Looking Back And Lowering My Goodreads Ratings- Is This Good Or Bad?

 Looking Back And Lowering My Goodreads Ratings- Is This Good Or Bad?

I was browsing my “read” shelves on Goodreads the other day, and noticed something: a lot of the books I read, I rated 4 stars.

Now this isn’t bad, because maybe I had read a lot of four star books then. But then I looked at the books I had given four stars, and realized: I didn’t enjoy this as much as I must have thought I did back then. Why had I given this four stars? This book deserves a three-or lower-star rating! What was my past self thinking, rating it highly?

Sure, this is good, I’m cleaning out my Goodreads shelves and giving them accurate ratings!

But isn’t this also slightly bad? Me in the past thought I liked this book enough to rate it highly, which means I must have enjoyed it, or thought I enjoyed it, then.

But my reading tastes AND my critiques have changed since then. I like to think that I’m a better reviewer now, with more of a sense for what I didn’t like.

I realized that it’s not only that my tastes have changed, it’s that I just didn’t like this book as much as I thought I did, and rated it higher than it deserved. I think this used to happen to me with hyped, popular books especially: subconsiously, I didn’t want to be the black sheep and gave it a higher rating than I should have.

The book that REALLY made me think about this whole topic was Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This book took the community by storm last year, earning very high ratings and lots of hype. The second book, which came out in the beginnng of 2016, was on many people’s most anticipated lists.

But me? I originally rated it four stars, but now, looking back, it should have gotten lower. I just didn’t enjoy this book! I realized that I should have given it more like a two star rating, I had so many issues with it. So, I lowered the rating.

I changed it because that’s what I think now, but PastAva must have enjoyed it, or thought she did! Should I not have lowered the rating?

It’s kind of a conflict!

I think I used to be a pretty easygoing, relaxed rater, by which I mean I didn’t critique a book as much as I should and gave it a higher rating than it should have gotten.

By changing the rating now, I’m giving it the rating it deserved because I have realized I actually didn’t think it was that good when I read it. OR, I’m lowering it because my tastes have changed since the time I originally rated it, and again, I’ve realized that now I don’t like it as much.

But should I lower it? Or should I leave it at the rating I originally gave it?

This post feels a bit rambly, but I hope I got my point across. 🙂

Have you ever realized you didn’t like a book as much as you thought you did? Did you-from-the-past have different tastes than you now? Do you think changing past ratings is good or bad?




19 thoughts on “Looking Back And Lowering My Goodreads Ratings- Is This Good Or Bad?

  1. This happens to me ALL THE TIME, to the point where I don’t generally review books right after I finish reading them unless I’m totally sure that I LOVED it, and then I rate it 5 stars. Normally, I read the book, read over my post-it notes, write up my review, and then only decide on the rating after I’ve gone through my strengths and weaknesses. However with older reviews, I’ve often found myself going back and lowering ratings for books that I rated while on an emotional high, if that makes sense XD

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles


  2. Good question – whenever I look at my past reviews, a part of me would always be like “Wait… but I don’t feel this way now!”, and I mull over editing them. At the end of the day, I just leave them be – past and young Lyra must have rated them that way for a reason! On the flipside, I get where you’re coming from. I guess it really depends on the person, and the book! 😉

    Great discussion, Ava! 🙂

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant


  3. Interesting topic! This is something I’ve thought over at one point. There have been times when after I’ve had time to digest, I realize I liked/disliked books more/less than I rated. I decided, for me personally, to leave the ratings I gave at that time because they were my first impressions when reading the book at the time.


  4. Hi Ava! Truth be told, I do this all the time. Similarly to you, I’ve really grown as a reader and blogger and have a better idea of what I like. Also, I’ve read more books too, so I have much more books to compare current reads with! So I have gone back on GR and changed some of my ratings, usually to lower them. I’ve increased ratings a few times (when I was being overly critical but then I realized that I actually really loved the book), but that’s pretty rare.

    I’ve also found that, over time, the books that BLEW YOUR MIND didn’t really. Sometimes I get really caught up in hype so I like a book more than I actually do. Or, I don’t want to bear an unpopular opinion, so I rate a little higher than I would have! I’d like to think I’m more fair and aware of my ratings now, so I haven’t changed since! But, to sum, I think changing ratings aren’t bad. 🙂


  5. Ahh I always have this dilemma! Even now, I think I rate some books higher than they deserve, or in comparison to my favorite books they should be lowered. I’m trying to figure out a good rating scale but I still haven’t gotten to it!


  6. No, I leave mine as they are because that’s how I felt at the time, even if I were to read them now and rate them higher or lower. I think onw of the things I’ve learned blogging is you have to leave things alone sometimes and for me, I haven’t got the time or inclination to re-review.


  7. I’m so glad you brought this up! I totally think about this so often.
    I do sometimes go back and change my ratings but it’s usually when I notice that a book I think very fondly of is just 3 stars. So I bump it up because I remember enjoying it and I probably only rated it 3 stars because it was a guilty pleasure read and I felt… you know, guilty.
    I may actually write a sort of response post to this at some point, if you don’t mind? My thoughts might make an essay and I don’t want to spam you with the whole thing ;))


  8. I’ve felt this conflict often! I organize my bookshelf by how much I enjoy a series, but I often rearrange it. Sometimes a book that was really high up plummets to the bottom…and it feels weird.
    I usually trust my gut, because sometimes I just know that I rated a book based on enjoyment when I knew it had plot/writing issues that I was previously willing to ignore.


  9. I do this with maybe one in every five books. I think it’s because I tend to impulse rate some books without fully thinking through the components of it. Then later once I’ve analyzed it in a review or read a better book where I can compare it more easily, I realize that it actually deserves a lower rating. Luckily, I tend to realize this soon after rating it, so there’s not too much time in between my change.


  10. There’s quite often a time when I see a book I previously rated high stars that I would change. Usually I just leave it, because the date read is alongside my rating, so people can see I rated it a while ago. But if I do change my rating, I’ll add something to my review saying I’ve changed my rating and why. Normally, I only change my favourites shelf. For example, I used to have the the Divergent series on my favourites shelf, but I don’t really like them any more so I’ve removed them 🙂 Got to keep my favourites shelf up to date! 🙂


  11. I do this ALL the time! I’m surprised by some of the books that I’ve rated 5 stars, like they clearly did not deserve it so I have no idea why I rated it highly haha. I’ve been using goodreads religiously for about 3+ years, and my opinions have changed GREATLY over this time. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to change ratings–I mean, the you you are now is the most “updated” version of you so who cares what past you though, but that’s just my opinion (sorry, past Alex, but you are irrelevant). This post was really great, Ava!! Your posts recently have been absolutely stellar so keep up the good work my friend 😉


  12. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to go back and change the ratings, sometimes I do it too. How I see it is that because I’ve read so many books since that particular one I can put that book and how I felt about it into perspective? For example if I’ve only ever read one book in my entire life how do I know I enjoyed it if I haven’t read others to compare it/my feelings to?
    Does that make any sense at all? haha.


  13. This happens to me too to be honest, even though I haven’t read a loooot of books compared to other people… But I guess our past self is different from our present shelf and our tastes change and that’s what makes us what we are today, so it shouldn’t be a bad thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It happens to me but I don’t change my rating until I reread it. For example, I reread TMI and TID in December and I found I lowered my rating from 5 to 4 but I’ve been rereading Alex Rider recently and I’ve been raising the rating 4 to 5. I sometimes realise I didn’t this as much of a book as before or more so but I wouldn’t change the rating until I reread it 😛


  15. I think it’s good to go back and rerate some books but like Ariel Bassiet from booktube once said in a video “it reflects who you were” she loved just one day by Gayle foreman because it really related to it at the time of when she read it so she went to reread but didn’t enjoy it as much. Sometimes it’s fine to go back and rerate but others it’s nice knowing that that rating was given because at the time you enjoyed it and reflected who you were at the time of when you read it 🙂


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