Thursday, July 29, 2021

Changing my mind about books or reviews


I try to review every book I read. Mostly I write the reviews for my benefit so that I can remember what it was about the book I loved or didn't love, but I also write and post reviews as part of the bloggity to share my thoughts on certain books I've read. Of course, being a blogger, I get books to review all the time too. However, I am finding that there are times when my opinion of the book changes over time. Let me elaborate.

Often, after reading a book, I have an idea of what I am going to rate the book and what I will say about it. I try to write all my reviews as close to finishing the book as possible while it's still fresh in my mind and before I start another book. I find the whole review writing process to be a kind of purging and cleansing if you will. Then I feel free to start another book without encumbrance.

Quite often, my rating of a book might change after I've rated it. Generally, this happens quite quickly after I've read and reviewed the book, and I find myself still thinking about it. Most of the time, it's because a book is excellent, and I've rated it either 4 or 4.5 stars, and in reality, it deserves 5 stars because it won't leave my mind. I'm known to go back and adjust my rating upwards though it does not necessarily change what I say in my review. I might go back and add to my review if I find I have more to say about the book.

Five star rating

However, I've recently been thinking about a number of books and series I've read by a particular author and have been discussing those books with a book buddy of mine. The more I think about the books and my rating and reviews, the more I regret what I've said and posted about them publicly. I'm referring to reviews I've posted on my blog, on Amazon, and Goodreads.

Upon discussion and further introspection, I feel like the books no longer deserve the rating I gave them and what I've said about them in my reviews. In reality, I think the books are actually of poorer quality than my initial reaction and, in some cases, rather gushing reviews. I was likely swept up in the hype of that particular author and the book at the time. That's on me for getting carried away. I read back on my reviews now, and I'm surprised at what I've said about those books because I no longer feel the same way about them. As I dissect and analyse them, I feel they do not deserve what I've said and rated initially, and there are a lot more flaws to them that I did not pick up on.

Coffee cup analysis

Here's my dilemma. I feel what I've made public about those books no longer reflect the reality of my feelings, and therefore, I do not feel like I'm being truthful to the people who are reading my reviews and making a reading decision based on them. I don't think there are that many books. A couple of series... I'm thinking maybe two or three of them? About ten to fifteen books all up? I'll need to go back and check the various places where I've posted them. Anyhow, I feel that since the reviews no longer reflect my true feelings of those books that perhaps I should delete those reviews or revise them. Do I want to go through the effort of doing that?

On the one hand, deleting all the reviews is a lot of work, though to a lesser degree than if I were to rewrite the reviews entirely. The thing is, I'm not sure I remember enough of the details of the books to rewrite an entire review, and I'm not enamored enough with those books since now I feel they are deeply flawed to put in the time and energy to reread them. My TBR list is so huge I'd rather be tackling that, plus my other review responsibilities.

I don't think I will put in the effort of rewriting the reviews. In all honesty, I don't think I'd be able to do the books justice. But it bothers me that I've got reviews out there that do not reflect my true feelings about the books, so I'm thinking hard about deleting all those reviews from all the various platforms they have been posted on.


Usually, I'm a read, write, review, and forget kind of a person, and I rarely revisit ratings, reviews, or even reread books. I simply don't have the time for that. But over the past few weeks, this has been bothering me since it's been a big book discussion I've had with my book buddy, and I've been thinking about it on and off. I'm honestly not sure what to do.

Does it matter that at the time of posting, what was rated and reviewed was true but is no longer true now? Does anyone care other than me? I guess it's my own integrity as a reviewer and a blogger that I'm concerned about. I pride myself on being truthful and honest about my ratings and reviews, and now I feel like I'm being dishonest because my feelings have changed. I wouldn't recommend the books now while I probably would have in the past.

What do you think? Leave them or delete them? I'd love to know your opinion.

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  1. Great post, and something I have not thought about, I review every book I read and I know that I do enjoy the majority of the books that I read and rate and review them from my heart but I have never thought later on that I rated it wrong, I do often think I have not got the review right but that is just me :)

    Have Fun


    1. It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I think back about a book that I've read before and I wonder.

  2. I think if it is really bothering you, and you want to take the time, maybe you could just edit/update the review. I, too, have gotten more picky in my ratings and reviews, but I don't feel like going back and redoing any of mine. So if the words felt true when you wrote them, you should weigh out whether the time and effort you spend now is worth amending past reviews.

    1. I'm debating if the effort is worth it or something I wish to invest in.