Do you ever change your rating/review for a book? When or why would you consider doing so?
I do change my rating for books, but under only two scenarios. I always rate a book as soon as I finish reading it based on my immediate opinion of the story, but reassess that rating when I come back to write a review for it, usually within 2-3 days. It’s quite normal for me to change the rating once the plot has sunk in better and I’ve had some time to consider the character arcs and world-building. However, the change is rarely more than 0.5 stars up or down (usually down because I tend to round up on the initial rating).
The other time I may change my rating of a book is on a re-read, especially if I’m picking it up several years later. I’m a major mood reader, so there are times when I might have assessed a book too harshly simply because I wasn’t in the right headspace for it. In the case of classics in particular, they’re the kind of book that get better with time and age. I first read many of them back in middle school and while I did like them then, when I re-read them now, I have a whole different perspective of the stories, not least because my understanding has matured a lot since then. There is also a lot of excitement surrounding very highly anticipated releases, and once the hype wears off a few months later and you look back and reconsider, your opinion of the book may be very different. This has happened to me a few times, because I’m unconsciously inclined towards a higher rating for those books that make me overlook some of the subtleties. However, I never modify my rating of a book without rereading it if it has been more than a month since I first read it.
It’s quite rare for me to change my review of a book, since I usually put a lot of thought into it the first time around. To date, I’ve only revised my review of one book, We Hunt the Flame, after a reread because I had a feeling that I wasn’t really in the right mood for the book which affected my initial rating and review, so I wanted to look at it from a more objective perspective.
Do you think people should be allowed to change their ratings/reviews? Is it important to make it known what the previous rating/review was if you’re changing it?
Yes, absolutely. Mood reading aside, every reader grows with each book they read and their reading tastes and the way they analyze things also changes over time. It’s completely natural to look back on a book you hated and have a very different opinion of it in hindsight, or vice versa.
I do think it’s important to make the previous rating or review known, not only in the interest of honest reviews, but it’s also really helpful to readers to see the reason behind the change and possibly help with their own reading (or re-reading) experience of the book.
Do you change your ratings or reviews of books? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below!