I was going to post this question on twitter, but then I realized two things. A. Twitter conversations usually suck and get real hard to follow in a hurry. B. I have a self-hosted blogging space, what the hell am I doing trying to have a conversation on twitter?
Anyway, with the addition of Evergreen Tweet Caster I am rereading my own early reviews from this site, many of which I have not looked at since I posted. And I have realized a couple of things. While I am the type who will never really be happy with what I write I can safely say some of those early reviews are horrible. But that isn’t really the point today either, I am sure many bloggers have the same issue.
What really got me thinking was a few of the star ratings that I gave that have me second guessing myself.
Let’s be clear, I will never change those ratings. For one it would go against my review policy and mess with the integrity of the site. But I also feel that the rating I give at the time of the review is probably the fairest one to show. After all, the emotion of the now is a huge part of the reading experience. Sometimes I will overrate a book no doubt, but if I can’t trust my feelings right after I read it, why should I think I have a better perspective later one? For instance, in one of my known Star Wars binges I was in such a rut that I gave three stars to a thoroughly mediocre book that I really didn’t enjoy at all, just because it was slightly better than the last few of the universe I had read. I rating influenced by the surrounding reads if you will. I could no doubt find a few others that left zero long term impression on me that may be slightly over rated.
But it works both ways. I can think of two books right now that I gave a very respectable four stars to, yet have stuck with me long enough I wonder if I was being too stingy that day. Linda Nagata’s ‘The Dread Hammer’ and ‘The Scar’ by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko are among my top five reads of the year, both have stayed with me long past when I read them.
I know the star rating is the least important part of the review. No one takes on a new read on a rating along, it is only a guideline to provide a cheater summery and the review should stand on its own. But this is the kind of thing I think about.
So my question is, am I the only one thinking about this? Does anyone else have reviews they look back on and wonder what they were thinking? Have a book you want to give a shout out two because you feel guilty for underrating? On the extreme side of things, would you under any circumstances change a rating, perhaps after rereading the book?
Please friends, discuss!