If you’re my Goodreads friend, you might have noticed that sometimes I rate a book a few times before I decide on a rating. (If you’re not my Goodreads friend yet, let’s be friends and you can watch my ratings fluctuate too!) I would be so sure that this book was definitely 4 stars (I really liked it!), but then I would think about it for a while and decide, nah, this book wasn’t really that good – 3 stars (I liked it!). Basically, my rating for one book looks like this over time:
Maybe you do the same thing I do, or maybe you never ever change your rating for a book, but I feel bad because really, shouldn’t I know how I feel about a book? But no, it looks like I really don’t, haha. So here are some of my
excuses hypotheses about why I do this.
HYPOTHESIS #1: I’m easily influenced by external factors. I accidentally-or-not-so-accidentally read a really bad review about a book post-read, and that makes me doubt my initial rating, so I lower my rating. After a few days, I regain my own opinions and change my rating back. I then read a really good review, and guess what happens next. Yeah.
HYPOTHESIS #2: I worry about upsetting people. I rate a book poorly because it really sucked. Then I remember what I’ve been hearing about “badly behaving authors” (although I haven’t encountered any to date) or I remember that authors have feelings too OR I remember that one of my friends really really liked this book… so in fear of my life, I rate up a little bit. But then I decide that I should be honest about how I feel because I really don’t care what other people think, and I change my rating again. The inner turmoil never ends.
HYPOTHESIS #3: My feelings for the book changed. It’s kind of like putting on makeup. At first glance, I’m all “OMG I LOOK AMAZING” and I feel proud. But as I get closer to the mirror, I realized that I missed some spots, or my bronzer’s too dark, or oh god I have lipstick on my teeth. (Or this situation, reversed.) Depending on the book, my ratings would either steadily fall or climb, usually after I’ve thought more about what I’ve read.
HYPOTHESIS #4: I’m just playing, y’all. I want to see if you’ve noticed that I change my book ratings multiple times. If you have, I take great joy in your confusion. 🙂
I’m partial to #
4 3. Aaaand in an effort to be less biased or random, I have a better idea for capturing my true ratings. Error bars! #geekalert
Isn’t that ridiculously amazing? So I’m going to start including standard errors in all my book ratings, okay? OKAY NOT REALLY but this post is really just me apologizing for changing my ratings all the time. I think that my reviews are a better representation of how I feel about a book, and that’s why my ratings on this blog aren’t included with each review.
I want to know: do you change your book ratings? And do you pay more attention to ratings or reviews?