The other day, my friend Stephanie mentioned that she had looked back on her ratings for books on Goodreads over the past couple of years and had noticed she didn’t read as many 5 star books lately. We then started to discuss whether this was based on the types of books we’ve been reading lately or whether because of Goodreads, we have started judging books more harshly. I also wondered whether blogging had influenced my ratings of books. Since I started this blog, have I rated less books as 5 stars? Is that because I’m reading more critically? Or is it because I’m reading more books for review that I wouldn’t have picked up on my own? Either way, this intrigued me so I went on Goodreads to see what my ratings looked like.
I have made 3 pie charts for each year that I did a Goodreads challenge. I did not start recording books on Goodreads until October 2013, so I started looking at 2014, 2015, and 2016.
I will note that in 2015 and 2016 I re-read more books. During 2016 I re-read all of Harry Potter and in 2015 I re-read a lot of childhood novels. I think that the Harry Potter re-read probably influenced a higher 5 star review leaning than some of the ones I re-read in 2015, but it’s something interesting to note when looking at the numbers.
I was a bit surprised that almost everything seemed pretty even. In fact, last year I had a higher percentage of 4 star ratings than in previous years, even though I felt like I had a less than stellar reading history in 2016. I thought that as my amount of review books increased and that my time having a blog increased my stars would decrease due to harsher judgement, but the numbers don’t show that! In fact, last year I had zero 1 star ratings, whereas the years before I had 1 and 2, so blogging might be influencing me in the opposite direction!
I did in fact find that in 2014 I had more 5 star ratings. I don't know if that's because I had just gotten back into my reading stride or if I was a little bit more lax with my ratings. I think that because I hadn't been reading as much before 2014, I had a lot of new to me authors that year that became favorites, such as Morgan Matson. I then went back and read all of her current novels and I'm pretty sure they all got 5 stars. Hopefully, I can find a few more favorite authors this year and have a good amount of books to go back and read.
I thought seeing this might change the types of books that I would read this year, but it seems like I’ve been doing pretty well. I do think that in general, I’m going to try to read a few more books outside my comfort zone and maybe read a few more books that really call to me. I know it's hard to find 5 star books that I love, but I apparently did a good job in 2014, so hopefully I can do that again.
Have you ever looked back on your ratings over the years?