Can I Change My Rating, Or Should I Re-read?

Today, I have a question for you. Or a discussion? I guess that depends on how you look at it. I keep Excel files on my reading, because I like to feel organized. So last week, I was really happy to see that I had managed to review every single book I had read in 2016. Isn’t that great? I reviewed everything! The euphoria and pride was out of this world. But then I opened a different Excel tab called “books to review from 2015”. Yes, I had 28 books I read in 2015, I had never reviewed. I wanted to take on the challenge and start writing reviews on those too! Then I encountered a problem… 

I didn’t agree with my ratings anymore.

For example, the Falling Kingdoms series. I read book 1-3 last year, but never reviewed them. When I looked at my ratings, I gave them a 4.5, 3.5 and 4. Because at the time, while I didn’t love them, I did enjoy them. However, when I think of them now, I consider them more 3 to 3.5 star books. Here’s where my question comes in: can I just change my rating, or does that warrant a re-read first? Here are some of the arguments. 

I should re-read first because…

As it’s been a while since I read them, I am only basing this on memory. But what if I just forgot a lot of stuff I enjoyed? What if time distorted my view, and I really did enjoy them that much? I feel like I should re-read them because it may be unfair to rate a book simply based on distant memory. 

At the time, that seemed like the right rating for them. So without re-reading, how can I really say that I’m 100% sure I’d enjoy them less now, or rate them lower? I can’t be 100% sure of that. 

Basically, it feels like the only honest way to change a rating. How can I base it on a distant memory, or say that I believe I’d feel differently now? 

I shouldn’t re-read first because…

Let’s be real, I don’t have time to re-read each novel. I’m hesitant about quite a few of my previous ratings, but I simply can’t find the time to re-read them all.

Even if it’s distant memory and I can’t be 100% sure, if I can sum up reasons as to why I’d change my rating, shouldn’t that be enough? Let’s keep with the Falling Kingdoms example. Now, I think that it wasn’t really that captivating as I have no burning desire to continue the series. I found some of the characters boring, and others creepy -and not in an interesting way. Overall, I think it is massively overhyped -although it’s definitely not bad (don’t shoot me!). Shouldn’t all those reasons be enough to change my rating? I don’t feel like re-reading them all, just because I believe I wouldn’t enjoy them as much. 


So, what do you think? Should I re-read first? Should I just change it? Should I mention in the review I’ll write that I’ve changed my ratings? Make a comparison between just-finished-rating and a-year-later-rating? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and maybe you could even help me out of my dilemma.

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37 thoughts on “Can I Change My Rating, Or Should I Re-read?

  1. I think you can definitely re-rate the books without rereading them! Sometimes I look back at some of my ratings and I’m so confused, because it doesn’t correspond with how I feel about a book now. I guess for some books you just need it to settle down before you really know how you feel about it? For example, when I first read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I gave it 4 stars, but when I looked back on that a few months later I totally didn’t get that – I LOVED that book and kept mentioning it all over the place. Definitely worth 5 stars, imo. It impacted me way more than I had thought at first. So I changed the rating. 🙂

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  2. I change my ratings whenever I want! Lol. Sometimes looking back the book wasn’t as good as you thought or you keep thinking about it and realize you like it better. I say change the rating whenever you feel like and for any reason! 🙂

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    • Thank you! I definitely agree, I do feel different about it looking back. I think at the time, I rated it (Falling Kingdoms 1-3) so high because it was a quick read with quite an addictive story line? But now, I see that I actually had quite a few problems with it.

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  3. I think you should honestly do WHATEVER YOU WANT!! *throws confetti in the air* Ahem. I just think sometimes we bookworms can get too worried about whether we’re doing the “right” thing, when in reality, we should just rate it however we want. 😛 But that’s just me! I’m okay with changing ratings without re-reads. Like some books ARE different in retrospect. I have books that I look at and know I did rate them wrong. And I don’t mind changing it. 😄 I only want to re-read if the book is particularly good or if I’m particularly confused about WHY I gave it the rating I did. Like I rated The Winner’s Curse 3-stars, but in retrospect, I actually love that series! So since I read it 2 years ago and can’t remember WHY I rated it so low…I do want to re-read.
    THE BOOKWORM LIFE IS HARD THOUGH! I hope you just pick whichever option makes you happiest!

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    • YAY CONFETTI! I think you’re right though. I’m definitely often worried about doing the “right” thing, although that should really only be the thing that makes me happy. That’s interesting, that you want to up-rate! I’ve only read the first book, and I have to say I really enjoyed it too. When I read Falling Kingdoms, I really liked the addictive storyline. But when I think about it now, I didn’t really like/feel attached to any of the characters, and I’m not very interested in continuing the series so I must not be that crazy about finding out what happens, you know? Thanks for the amazing and thoughtful comment, Cait!

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  4. I have this problem every time I go through my Goodreads shelves, haha. I generally rate books immediately after finishing them, when my emotions are fresh. I have terrible book amnesia, so if I think about a book a few months or even weeks later, I often can’t remember much. Sometimes that will make be drop a rating down to 4 stars from 5, but I always feel a bit guilty doing that without re-reading first. I usually only drastically change the rating for books if I find myself repeatedly wondering how I possibly could have like a book that much or if I re-read.

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    • I do the same thing, I rate a book immediately after finishing it. I think I’d want to take off one star from several ratings, or 2 from others… Sometimes I don’t remember everything about the plot, but I do remember my feelings while reading it, and if it’s a series, my desire to continue or not.

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  5. I think you should do whichever makes you happy. If you feel that you remember enough about the book and want to change the rating, I say go for it; after all, I believe that hindsight still has its merits when it comes to how we feel about books.

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  6. I’ve always been tempted to re-rate some of my old books and it almost always seems to be a desire to down-rate, never up-rate. I guess it’s because I’ve become pickier over time. By that same token, I see my reviews as a record of my changing tastes over the years, so I hesitate to go back to change anything, since if I look at my reviews as a kind of journal/diary, I wouldn’t go back and chose those either. Unless I reread again, but there I run into the same problem as you – never enough time!

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    • Mine is also a desire to down-rate, not up-rate. I agree, my reading tastes have changed quite a bit, and maybe that’s why I feel like down-rating certain books. It’s interesting to look back on those ratings and see how I’ve changed though… Exactly, there is never enough time to read all the books!

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  7. This is such an amazing discussion Jolien! This is something I’ve been wondering about too, so it’s interesting to read through the comments and see everyone’s different thoughts. I feel that it depends on how long ago you read the book. If you read it two or three years ago, it’s probably fairest to give it a reread. However, if you read it a month or two ago, it’s probably recent enough that you don’t need a reread. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! ❤

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  8. I think if you want to change the rating you should do. They’re your reviews and if you no longer stand by the rating then you should change them. I don’t think a reread is necessary if you know your own feelings.
    Lynn 😀

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  9. I’m definitely the sort to not change my ratings UNLESS the rating has been preying on my mind and I can’t forget what I rated it. Because if I personally changed the ratings as my thoughts/opinions changed, I would never settle on a rating. So I’d definitely say don’t change your rating – but at the same time, I totally get not being able to re-read every book that you want to review. (How important is it to review these books anyway? Because I personally don’t review books after it’s been awhile as my reviews never come out well then. Course, I know it works differently for other people, but I much prefer review a book when my thoughts are fresh.) I do like your idea though to make a comparison between your feelings then and your feelings now. Maybe talk about the staying power of the book and how interested you are in continuing the series or re-reading the books sometime later.

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    • You’re right, I may not review all of the books I read last year but didn’t review. On some of them, I wrote down my key thoughts, but others I don’t feel like reviewing anymore. I think I will make a comparison post of my thoughts at the time vs my thoughts now!

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  10. Eh, I’d just change the rating if I were you. They obviously weren’t 5-star books you’d want to re-read so soon (or were they?) and like you said, you just don’t have that much time. Also, it’s your ratings you’re talking about so you can do whatever you want with them! 🙂

    I’d possibly re-read childhood favourites before changing ratings. I mean, I have very fond memories of some books (like the Famous Five) but I know now, in retrospect, that they probably weren’t very good. So I’d have to re-read them in order to really decide on a rating. But everything else (books I’ve read as an adult) is fair game to changes, I think!

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    • No, they definitely weren’t 5-star books I want to re-read. That’s true, childhood favorites are different! In fact, I was in that situation with Eragon. I lowered it by one star but I did re-read it first. Thanks for the insight Kaja! 🙂

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  11. If I were in your position, I wouldn’t reread it, especially if the last time you read it was only a year ago! I’d just write the review saying what you thought when you just finished the book and what you thought about it now ☺️

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  12. I’m quite comfortable changing my ratings for something I’ve read in the last year. Typically it’s only been half a star more or less, but if you know why then change it.

    I’ve got a few books catalogued on LibraryThing with ratings from my last read that I find frankly unlikely. But it’s been years and years since I read them; so that would warrant a reread as I have no grounds for my suspicion that I’d rate down other than I know my tastes have changed.

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  13. I had a similar discussion on my Bookstagram account recently. How some books grow on you as time passes. I have been re reading Emma and I realised I like it lesser than how much I did at first. But another book, The Norwegian Wood which was a four star rating for me began to appeal to me lesser a few months after reading it.

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