You know what I realized the other day? I'm rating a lot less books at a 5-star level on Goodreads than I did last year. A LOT LESS. It got me wondering why. I mean, the quality of books is no less than last year. I'm still enjoying a large portion of the books I'm reading. So, why the shift?
Mostly, I think it's mood. I've had a few things going on the past few months in my personal life that could easily be affecting the way I rate. I want to be blown away and completely lose myself in a book and I'm less forgiving when it doesn't happen. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. It's the circle of life. Or something. But it does bring me around to a post Amanda wrote a while back about how ratings are completely subjective. Quite shockingly, I agree with her. (hush, you guys, we don't always agree on everything.) But really, if I'm in a mood, I'm liable to rate a book lower than I normally would unless it blows me away.
This same issue has also led me to DNF a couple of books recently. I read fast enough that I usually push through on books I don't love and finish them no matter what. I mean, it's just a few hours of my life, right? And, who knows, maybe the ending will rock my socks off. But lately? I've had a good five or six that I've dropped like a hot potato. I just didn't care enough to finish. The reasons range from anything to unrealistic dialogue right on up to characters acting like complete douches and/or acting so unrealistically in the framework of the story that I can't get behind them.
What does this mean? I have no idea. It's possible it's just a phase and I might snap out of it and go back to cheerfully dispensing 5 stars on any book that makes me smile. On the other hand, maybe this is the new Kelly. She's a little more hesitant about giving out those coveted 5-star ratings. She sometimes puts aside books that fail to capture her attention right away.
We'll just have to see.
My questions to you are: Have you ever experienced a shift in the way you rate? Did you shift back after a while or has this shift become the new normal?