NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
About Ratings, or the Lack Thereof
I wrote a short while ago in the post "About This Blog" about the kinds of book posts I like to write here at Books 'N Border Collies, but I never mentioned a rating system. That's because I don't have one. Shannon Hale had a very interesting post on her blog recently that hit on this subject (among others). In case you hadn't seen them before, here were the questions she posed:
1. Do you find that the anticipation of reviewing the book has changed your reading experience?
2. Are you rating the book even as you read? Or do you wait until the end to sum it all up?
3. Does knowing you'll be reviewing it (or rating it) publicly affect which books you pick up in the first place?
4. Does the process of writing the review itself change how you felt about the book?
5. What is your motivation to assign a rating to a book and declare it to the world?
6. If you review a book but don't rate, why not? What do you feel is your role as reviewer?
As I mentioned, I don't have a rating system. I never did and I never will. When I finish a book I tend to move very quickly on the next one. I may have loved or hated the book I just finished or anything in between. It doesn't matter. I move on, but good books live on in my subconscious. A book I thought I didn't care for may prod me into thinking about it affectionately weeks or months later, whereas I may all but immediately forget a book I loved while I was reading it. I never know what I really think of a book until I put some distance between us. Therefore, I don't think it's useful to anyone for me to rate a book.
That being said, knowing I'll be writing about a book has no effect whatsoever on what I choose to read. I said in my earlier post that I don't consider what I write "reviews", ergo I don't consider myself a "reviewer". I accept occasional Advance Review Copies of books from publishers or authors, but with the exception of putting myself on a deadline to finish them on or soon after publication, I treat them the same as everything else I read. I make my choices based almost entirely on the desire I have to read the book at that time. Deadlines for ARCs and Reading Challenges are secondary factors when I'm trying to make a decision. And both of those factors will be all but going by the wayside in 2010. I have some interesting plans for myself coming up that I will share with you when it's time for next year's Lifetime Learning Project Plan!