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Reading Experiment: Why I No Longer Decide To Rate Books (and Films)

In the book community, especially on Goodreads, and in the film community seen with sites like Letterboxd, we are asked to give anything a star rating. Something that I have always done, when I got Goodreads in 2013, and in Letterboxd, a couple of years ago. I used rating to judge if something was good or if something was bad and made it lead how I would think. I would press marked as read or list it as watched and would need to rate it straight away and then it would be over. 

But this year it all changed. (It's not as dramatic as it sounds)

I wasn't expecting it to. I started the year off normally, rating the books and then films I  was watching were still rated and I just decided to stop. It was a little bit of a trial at the first but it's March now and I quite like the no rating thing. 

Even though it seems like a sudden thing. It wasn't really. I have gone through phases in my reading and watching life when it often felt like I had no favourites and that nothing felt like it was the best for me especially films. I would watch something I had just finished and feel so pressured to put a rating on it and would rarely give it 5 stars. 

The same would happen to books. I would finish it and feel like I had to give it a rating but then would feel different about it a couple of months later. It was that the book needed time to breathe in my mind. One of my favourite examples is Heretics Anonymous as I definitely thought that it was a four-star read but I couldn't stop thinking about how good it was and knew it was a favourite. It has happened with films as well. I mean I thought that Hunt For The Wilderpeople was a good film and know it is a great one in my eyes. I still think about it often. 

I think it just brings up ideas that we seem to want to put things in boxes but often this is not the case. I am not going to feel the same about every single book I read. The same rating can mean can have different values depending on what I personally liked and disliked about it. 

Also with films and books, we are told what is the best of that specific medium and if we don't love it I feel underwhelmed. But just because is the best it does not mean I will like it. It could be the best-crafted thing in the world but it if does not affect me on a spiritual level then I didn't want to rate it highly which people might be against. 

I think that I just want to feel moved and you can't find a rating for that. If you have ever had a like warm and tingling feeling after you read or watched something that what I want and I will keep trying until I find it again. 

Rating is such a complicated topic and has so many different meanings to different people. One of the things that I haven't mentioned is how people would have influenced such as authors and filmmakers sometimes don't rate media as they don't want to negatively hate on their peers which I totally get especially as one of my most popular posts is a negative review and it doesn't make me feel nice. 

I think the final things is obviously the rating option of sites and if I will still use them. And the short answer is: yes. I still find both Letterboxd and Goodreads a good way to track my reading and viewing habits and like the cool features, they have so I still log but do not rate and I'm OK with that. 

I think this was a little bit messy so I'm sorry if this makes no sense but hopefully, you have an insight into my sometimes crazy mind.

Do you still rate books? Do you use Goodreads or something else? Let me know in the comments below!

See you soon, 

Amy

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