Do You Ever Want to Change Your Ratings?

Sometimes, I feel sure about how I want to rate book right after I read it. It was amazing, 5 stars! I liked it but it wasn’t magical, 3 stars. Etc. But sometimes I struggle with the rating. Is this a 3, 3.5, or 4? I enjoyed it but it felt like a guilty pleasure because the writing was just so-so and some of it was annoying but it also gave me so many feels… And sometimes the more I think back to the book, I realize I may like it more or less than I initially thought I did. But at the same time, am I rating the book for its impact on me at that moment, or further down the line? Am I rating it based on the writing? Am I rating based on others‘ feelings about it? I try to consider all these things (except others’ opinions) when I rate.

Despite this though, sometimes after I talk to someone about the book, I wonder if I should go back (in time?!) and change the rating.

DeLorean_ArrivalBut in a strange way, it also feels set it stone. I put it out there on the Internet, not to be undone. Besides, I gave it the rating that felt right at the time. I think our opinions will change of stories, for better or for worse. It’s what happens as you go through different life experiences.

Sorry for the shortest discussion post ever, but I want to hear your thoughts! What do you think about when rating books? Are you ever tempted to go back and change your ratings? 

26 thoughts on “Do You Ever Want to Change Your Ratings?

  1. I don’t ever think it’s set in stone! But then, I usually make my review weeks after my rating, so i feel it’s okay to change it. There are some books that are really good, but there are some books where the awesomeness dies down a little, and same goes for bad books.

    But I agree a little with your reasoning. You rated it like that, so at some point, it deserved that rating. But I’m more of an impulsive person, so when I feel like changing the rating after staring at the stars for too long, I change it. 😀

    P.S. Just noticed the NaNo badge, and congratulations on getting 50K! Sorry if it’s so late. And your blog is in the Scarlet paperback? How? Neat, though. Your neat stuff category is definitely neat,

    • I think I feel the pressure from Goodreads, that as soon as I tell them I finished a book, they want my rating, and regardless of how soon I write the review, the rating is set in my mind, I suppose.

      And thanks! As far as the Scarlet paperback goes, I linked my review of Scarlet to one of Marissa Meyer’s blog posts asking for links to the reviews, and everyone who did it is getting their blog mentioned in the back of the paperback release! It was an exciting surprise!

  2. I do sometimes change my ratings! Not on the blog(because however I reviewed it at the time is how I felt, so I feel confident in that), but I’ll sometimes change the rating on goodreads. Some books don’t impress me as much, and some books grow on me, so I sometimes change my goodreads ratings just to keep track. I like to keep my ratings as accurate as to what I currently think a book is as possible!

  3. I’m all about changing ratings.

    I generally won’t change a rating if I was pretty accurate in what I did or didn’t like about the book but rated maybe on the high side just because of my enthusiasm. But if that enthusiasm blinded me to flaws I see on a reread or if I completely under appreciated a book the first time around then I want my rating to be an honest reflection of what I think of a book and if that changes, than I have no problem changing it.

    I do tend to add a ETA at the bottom (or wherever appropriate) explaining what I see now that I didn’t before or what response I’ve lost. Because I think that’s an important part of my overall review also.

  4. As I’ve had to rate more and more books for my blog and the sites I post reviews to, I’ve noticed over the past couple of years my rating “mentality” has definitely changed. If that makes sense ;). Books I gave 5 are definitely more of a 3.5-4 ish range, but I don’t go back and change them. Partly because I’m lazy…yeah, mainly that. Great topic though!

  5. It’s definitely not set in stone. I sometimes think back to a book I gave four stars to, and I’m kind of like: no way – what was I thinking? But that’s because my reading experiences have increased. I’ve read better books since I rated that book, you know? So I don’t change it, even if I wouldn’t rate it four stars (or whatever stars) now, because, like you said, that was the rating I felt of the book at that time. Everything changes, so of course feelings for books are going to change, as well. But I don’t feel as if I should change my rating for a book because that’s what I felt it deserved when I closed the cover and thought back on reading it. 🙂

    • Very good thoughts! I definitely agree that over time you think of books you liked better that you gave the same rating to, and it seems to diminish it, but if that’s what you thought at the time, that’s what you thought at the time.

  6. It’s weird, isn’t it, how some books will grow on you over time. I felt that way about Suzanne Collins’ “Mockingjay” – when I first finished it I was kind of disappointed, but then after a little time passed, thinking it over, I liked it a lot more. It just hadn’t been what I had expected it to be, so at first I didn’t like it as much. But that was more because of my own expectations going in and less about the book. So yeah, I definitely understand your desire to go back and change ratings. 🙂

    • I had so many problems with the pacing in Mockingjay, so even though I appreciate it for its impact on the overall trilogy, as of now I stand by my 3 star Goodreads rating for it. I would be curious to see how I would feel if I reread it though.

  7. Amy, I am the same way. In fact, I’ve had a draft on this topic for like 6 months now that I just haven’t finished because I could never really articulate it properly. There are some books — like Cinder, for example — that I rate 4 stars, but then I rave about them to anyone who will listen. And people ask me why I didn’t rate it 5 stars if it’s my favorite book ever. And it’s like… I dunno, like my feelings about it changed over time and now I love it even more! I have thought about going back and changing my ratings, but like you said, it feels set in stone somehow. Like, that was my rating when I first read it, and so that’s that. I’m still not sure what to do, so for now, I just keep them the way they are. Hrrm.

    • I too rated Cinder 4 stars but rave so much about it… I mostly rated it 4 because I thought it was pretty predictable, and I wasn’t doing half stars yet… now I’d give it at least a 4.5 I think. I was struggling with how to articulate things as well, which is why my post ended up so short! Glad I’m not the only one!

  8. Arrghh! My post got lost! Trying again… so delete if you end up with two.
    I feel the same, I want to change ratings but it feels unfair. I feel my thoughts at the end of the book were more accurate. I think if I want to change the rating that I need to reread the book but most of them are books I don’t want to reread so then I just put the whole idea out of my head! Most of them are ones where I want to push down the rating but the one that I would like to move up is FanGirl. I would like to move that one up to 4 stars as it made much more of an impression on me than I thought at the time. However when I read the review it reminds me of some problems I had with it too. So basically, it seems easier to just leave them be!

    • I agree, that when I want to move it down I don’t want to reread it to make sure, and then the ones that I think I might want to move up I also remember were flawed and not as perfect as I may think of them in hindsight.

  9. I have gone back into goodreads to change a rating. Sometimes I rate on my initial reaction to finishing it and then when I’m writing the review I realize that I liked it more or less than I originally thought, so I change it. Then of course there are rereads that might change my mind again. Sometimes the end of a book can leave you in awe and you’re just like “OMG 5 stars!!” and you rate it and then realize, well the beginning wasn’t so awesome, and then other little faults, so you change

    I don’t think it’s wrong to change it because your opinion might change after you’ve thought about it some more.

  10. I look at some of my 5 star reviews from when I first started rating books, and compare them to my more recent 5 star reviews, and think, there’s no way these two books are on the same level.

    But then, is it fair of me to remove a star, because my reading tastes have grown and evolved in a couple years? Is it fair of me to remove a star because I can sort through what was superficially enjoyable versus what actually resonated with me?

    Sometimes I wish for a re-do feature, solely for this reason. So I can have my original review and rating, alongside a re-read (or re-realized?) rating and review. But I’ve got so many NEW books to read, I don’t want to spend a lot of time on older ones! Haha

    So to answer your question: I don’t think I was any help.

  11. I definitely want to change my ratings sometimes! Usually I give myself a little while to make sure I’m set in stone about the rating that I want to give it, but occasionally if I write the review immediately after finishing the book, I’ll change my mind a couple days later after letting it really sink in. That’s only happened a few times, but I second-guess myself all of the time!

  12. I can totally relate! I usually don’t write reviews right when I finish my book, but I’m quick to mark it read and rate it on goodreads. After thinking about it, I may realize I gave it too high or too low of a rating because I was still stuck in the world of the book. So sometimes I’ll change my rating later when I post my review (usually a few weeks to a month or so later) because I feel like my assessment is better and less bias after having time to think about it.

    • I don’t usually write my reviews right away either, but I think I tend to have the number I gave it on Goodreads sealed in my head and tend to write the review around it. I need to remember it can be flexible, and I probably need to sit on the book a while before I do the review (unless I obviously loved it or hated it).

  13. I do want to change my ratings, but usually I’m too lazy to mess with it. Ratings are really hard for me and the more I think about things, the pickier I get. Occasionally I’ll finish a book thinking I didn’t like it as much, then I’ll write about it and discover I actually liked more about it than I thought. Most of the time it’s the other way around though. Sometimes I have to watch myself because I’ll lean towards thinking too much about others’ feelings, like you mentioned. Sometimes I feel like I need a much bigger scale. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has problems with this!

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