I’ve always been a book nerd. I started reading at three, barreled through Charlotte’s Web in a day when I was 6 (my first marathon reading experience), and never stopped. I won’t lie – I’m not proud of all of the phases I have gone through. I read (and enjoyed) all of the Twilights, was hooked on Nora Roberts for a solid few years, and read so much chick lit that I still have unrealistic expectation of my husband (or so he tells me).
And then I started blogging. Over the past year, I have have many little ‘epiphanies’ about how book blogging has changed my life. I have met some fantastic people, attend more author events, have stepped out of my comfort genres more often, and have tackled some classics I wouldn’t have otherwise read. But the one thing that I’ve noticed is that I pick better books.
Granted, my to-read list is a mile long and I’m on a self-imposed NetGalley ban (not that I adhere to it), but the quality of my list is a lot better than it was PB (pre-blogging). Even when I spend an hour trying to decide which book to read next, I know that it will be a good one. One would think this is a good problem to have, right? I’m not so sure.
Yes, I am picking better books. Yes, I am reading more “sociable” books that other people are reading and can have better discussions. And yes, I am honing my ability to know from the get go whether or not a book’s writing style is for me (for example, I know anything written in Precious-form is a no-no for me).
The downside is that I have been giving out a ton of 4 star reviews. I’m still stingy with my 5’s, but I’m rarely giving 3’s. Whereas I used to have a mixed bag of star ratings, I find that while I’m picking better books, I haven’t quite figured out how to rate them on that scale. But then again, maybe I don’t need to. Just because I’m picking out better books doesn’t mean that the author should lose a star because there’s was only almost as good as the last great book I read. Of course, then I revert back to the whole argument that I should be choosing my ratings based on my own experiences, not the general public’s.
So my question to my fellow book bloggers is this:
Do you think that blogging has made you pick better book?
Have you altered your rating systems? Why or why not?