think of that book as 4 stars now!”
But I don’t go back and change the rating. Sometimes I feel like I should, but I always stop myself and think, “That was my rating at the time. That was how I felt when I read the book, and so that’s what the rating should remain.” Yes, tastes change and with the more we read, the more we may realize that books we once thought were fantastic aren’t so great. But if we kept changing our rating over time, when would our rating ever really be correct?
I do, however, change the rating if I go back and re-read the book if I find that I didn’t like it as much, or if I liked it more. In those instances, I usually mention on Goodreads and in my review that it is a re-read for me, and that my views of the book have changed. But that’s the only time I really go back and change the rating.
When it comes to initially rating books, I usually wait a little while before deciding on a rating. I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who reviews books right after I’m done reading them, but this just doesn’t happen for me. I usually end up reviewing the book weeks or even months after reading them (but I write tons of notes so it works out), so I usually kind of guess at the ratings in my notes right after I finish the book, writing something like, “4 stars? 3.5? IDK,” and then when I write my review I decide on the rating. So it gives me a bit of time to mull over the book, and it kind of lets my major thoughts and feelings come to the surface, so that I can better figure out a rating.
What about you guys? Do you go back and change the ratings of books that you read a long time ago if your feelings on them have changed?