Have you ever read a book that you started thinking of the rating while you were reading it? I think we’ve all found ourselves doing this at one point. Actually, I find myself doing this with almost every book I read. I think it’ll be five stars but then I come across something and change it to four stars. Or I’ll be reading a boring book and I’ll give it two stars right away. Rating books can be tricky.
But is rating a book before you’ve finished it all that bad? And if it’s only in your head and you aren’t explicitly rating this book, is there is a problem?
I don’t know how common this is for other people because it’s something I’ve been doing since I started reviewing books. I’m in a more critical mindset so I’m analysing the book for every good or bad thing while reading. Sometimes, this can affect my reading experience though. I’ll think a book deserves three stars early on but even as it gets better, I tend not to budge. For some reason, I just can’t bring myself to give it four stars, or maybe two or one or five, because of what I had thought at first.
It makes it easier to review books
I used to try and review books before I became a more critical reader and found it impossible. I seemed to forget all the details right away except for the major plot points. But once I started thinking about ratings before I finished a book, I found it much easier to write reviews. I realized that if i talked about my thoughts that I had while reading the book, it was much easier to construct a proper review.
You’re paying more attention to small details
Some people may actually consider this a con. I used to never pay attention to small details such as world building or character development, but now those are both major parts for me when I review and rate books. I started to pay more attention to details when I begin rating books in my head before they’re done and it helps me to come up with an ultimate rating. Plot wise a book may be four stars, but because of other issues I had, I may bring that down to three stars. When I’m just skimming through a book to read it for the plot, I’m too generous with my ratings. I find that as I’m thinking about rating while reading, I can give the book a better rating.
Your mind is set on that original rating
Like I said before, I’ll be on page 150 of a book and I’m so sure it’s three star book. I’m enjoying it, but there are just some parts really bugging me. But then maybe the next 200 pages will really pick up and blow me away. Sometimes I’m still set on that original three stars even though I know it should be four stars, or vice versa.
It’s not fair to the authors to rate their books before finishing them
This goes right along with my last point. If an author writes a book deserving of four stars, is it fair for me to give it three stars because of my initial thoughts? They worked really hard on an amazing book, but I’m just kind of throwing all those great moments out the window to focus on the bad ones. Or maybe a book is really bad and I want to share that the author didn’t do a great job with that one. But if I’m giving it a higher rating than it deserves, this also seems unfair to an author. You should always give honest feedback, even if you didn’t like it.
You ignore good/bad parts of the book to stick with that original rating
I feel like I’m just repeating myself, but this is really important. When you’re stuck on a certain rating, it’s like you’re worried to give it something else. You end up ignoring some really good, or really bad, parts that otherwise would have changed your review.
I don’t think that having a rating in your head before you finish a book is a bad thing, as long as you keep all the cons of doing this in mind. Just make sure you aren’t subject to ignoring good parts. Maybe you’re being too generous because of what you thought at first. Either way, this is something everyone does different. Remember, if you’re reading a book and you want to give it a certain rating, keep everything in mind and don’t ignore certain aspects to keep that original rating.
Do you do this? What do you think about it? Is it bad or good, or maybe even both? Any pros and/or cons that I didn’t include on this list? Let me know your thoughts on rating books before you finish them below!