Sunday Salon: Changing older ratings


Many book reviews sites have a rating system  which is usually on a scale of 1 – 5, (be it numbers, ticks, stars, or thumbs up etc) as a shorthand for followers as to what they thought of a particular book.  Here is an example of some, with a definition of how they class each rating:


respiring thoughts

reading books like a boss

I go through phases of doing ratings for books, and at the moment I am currently not doing any.

However, when reading previous reviews that do have ratings on them, sometimes I will amend the rating, or remove it all together. This is often as a result of having having the time to mull over a book – sometimes months or even years later. If I’ve given a 5* review to a book that I cant even remember reading a few months later – then how good was the book (and therefore how valid the rating)?  I might have loved it at the time, but did it warrant such a rating if it didn’t stay with me?

This is why I’m concentrating on the actual review – writing what I thought about the book at the time without leaving a rating. I have a set of default questions that I have gathered over time that I use when I’m writing a review in order to make sure I cover things more in depth. I hope therefore that anyone reading the review can make up their own mind about whether they want to read the book, and the rating is therefore irrelevant.

Do you change the ratings on your older reviews?


6 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Changing older ratings

  1. Interesting question. I don’t rate books on my own blog, but I do rate them on Goodreads, and sometimes I am tempted to change a rating months or years later for exactly the reason you give. Or vice versa, if a book I rated good (3 stars) or very good (4 stars) at the time sticks out to me months later as the best thing I’d read in a while, then maybe it deserved 5 stars after all. But I very rarely actually change it, because I try to see that rating for what it was: my gut reaction when I finished the book.


  2. I give star ratings because TBH I’ve read other people’s reviews and not necessarily known how highly they recommended the book in question – a rating removes the doubt. I’ve never gone back and changed ratings – I think if I was to wonder about doing it, I’d try to re-read the book first.


  3. I don’t change ratings because I don’t care that much about them. I don’t do them on my blog. On Goodreads, the ratings tell me whether I want to read more books by that author. Four or more is “yes,” and three is “probably.” I rarely rate books lower than a three because I don’t review or rate books that I don’t finish and I don’t finish books that I’m not enjoying.


  4. I have considered doing this, or at least postponing the rating, for exactly the reasons you mention. It’s interesting how differently I can feel about a book after a few months have gone by.


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