Rating systems

thoughtsEver change your mind about ratings after you have rated a book?  Maybe you have had a chance to process or new thoughts or facts about the book come to light.  Maybe you have read another book you liked better than a previous one but you know this book is the same number of stars as the past one.  This has just happened to me and has me thinking about the ficklety of ratings.  

Ratings are a way humans use to try and analyse something complex in a simple way.  Book ratings can be influenced by a number of things; mood and feelings are important parts to rating books for most people.  Thus sometimes you look back at previous ratings and they don’t seem to make much sense.  One book was terrible but was rating higher than another book that you liked a lot more, what is going on?  I’m not talking about how some people like books that others seem to hate, I’m talking about irregularities in your own ratings. 

Part of it is you grow over time.  A book could have meaning to you in the past but not in the present. You read books in a particular moment and you have feelings and opinions about them in that moment. But good books – whether you love them or hate them – will have you thinking about them past the point of shutting the cover.  New experiences in your life can also impact what you think about what you have read in the past.  

Yet what has just occurred was between two books read very close together so this is not the answer.  

Ariel Bissett once said in a youtube video: books need to be judged based on whether or not they did what they were supposed to do.  Essentially, certain books are supposed to make you think while others are meant to allow you to escape and should be judged and rated based on whether they did their job and not as much about how you feel about them.  My current reviewing process rates the first type of books very low in general because I like to read to escape and thus a book that is meant to make me think is not looked upon favourably whereas books meant to allow me to escape are rated highly.  This could be the weakness in my rating system.  Perhaps my system is fine and I misjudged a book in the moment.

I don’t know.  And I’m allowed to know know.  It’s my rating system and I’m allowed to use it or not as I see fit and change it or not if it’s needed.   In this moment my rating system and/or way to thinking about books is not currently working for me and I will need to adjust.  This is fine and a part of reviewing.  The need to adjust as you go on is a part of life in general so I’m going to try not to worry over this discrepancy too much and pick up the next book in my pile.  I hope you do to.



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