I have been thinking lately about the way I have always rated books.
In the past I was always afraid to give a book a 3 star rating because that to me really meant I didn’t enjoy a book all that much. I think that pre-2016 I rated most books a 4 and I’m a little scared about how high I rated books in the past. In 2018 a book has had to impress me quite a bit to get a rating of 4 stars. I feel that 4 stars is a book that I really enjoyed quite a bit and that a book had to have something special to get all the way to a 4 whereas in the past most books got a 4 pretty easily because I was scared of that 3 star rating. I feel this year more books have earned a 3 from me than any year before. I started to fear the 3 star rating less and I give it out more in order to balance out my rating style more. I mean a 3 star rating doesn’t mean a book was bad it just means it was average. So I started to think that if books are starting to get a 3 rating from me and that books are having a harder time just earning a 4 star from me then what was a 5 star read to me anymore.
I think that the reason behind more 3 stars this year was the fact that books just are not impressing me that much anymore. I have done the bulk of my reading for pleasure over the past 10 years and now I know the way a lot of plot lines go. This isn’t a bad thing it just means that I’m more use to the way stories go now that I call myself a reader. This means that I’m looking for those special books, not that I ever stopped, but it has become more important to me. In the past as a newer reader everything was special to me and a good story line because I had never read it before, hence the inflated ratings of the past. Now I look for new plots and different ways of doing things. I look for writing that is of a higher quality and I feel I have grown a lot in my reading tastes over the years. I still love Young Adult and Adult Romance but now I want to read things that challenge my boundaries. I want to read things that are new to me and I am more open to adult stories than ever before. I guess that makes sense that as I age I want books that I feel I can connect with on age level as well as a story level.
I’m not saying that I’m going to drop YA from my reading because I still love the stories there and I feel YA has grown a lot from what it one was when I was a teenager. The stories are of a higher quality now and I love where story lines are pushing readers and I feel we have more diversity now more than ever in our reading choices. We know that we can read whatever we want as long as it makes us happy. Which is what I have been trying to do this year, read things that make me happy. Doesn’t matter the page count or the book count even though I still have an overall Goodreads Goal. I want to find those 5 star reads. I want to read books that blow me away and I want to be utterly ruined by them and absorb them without guilt that I didn’t read 100 books this year. I care about quality over quantity which was something I struggled with in previous years with the idea that I had to post so many reviews of all the latest books. I’m a reader and I read for my enjoyment and not to max out my reviews on the blog. I read to find those 5 star books and cherish them and I encourage all of you to do the same.
Don’t let blogging fill your head with false things. We are readers and we don’t have to rate books higher just so we don’t hurt an author’s feelings. We don’t have to rate books higher because we are afraid what others think if we disliked one of their favorite books. Don’t let the pressure that sometimes comes with blogging allow you to compromise you reading style or your rating system. I have allowed things to inflate my rating system in the past and I don’t want to unfairly inflate ratings anymore. With my years as a reader I now know what I look for in a 5 star read and I hope that all of you out there value what it really means for a book to be 5 stars. I hope all of you find those special books out there that are your version of a 5 star read. The qualities that make a 5 star read are different for everyone and that is the beauty of reading. Reading is about discovery so go out there and discover your next favorite read.