Last Updated on February 19, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
I’m back this Friday participating in another Let’s Talk Bookish post! As always, it’s hosted by the amazing Rukky @ Eternity Books and awesome Dani @ The Literary Lion! For this week, our topic is: Changing Book Ratings, recommended by none other than yours truly.
So, full transparency: I submitted this topic because I’m desperate for guidance. While I’ll have my own thoughts below, I’m really keen to hear yours, whether through your own post in Let’s Talk Bookish or in the comments below.
Rating A Read
So, this is most likely obvious. But, I did want to discuss what book ratings are, since I know not everyone who reads this blog is a fellow book blogger.
Some readers (like book bloggers) rate a book when they finish reading it, using some variation of a 1-5 star scale (you can see my own 5 gem rating system here). Then, publicly post their rating. I post this rating on my blog, most namely, when I post my book review. But I also try to cross post my reviews (usually on Goodreads and StoryGraph, but I’m trying to add them to Am*zon, too, to help authors).
Though book rating systems themselves can vary widely, it’s generally accepted that one star is negative, three stars is average and five stars is the ultimate praise.
But, what happens when you want to change your initial rating?
Changing Book Ratings
This all came into question for me when I first starting thinking about updating all of my older posts after I went self-hosted. (This project, ah, still hasn’t started yet…oops). As I’ve started pursuing old reviews, I’ve noticed a pattern. Namely, I tend to rate a book high (3+ gems, but often in the 4 or 5 gem category) because I’m just coming off of that reading high. (Plus, I’m good at picking books I know I’ll enjoy.) Yet, when I look at 5 gem books that are truly god tier to me, many others that I’ve also rated 5 gems suddenly don’t feel like that rating is apt.
However, I have no idea what the proper protocol is for this! Should I even be concerned about protocol, since this is my opinion about books I read? And opinions change? Plus, it’s not like I am reviewing for Kirkus. Yet, I also don’t want to break any unspoken rules if I go in and quite honestly lower most of my ratings as I update my posts (which will include updating the ratings in cross-posting).
I also have no idea if I should mention I changed a book’s rating? Or, if it’s fine just to be quietly updated?
I believe you can see my predicament here. It’s part of the reason (but not the main one) I haven’t started truly diving into updating older posts with my new format. So, I truly would love to hear your opinions (and I am so excited to blog hop and find everyone who did this week’s topic). Do you think it’s okay to change book ratings over time? Does lowering or raising the rating alter that opinion? Is there book blogger etiquette I’m not aware of surrounding this?
Please share your knowledge, I’m desperate.