I’ve been bumping into my old reviews on Goodreads and I sometimes find myself too generous or too harsh in a past review. Most of the time I change it, a push down or a bump up.
This made me think about what sort of things effect me when I write a review or rate a book, so I decided to give it a go to sum them up!
1 – The Book Before … The “Ex”
Reading a book is a lot like having a relationship. So when I welcome a book in my hands I unintentionally and subconsciously judge and compare it to the books I’ve read before it.
I can’t get over the last book I read if it was terrible or fabulous. If I read a really good one, the next one will be judged harder! If I read too many books I didn’t enjoy in a row, anything I slightly enjoy next, becomes a good book. Sometimes much better than it actually is. Hah!
2- Timing of the review
The more you wait, the more you digest what you’ve read. I find myself being pretty harsh sometimes, if I immediately rate a book. Usually waiting is better, give it a few days to sink in, let it flow into you, give it some thought.
Being patient and giving it a day or two always helps me have more honest ratings. In the end the poor writer probably took ages to complete the book, so it’s fair to be patient and let the book completely get digested.
3- My mood
I wish I was a stable, rock solid person but I am not. Some days I feel quite moody.
On my moody days, I hate moody books. I was always very determined to finish a book once I started it. Only until recently I started dropping books if I don’t like them. So finishing a book that made me feel worse than I was never ends up with a good rating.
I have a theory about happier readers and happier ratings: read a book when you’re happy and it’ll definitely be a happier rating than you normally do! I don’t think this will make massive difference, but it can easily push up a 3.5 stars to 4, or a 3 to 3.5! (I wish Goodreads let us to rate like that…)
4- The Timing of the Read
Sometimes your life doesn’t let you love a book.
There have been times I’ve been terribly stumped in reading. I have at least two books in my favourites which I really, really loved when I managed to finish them finally but my first attempts were such fails! It’s weird but true. One of these books was A Hundred Years of Solitude. My first attempt was when I was in university and with a very stupid timing, exam season! Obviously my poor brain cells were worn out from Computer Science and trying to read a magical realism book with hundred different characters didn’t work. I dropped it frustrated only to pick up in a few years time and fell in love with it. I admire that book. It is a fantastic read and literally one of the best books ever written.
5- The holy trinity: The cover, blurb and PR
Ever read a book with a blurb that has nothing to do with the actual book?
Or been frustrated by a book labelled as THE NEXT GONE GIRL or next Harry Potter, or next
Insert popular book name here?
Or a fantastic cover full of praises, only to discover they are for the writer, not specifically that book…
Then you know what I mean!
Sometimes publishers are very cheeky. They cheat us big time! I’m not going to name any names, but my first listen on audible was a book praised so highly and on the top of the cover it said : For fans of Gone Girl (and some blah blah saying it’s next gone girl or something) and it was nothing to do with Gone Girl, the writing was terrible, the story was crap. I was so lucky that audible accepts returns!
I forgot the count of the times that book blurbs were gone wrong. One recent example is All is Not Forgotten. It was described/marketed as a stalker story but it is absolutely not a page turning stalker story, but a very highly sophisticated, psychological thriller. Why do you do that to a book?
That’s it folks!
Do you find anything else apart from the book content effect your ratings too? Please share it with me 🙂