Let’s Talk Bookish: Changing Book Ratings/Reviews

This was actually the prompt on 18 February and I wrote the post but apparently, I was too emotionally compromised by my current read at the time that I didn’t realise I never scheduled it to post… Oops! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I wasn’t entirely feeling this week’s topic and didn’t want to waste this post that I’d already written, so up this one goes now!


Letโ€™s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books  & Dani @ Literary Lion, where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each otherโ€™s posts! You can check out these pages for February 2022 prompts & a full list of the past prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

CHANGING BOOK RATINGS/REVIEWS

(SUGGESTED BY NICOLE @ย THOUGHTS STAINED WITH INK)
Prompts:ย Do you ever change your rating/review for a book? When or why would you consider doing so? Do you think people should be allowed to change their ratings/reviews? Is it important to make it known what the previous rating/review was if youโ€™re changing it?

DO YOU EVER CHANGE YOUR RATING/REVIEW FOR A BOOK?

I have changed ratings several times but it’s usually only a minor change. For example, instead of 3.5 stars rounded down sometimes, I’ll end up rounding it up or vice versa. I can only recall making a drastic rating change (went from 3 stars to 1.5 stars) once and I don’t even know why I even rated it ‘well’ in the first place cos after re-reading my review I could tell I didn’t enjoy it at all! ๐Ÿ˜‚ When it comes to reviews, I don’t actually recall changing one in a big way.

WHEN OR WHY WOULD YOU CONSIDER DOING SO?

My main reason for changing a rating is usually because I’ve had time for my thoughts and feelings about a book to sit for a while. I tend to immediately rate and review a book, so it’s usually based on the initial “high” of finishing a read and more often than not (at least these days) I find that my feelings for the book change after some time has passed.

As for changing a review, I would only change something if I re-read my review and it sounded weird (or even incomplete) or if I feel I’ve missed a point or two that I think would be important to include. I think I would also change my review for a book if I learn that a book or author is harmful or problematic and I don’t want to show my support for it (just as I recently found out with a romance author whose books I loved last year).

DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CHANGE THEIR RATINGS/REVIEWS?

Yes, of course, absolutely! Why not? How we feel about and perceive things changes all the time and that obviously also applies to what we read. I mean, maybe we decide to re-read a book that we’ve previously loved only to find our feelings have changed, so why shouldn’t we then change our rating? I think this is especially the case if you come to realise or someone points out that the books’ content or the author is harmful or problematic.

IS IT IMPORTANT TO MAKE IT KNOWN WHAT THE PREVIOUS RATING/REVIEW WAS IF YOU’RE CHANGING IT?

I wouldn’t say it’s always *important* to make it known that a rating or review has changed unless, as I mentioned above, the book or author was problematic. Even though I know it isn’t possible all the time, I know I’d definitely want to have that information before I decide to read a book, so I’d do the same for others. That said, if I make a rating change (i.e. from 3 to 4 stars) I don’t generally make a comment unless I really want people to know why. For example, when I changed my rating for Normal People by Sally Rooney from a 4 to 5-star rating I did write a note because of how much the book stuck with me over time!

How do you feel about changing ratings/reviews? Have you ever done it and what pushes you to do it? Do you make note when you change it?

30 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Changing Book Ratings/Reviews

    • Yes, this totally makes sense! A lot of the time I realise I want to make changes to ratings when I’m writing my Wednesday post and recapping the books I’ve read over the past week. Almost 90% of the time I end up changing at least one or two book ratings ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  1. I do change it by usually a half or so after dwelling on it after my initial rating, lol. Sometimes it takes a bit for me to fully pick what it should be at. ๐Ÿ˜‚

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    • I totally get that! Some books are too difficult to settle on a rating for so quickly ๐Ÿ˜‚ When this happens I usually go with the lower rating that I have in mind and it almost always ends up changing to a higher rating, at least by a half star! Lol

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  2. I completely get coming off a high from reading a book and then potentially rating it differently/better than you would if you had more time to think. I have to say that I don’t think I routinely change ratings. I definitely look at some of the stuff I rated in 2014 and think “huh, probably would feel differently about it now”, but I don’t really reread and think it’s a valid reflection of my thoughts when I was younger.
    This was a great post to read!

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    • Thank you! I’m not much of a re-reader myself but I’m hoping to do a few re-reads this year for some of my earlier 5-star reads from before I started blogging. It’d definitely be interesting to see if the ratings hold! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I never used to routinely change ratings but I also feel like before I started book blogging I used to have a lot of 5-star reads and now that’s much rarer. I tend to also ponder longer on books I’ve just read compared to before and maybe that’s why I find myself changing ratings more often.

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  3. I have changed ratings as I wrote the full reviews. Many times the ratings got higher because I found the book really stirred more in me than I originally realized. I don’t think I have every downgraded a book though.

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  4. There is a review I’ve been meaning to change for awhile now because re-reading it definitely changed my mind – like you said, I had the high of reading it the first time around because I was so hyped about it. But the second reading I was like nope, yeah…it’s definitely not a 5 star read lol. ๐Ÿ˜† Great discussion post!

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    • Ooh, now I’m curious about which book you’d change the rating for! Is that spilling tea? ๐Ÿ˜‚ I don’t do a lot of re-reads but I’m wondering how differently I’d feel about my 5-star reads from before book blogging and how I’d feel about them now!

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      • lol… not too much tea spilling, it’s a book I read a few years ago, I think when I started blogging and when I still had time to re-read. I probably gave it 5 stars for the romance part but the whole story took off in a crazy direction.

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  5. Great topic, and I loved reading your thoughts on it, Dini! I rarely change my ratings but it has been known to happen, often a while later where I add/take away half a star if I feel like I’ve been slightly too harsh or generous.

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    • Thanks, Stephen! I’ve been really enjoying reading peoples’ comments about this. Do you tend to rate/review a book immediately after you read it or do you take time to process the read before doing so? I find it kinda funny how since I started reviewing books I find myself changing ratings more often (usually while writing the reviews) compared to before!

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      • You’re welcome, Dini! I actually consider my rating while I am reading the book, so it can fluctuate depending on how the story goes! I start writing my review about a week later, which is where I process my thoughts in a more coherent way ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  6. I sometimes do too for the same reasons but my change like most of yours is only a half to one full star. I find my ratings are more accurate to how I actually felt about it if I have time to process and reflect.

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    • Yes, I think that’s definitely the case. I tend to rate/review immediately after finishing a read for memory reasons ๐Ÿ˜‚ But if I take the time to think about a book for longer (like when I’m writing my WWW Wednesday posts!) I find I’m more often than not likely to change at least one or two ratings!

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  7. Well I’ve definitely written multiple reviews of the same book because I’ve forgotten I’ve reviewed it before, does that count? ๐Ÿ˜›

    Personally got no problems with changing reviews/ratings, aim is to provide the most accurate picture on a book after all.

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  8. Normal People is a good example for this topic! When I first finished it, I had mixed feelings, but it is definitely a book that has stuck with me, and my memories of it are more fond than when I immediately set it down. That’s a unique occurrence. I will sometimes change ratings within a series, if I end up liking the latest book more or less than the previous, but usually only half or one star. ๐Ÿ™‚

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