Thursday, August 4, 2016

Discussion - Am I Rating Books Objectively or Am I Just Nice?

The idea for this discussion was a spur of the moment thing inspired by a conversation with my friend. As usual, we were talking about books we were reading, and at the time, I just went through two books I disliked and rated them 2-3 stars. Jokingly, I recommended that she read them. What she said next had me thinking -
The books you rate 2-3 stars I would give -5 stars, with your too nice reviewing. 
Now, am I too nice? I look back on the ratings I gave a year ago, and now I feel that I would rate some of them lower. These days, I give more 3 star reviews, fewer 4 star, and even less 5 star reviews. The more I read, the more I tire of the same overused plots and tropes, making me rate books lower.

But on the flip side, I don't rate books 1-2 stars very often... Have I even rated a book 1 star before? I must have REALLY had to hate it for me to do so.

Lots of factors play into our ratings and our reviews, causing us to rate higher or lower. For example:

  • Being friends with an author? What if you dislike their book? But you want to be honest, so you try for a middle ground. Or maybe honesty is your best policy.
  • If I'm in the mood for fantasy, I will definitely not be reading contemporary with excitement. Well, these days I'm rarely in the mood for contemporary. Or if I'm not in a reading mood in general but still decide to read... 
  • What if everyone was hyped for this book, but then I read it, and I'm really disappointed? Being the black sheep with a differing opinion makes you wonder... what did they see that you didn't?

There's ton of reasons why we rate books the way we do. As time goes on, my ratings change, and I realize what I like and dislike in books. And everyone has their own way of rating books.

What plays into your reviewing/rating style? Do you try to rate objectively or for pure enjoyment?

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