Am I Too Easy Of A Rater?

Am I Too Easy Of A Rater-.jpg

I’ve been seeing the idea for this topic going around the blogosphere a lot lately, so I decided to write a post on it. I know it might not be a very original idea, but hopefully I get to bring something new to the conversation!

I’ve noticed that my reviews lately have been almost all been on 4 and 5-star books. Which, don’t get me wrong, is fantastic as a reader, but there are several reasons why this might be a bit concerning as a book blogger. Particularly:

  • I WANT READERS AND BLOGGERS TO TAKE ME SERIOUSLY. My main goal when reviewing a book is to give my honest feedback on the book, which allows the reader of my post to make the decision of either reading the book or not bothering with it. Writing so many positive reviews could go two ways: either people will trust my opinions and read the book, or they might not trust me after all my 4-star reviews and decide to not bother at all. I mean, the books I read can’t all be special, can they now?
  • Which leads to another problem: I WANT PUBLISHERS AND AUTHORS TO TAKE ME SERIOUSLY. Authors and publishers want you to read their books and provide your honest opinion on it, which not only promotes the book and raises awareness for it within the blogosphere, but also gives them feedback on what they could do better. And trust me, authors love getting feedback, as long as it’s respectful and insightful. When bloggers and readers aren’t taking your opinions seriously, chances are, authors and publishers aren’t either.
  • THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD BOOKS, BUT AS DISTRESSING AS IT MIGHT BE, WE CAN’T READ ALL OF THEM. I started blogging because I wanted a platform where I could share my opinions on books and meet amazing people that shared my love for the written word. Which is great and all, but I need to accept the fact that no matter how many books I add to my TBR and babble ecstatically about for what seems like hours, I’m never going to read all of them. So, if this is true, shouldn’t I be using my time to promote the books I adored the most to the fabulous bookish community in hopes of having them read it as well? Writing so many 4 and 5-star book reviews creates a problem, because even though people wish they could only read 5-star books for the rest of their lives, it’s really not going to happen. So, if they read my blog and see all of the positive reviews I have to offer, won’t the decision of what to read next become harder for them instead of easier?

I used to see myself as a critical rater instead of an easy one, but being introduced to the blogosphere has definitely changed my opinion about myself. I mean, I’ve always been told outside of blogging that I’m too harsh of a rater, and that I rarely seem satisfied with books and movies and things of that sort, but blogging has introduced an entire new dimension to this thinking. Instead of being one of those people who always takes everything too seriously and only settles for the best, I’m now seeing myself as the opposite. Book blogging has been a very interesting experience for me regarding this topic because I’m constantly discovering unique opinions about the books I love that rival my own opinions. While reading negative reviews on the books I love don’t normally alter or taint my opinions on it, they sometimes do offer some interesting insight that I might find myself agreeing with despite my initial reactions. I have a huge amount of respect for critical raters and reviewers, because not only do they offer insight on some of the issues they might have had on the book that other people had overlooked, but they also often contradict popular opinions, which we all know can be quite intimidating.

So, you might be wondering, why is it that you’re not a critical rater in the first place, Paige? It can’t be that hard to tweak your reviews a little bit so you go a little more in-depth on the parts you disliked, rather than babbling aimlessly about all the parts you adored for WAY longer than necessary, right?

This, THIS is where I get to the meat of this blog post. This is where I will explain why I’m not the critical rater that so many of my friends and family members think I am. (And I know you’re probably frustrated that I’m already 800+ words in to this post and I STILL haven’t gotten to the “meat” of it, and I apologize for that, but I’m naturally a quite rambly person. I CAN’T HELP MYSELF.)

So, in no particular order, here are the reasons why I think I’m not a very critical rater/reviewer:

  • Um…..I just naturally happen to like almost all of the books I read? This one seems fairly obvious, but it’s also not completely true. Like, even though I’ve recently written a lot of positive reviews, this doesn’t mean I’m an easy reviewer in general, right? I could have just gone through a long period of time where I just picked up the books I was sure I’d like. Or, maybe starting a blog recently has caused me to be much more aware of the books I will and will not like, based on the reviews of people whom I usually have similar opinions as.
  • I’m young. And I don’t say this meaning that I’m a young person, though that’s true as well; I mean that I’m an extremely young blogger and reader. I’ve been blogging for less than 6 months, and I didn’t really fall in love with reading until about 2 years ago. This probably affects my reviewing and rating process because I’ve experienced very little reading material compared to most other bloggers, and I’m therefore probably an easier rater because I don’t have as much past experience to compare my current reading material to.
  • Maybe I just try to avoid giving negative reviews altogether, no matter what I think of the books I read. I’m not saying that I’m afraid to voice my opinions; I’m just saying that positive reviews are much more enjoyable to write, and therefore, I might try to avoid writing negative reviews. Blogging should be a fun experience for me, so why should I have to review every book I read if I don’t enjoy it? Honestly, I think that writing negative reviews is necessary if you want to have a successful blog; it’s just something that I personally struggle with.

I’m definitely not saying that bloggers have to be critical in order to be successful, because I know some really popular blogs that are written by super lenient raters. I guess I’m just trying to express the fact that everyone has a different style of writing and blogging and rating, and that we should always respect others’ ideas and opinions. Even if we completely disagree with them. Bloggers and book reviewers should never be scared to express their opinions and beliefs.

OOOOOKAY, THAT WAS QUITE A LENGTHY POST. So, because you made it all the way to the bottom of this – CONGRATULATIONS! AND THANK YOU! I really appreciate it when people take the time to read super lengthy posts like this because they take me SO LONG to write and it really means a lot to me when people value my opinion enough to keep reading!

What are your opinions on this topic? Do you think I’m too easy of a rater? Do you think book reviewers have to be super critical in order to be successful? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


26 thoughts on “Am I Too Easy Of A Rater?

  1. I think ratings are irrelevant (to the outsider). By this I mean everyone rates books differently and a 5 for me might be a 3 for you might be a -2 for someone else. I think the words inside of a review are so much more important. I just read a blog post about this 2000 seconds ago, but I can’t remember who wrote it… oops. Thanks for the post, Paige.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I feel like being a critical reviewer is important because I don’t think there’s such a thing as a perfect book. I am the type of person to normally only write positive reviews because like you said, it’s much more enjoyable but even when it’s mostly positive, there has to be something that you didn’t like. It can be only one thing but that one thing also has to be commented on and spoken about how it can improve because that’s the kind of feedback authors want an need from professional reviewers. While I don’t do it often, sometimes writing a negative review when it’s one that really frustrated you can be really freeing and liberating. To complain on an open platform without judgement for your tastes. My reviews used to be full of rambles until I made the process I use now in which I divide my critical thoughts from my emotional ones and it helps makes my reviews more concise. But the most important thing is that you’re comfortable with the way you do things on your blog. No matter what anyone else thinks about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Sara! I totally agree with you that it’s important to be critical when reviewing a book. It’s really hard for me to write negative reviews sometimes, not because I’m afraid of voicing my opinion, but because I feel like positive reviews are so much easier to write. Of course, I’m definitely not the type of person to give a book a positive review when I don’t think it deserves it; I’m just the type of person that would avoid reviewing it altogether. Honestly, I don’t really care if I have a super unpopular opinion about a book; I just try to be respectful about it and not bash the author, but still stand up for my opinions. And I definitely do agree about how it can be super liberating to write a negative review about a book that really frustrated me – the problem is, sometimes the words don’t come as easily. Thanks again for your insightful comment, Sara! πŸ™‚

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      • Something I do that helps me when writing reviews, both positive and negative, is writing it down on paper as soon as I finish. I have a notebook where I write a review for every book I read in the year. Whether or not I share that anywhere on the internet doesn’t matter, I have the space to put down my immediate thoughts. That way when I’m writing the blog review a month later, which is my way most of the time, I can reflect on my thoughts then and expand on them in a more constructive way on my post

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  3. This topic never came to my mind, so thank you for this post! I don’t think that it’s necessarily a bad thing because writing positive reviews are so much better. I feel like I fall into the too easy of a rater also. But my problem is, if I don’t like a book, I DNF and I don’t like writing reviews for books I DNF. But that’s just me.

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  4. Don’t worry about it! Because everyone’s personal ratings are different you and only you can say if you think a book was a 3 or a 4 or 4 or a 5. Me personally if I liked reading this book it’s automatically around a 3 stars because the book must of done something to make me like it. Then I add all of the details. 4 star books for me usually have brilliant writing, more than the standard YA, and I solid strong plot with similarly strong elements. 5 stars are books I can’t find fault with, or they have only tiny tiny faults.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I love this post! I might end up creating my own discussion post for this one day πŸ˜€ I always think the same thing, that I tend to rate books around 4 stars at an average. I used to think it was a problem, but then I thought..well I’m just good at choosing books I know I’ll like, I suppose! I mean, no one wants to read a bad book. There’s no point in genuinely enjoying a book and then trying to find bad things about it just to make it seem worse. What usually happens with me is that I finish a book and think about my rating, but then I write my review the next morning and write out all the specifics, and consider my rating again so it’s more accurate. That usually helps πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! You definitely should – I’m curious to see what you have to say! Thanks for the advice – for me, I tend to write reviews way after I finish them. It’s definitely harder to remember them, but then I have time to collect my thoughts. I take notes too, so that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting discussion! I don’t think I’m too harsh of a rater, but I don’t think I’m too lenient, either- if it feels like crap, I’ll rate it one or two stars. If it’s good, three or four. If it’s great, four or five. I’m not super picky about my own ratings, though I do agree that it’s very important.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great discussion! I don’t really know if I’m a critical reviewer or an easy rater. More likely I just tend to be honest with my thoughts. If I don’t like a certain book, I state my reasons. So as the books that I love or like.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m quite similar with you as well! I rarely ever rate a book 1 stars. But I also don’t give away 5 stars that easily. I think we all have different reasons for rating a particular book, and as long as you have your reasons, it doesn’t really matter how easy or critical you rate a book!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Month In Review // January 2016 | Page By Paige

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