LTB: Changing Book Ratings

This week’s topic comes to us from NICOLE @ THOUGHTS STAINED WITH INK who asks:

Do you ever change your rating/review for a book? When or why would you consider doing so? Do you think people should be allowed to change their ratings/reviews? Is it important to make it known what the previous rating/review was if you’re changing it?

Yeah, I do.

I usually rate a book the literal **second** I am finished with it. I do this because my Kindle is connected to my Goodreads account, and so as soon as I turn the last page, I am presented with this—

I typically go with my gut here. Was it a good book, but didn’t really break out of any of the boundaries of its genre? Three. Was it really well done, and did the story affect me in a way that was unexpected? Four. Did I love it so much that I couldn’t quite form words? Five.

The problem with these totally off-the-cuff decisions is that I may feel slightly different later, after I’ve had a chance to think about it away from the intoxicating just-finished feelings.

I will especially alter a rating if I notice that I have rated something higher than a book that I can objectively say was better. I will, for example, look at a book like The Best Men, by Sarina Bowen. I loved that book, and in the middle of my overflowing happy endorphins, gave that book 5 stars…and then had to look at other books that I had given 4 stars to and had to ask…was The Best Men *really* better than Rock Bottom Girl? Spoiler: It wasn’t.

So I do rate them in the moment, and I do adjust that in the harsh light of day. And I don’t call that out because these ratings are for me.

Now, if I am going to review a book for the blog, I will sit with that rating beforehand because I don’t want to have to go back and change a rating on a previously *reviewed* book. At that point, I kind of feel like the rating becomes something that we share, something that we own collectively if that makes sense. And if, in that case, I felt like I had made a mistake, I’d write a retraction.

So. What do you think about ratings? Do you rate books? Do you share the ratings? Do you ever change a rating? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

The Let’s Talk Bookish meme is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion.

4 thoughts on “LTB: Changing Book Ratings

  1. I hear you on rating books by gut feeling, I do that too. But one problem I’ve faced on Goodreads at least is that they don’t allow decimal ratings (3.5, 3.75…). That always confuses me a bit! 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I do change ratings. I also rate just for me; and by feel – and yeah sometimes by the next day I’ll have rethought my initial feeling and adjust things.

    Also since goodreads doesn’t have per-reading ratings if I happen to reread the book later and feel the original rating no longer applies (I’ve come to appreciate it more, or it aged poorly) I’ll adjust it to reflect my current feelings.

    Since the ratings are just for me I don’t bother to say it changed, or why.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I usually sit on my feelings for a day(or two) before reviewing. One reason is that I’m physically unable to review a book immediately I’m done, especially if this was a long book so I’m still in sort of a haze. I can’t write immediately after reading and I’ve found that the longer I let my feelings simmer, the more in-tune I become with the book I just read.

    An argument can be made that leaving my feelings to simmer may lead to forgetting the very lovable aspects of the book. But, in my opinion, if a few days is enough to dim the effect of a book, then maybe it isn’t a 5-star book.

    Liked by 1 person

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