Change Is Crucial To Any Blog But What Happens When You Change Your Mind On A Book Recommendation?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Paper Bindings | Change Is Crucial To Any Blog But What Happens When You Change Your Mind On A Book Recommendation? | "Being a blogger whose blog focuses on all things bookish, I get to recommend a lot of books to fellow readers.  Even if I didn’t blog, recommending books it is an occupational hazard of reading over 200 books a year for the last 5 years straight."


Being a blogger whose blog focuses on all things bookish, I get to recommend a lot of books to fellow readers.

Even if I didn’t blog, recommending books it is an occupational hazard of reading over 200 books a year for the last 5 years straight.

These phrases get used a lot:
  • “Read this book.” 
  • “Highly recommended.” 
  • “If you like ______ then I recommend this book.”

So what happens when you decide you no longer recommend a particular book?

Since I changed my blog’s name to Paper Bindings, I’ve spent a lot of time combing through old posts to update links and name references. I tried not to touch the actual content of the post unless I spotted a grammar or spelling error. When you consider that I barely remember some of those early books I reviewed, how could it feel right to change what I initially wrote about them?

I’ve learned a lot about my blogging history by going through all 1000 posts.
  • I saw what worked and what didn’t work. 
  • It gave me a better understanding of the types of reviews people want to see and the kind I want to write.
  • It sparked a lot of my recent posts that forced me to look at my reading and blogging habits.

RELATED : A Quick Look At My Unread TBR And The Truth About Being A Book Hoarder | #Shelfie Time! A Shameless Look At The Evolution Of My Bookshelves | The Value Of A Star - Ratings Over The Years

But the scariest understanding I have come to is that I no longer would recommend a large number of the early books I have read.

Is it me? Is it the books? What changed?

If you’ve read my ratings post, then you know how (compared to now) I was super generous with my stars back then. If I were to rerate them today, many books would lose a star or two in the process. You might also recall that I said that my average book rating has changed from 3 stars to 2.5-3 stars. (Remember, that does not mean that I did not like those books or that I wouldn’t buy them for my shelves.)

But I don’t think it is just me either. I think the quality of books I’ve been reading has improved over the years. I’m no longer reading every book someone throws at me, and I’ve allowed myself to set down the ones that aren’t working out for me.

My tastes have changed, I read different books now, and I am okay with that.

That’s wonderful, you say.

But that still leaves me with a massive dilemma: Do I update the reviews to reflect my current thoughts or do I leave them alone and say the past is the past? If I update them without rereading the books, am I just letting my possibly faulty memory cloud my judgement? If I don’t and someone picks up the book because of an old recommendation, would I feel guilty if I didn’t let them know I changed my mind?

What about those in-direct recommendations?

All those times I’ve said:
  • “I’ll read the next book.”
  • “I’ll read more by this author.”
I consider those recommendations as well. After all, if you hated something and/or it was poorly written, how often to readers honestly give authors second chances?

If I had a dollar for every time I said I would read more by an author or continue the series but ultimately decided I didn’t love the book I read enough I could buy a whole new bookshelf and start filling it up. Sometimes I thing that was my go to phrase for “move along, I have nothing else to say about it.”


The Gritty Truth

I will never.......
  • Read most of the indie authors I've read over the years again. There are only a handful who I think are still writing books I want to read. Plus I'm tired of freebie ebooks that have grammar or telling issues.
  • Give an author I DNF a second try unless the writing was well done and it was just that story that I couldn't get into. I have too many books I want to read as it is.
  • Pick up a book rated less than 3.5 stars on Goodreads unless I am 100% sure I want to read it. I've been burned too many times.
  • Read a sequel to a book I didn't love. I have too much to read to waste my time on something I will probably not enjoy.
  • Request Or Accept A Request For A Book I Wouldn't Randomly Buy At The Store. If I wouldn't spend money on it as a consumer to read for fun, then I don't want to read it enough to review if for my blog.
  • Along the same lines, I Will Only Enter Giveaways For Books I'd Randomly Buy. 
  • Recommend a series that I haven't finished by now or still have on my Goodreads to-read shelves. I have books on my Goodreads TBR that have been up there for years. I don't remove them simply because they are old, I remove books because I no longer wish to read them. Despite my fear of series enders, I do try to finish all the series I start. 

So, tell me, have you changed your mind about recommending books over the years? What do you do with your old reviews?

8 comments:

  1. I don't like changing my reviews, however if someone says they were going to read a book I told them to and I judged it quicker thank I should- in either a good or bad way- I will tell them. To me, the book reviews show how my views have changed. For example, on my goodreads before I posted my reviews anywhere I rated one of my favorite books as 1 star. Why? I have no clue. But until I reread it I'm not going to change it because there may have been a reason.
    Very thought provoking post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "To me, the book reviews show how my views have changed." That's a good way of looking at it. I'm always amazed when I reread a book and love it or hate it more than I did the first time. It just proves how our tastes can change and how our mood/environment really does affect our enjoyment of books.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. Meeeee. I think I blogged about this recently too *nods* because it's SUCH A REAL PROBLEM, RIGHT?!?! I mean how awkward is it when someone's scrolling through your old Goodreads reviews or whatever and is like "Oh I'm reading this book you loved!" and you're like "....yeah, I don't even think I'd like that anymore" *HOWLS* The bookworm life is full of identity crisises tbh.
    Although I do consider that change is good! I mean, we are growing as people so it makes sense our tastes change. I don't think most followers will go back through our blog archives to look for book recs. Because there's always new ones and people are more interested in new content. So I don't fret about that!
    Oh oh! And I used to be like "if I hate an author's first book, I won't try a second" BUT OMG I HAD TO ABANDON THAT POLICY! I loathed Taken by Erin Bowman but then Vengeance Road was 5-stars and best of the year. XD So I do take risks on authors I previously don't like. ;D Anyway ,that was a random tangent. haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You did? I'm definitely going to have to scour your blog to find the post then. (I'm so behind on reading posts/commenting. Bloglovin just keeps laughing at me.)

      "I don't think most followers will go back through our blog archives to look for book recs." As much as I want old post to get more hits, I'm kind of glad about that. Some of them should never have seen the light in the first place.

      "I loathed Taken by Erin Bowman but then Vengeance Road was 5-stars and best of the year." I didn't loathe Taken, but same here. I used to not give second tries at all. But then I really wanted to read The Raven Boys (I DNF Linger) and I had to think long and hard about whether I wanted to or not. So glad I caved and tried the book.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. I never change my reviews but I do sometimes change ratings.. Like for The Star-Touched Queen, I initially rated 4.5 stars and gave it 5 on GR, but I recently lowered that down to 4 because it just didn't stay with me after I read it. Honestly, even though indie authors are the ones who helped me get my first review copies, I don't think I would go back now.. I also never read any books by an author I DNFed!

    PS. @ReadWriteLove28 on Twitter referred me to you ;).

    Jess @ POB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I toyed with the idea of rerating some books. (Saying something like "originally __ stars, now I'd rate it __ stars.) But I'm not sure if that's worth the effort when I can focus my time and energy on moving forward.

      (Aww. Nori is the greatest.)

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Delete
  4. I went through all of my old posts last year and laughed at how generous I was with stars. Then I apologetically changed the rating. I don't know what's more disingenuous-- the original rating or that I secretly deducted stars (actually, it wasn't a secret; I later blogged about my actions).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose it depends on how well you remember a book. If you are going off of a vague feeling than maybe changing the stars, but if you remember why you felt a certain way, then stretching the generosity of your stars.

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Delete

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