Recently, I made a Goodreads account (LINK HERE if you want to be my friend), and there was one thing that I particularly noticed when I started to rate the books I have read: A LOT of them were 4 or 5 star ratings. While rating these books, I felt as though I was doing something wrong. I started to scan through my shelves desperately for books I hated, so I could even out my ratings. I started to feel that maybe those books I had rated so high, couldn’t have all been so good. Surely, I couldn’t have enjoyed so many of the books I have read that much.
It was then that I realised that the reason I have so many highly rated books, is because I am a big pre-buyer researcher.
I very rarely buy a book on a whim. 99% of the time, I research the books I think sound interesting. I read the reviews on Goodreads, I look at fellow bloggers’ reviews, I watch reviews on Booktube. In other words, I very rarely go into a book blind. I make sure that I am going to enjoy a book before I pay money for it. I even like to read the negative reviews for a book, and decide whether the things that reviewer listed as problems, would be things that would bother me personally. A big example of this is the love triangle – something that many people hate in a book, but I actually often quite enjoy reading.
The fact that I don’t read all completely hyped-up books helps with this, I think. For instance, I haven’t read the Mortal Instruments, the Percy Jackson series, or Twilight – all hugely popular YA series. None of these books particularly appeal to me, and for that reason, I don’t feel any pressure to pick them up, even if that means one less series to talk to fellow book-lovers about.
This isn’t to say that I don’t read books I don’t enjoy. Despite my extensive researching, I can still end up not loving that book I thought sounded amazing. But it is less common, especially in the last couple of years – now that I don’t read books purely based on their popularity, and try to seek out lesser-known books too.
I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. I am actually pretty pleased that I manage to find and read so many books that I love. This year alone, I can think of at least ten books that I have given a five star rating so far, and many more that I have given 4 stars. And I am completely certain that there will be even more by the time the year is up.
Some of the books I have rated 5 stars this year are:
– The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
– A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas
– The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
– A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab
– The Archived – Victoria Schwab
– Just One Day – Gayle Forman
How does anyone else find they rate books? Do you lean towards the higher ratings, or do you have a wide variety? And what 5 star books have you read so far this year? I’d love to know!