Changing Book Ratings: Yea or Nay?
|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?
Bee (Quite The Novel Idea)May 31, 2016 at 7:47 am
I usually don't. Because that would a lot of work and I'm lazy. I also like to keep those ratings because it represents how I felt when I read the book. My opinion might have changed about it, but I usually don't go back to change the rating because I would have to re-read the book to give a new rating. And I don't have time for that. But there were times I went back to change my rating without re-reading because it wouldn't be necessary. The main examples being Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. For obvious reasons.
Kimberly @ On the Wings of BooksMay 31, 2016 at 10:44 am
The only time I would change my rating is if I reread the book and felt differently about it, but even then I would probably just pick a different version of the book on GR and rate it separately. My reading tastes are not stagnant so something I read a long time ago and loved might not get that feeling today (or vice versa). I like to keep it the way I felt at the time I read it.
Micheline DMay 31, 2016 at 1:07 pm
I'm a little bit OCD and sometimes I look back at recent ratings and feel I was a bit too generous…like I rounded up when I should have rounded down. So I fix my rating. For books I read a long time ago…like the ones in your image up there^^ I would have to reread and see how I feel about the books before changing the rating.
I do tend to wait a bit before decided on my rating too because feelings can sort of settle sometimes once the initial impression wears off.