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A Hodge Podge Folder > Do you ever think it's just you?

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message 1: by Scott , Karsa Orlong (new)

Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 8082 comments Mod
To clarify when you get a string of books where everything just seems blah to fair? I think there's a tendency to think you're in a reading slump or not in the mood but perhaps you're just in a picking slump.

I just went through a stretch of 8 books where everything was between 1-3.5*'s. I never felt like I didn't want to read. It was just nothing was blowing me out of the water.

Then I read The Ace of Skulls and started a re-read of Words of Radiance and knew it wasn't me because I felt so at home being back in those two distinctly different worlds. I started two other books since and both have at least 4* potential.

I started to question if the 3.5*'s I was giving were too tough and I half of the 8 books were that rating but now I'm completely comfortable with those and feel justified in those ratings. 3.5 for me is still a very good book but I just didn't feel the wow factor for a while.

I'm sure others have experienced this and real slumps where almost any book will be a star rating lower than it would at another time.


message 2: by Lee (new)

Lee (leeman729) | 828 comments Scott wrote: "To clarify when you get a string of books where everything just seems blah to fair? I think there's a tendency to think you're in a reading slump or not in the mood but perhaps you're just in a pic..."

Absolutely. I was in a bit of a slump earlier this year and didn't really find anything of merit, but between all of my re-reads and a very nice lineup of new books, I've given several 4.5's and even a few 5 stars to the books I've been reading within the last two months or so.

There's highs and lows I guess! I usually have at least two books I'm reading at once, which helps when a slumps seems to be around the corner.


message 3: by Timelord Iain (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments I dunno, but I do think my ratings are too homogenous... I rarely throw out a 1-2 star... or even a 3 really... most books get 4 and ones I really like get 5...

The excess of 5 stars this year is because I did 30 rereads across 6 of my favorite series... but the fact I've abandoned most of the series with books I rated 3 stars make me feel like I should be rating them lower and making better use of the star system...

I think the 30 re-reads were the result of my biggest slump otherwise since returning to reading a few years ago... I just returned to favorites instead of trying new books for awhile...


message 4: by Margret, Caladan Brood Face (new)

Margret | 3170 comments Mod
It’s definitely just me, most of the time. Particularly my allergy to romance as certain times of the year I am more Scrooge-y than normal (Jan-March to be specific)


message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2130 comments I always blame Scott. 😂

I think it is always dependent on what I have been reading. I had a stretch a few weeks back when I was doing all 3* reads and it made it hard to keep picking them up. I consider a 3* a good book but when I get too many in a row it brings me down. Been mixing in graphic novels more as they usually can get me going again.


message 6: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7025 comments Mod
I started blaming he authors. No matter what mood I'm in, a trusted author can always keep me 4+ entertained, so it must be just a "meh" book if I'm feeling "meh" about it. Subjective, of course. But I do think my harshness on YA lately is just me getting older and grumpier.


message 7: by Mayim (new)

Mayim de Vries | 2864 comments You know me, I never shy away from handing 1 and 2 star reviews even to celebrity authors and even to overly-hyped books. It's never me :D it's their bad writing!


message 8: by Ahdam (new)

Ahdam (snowlocke) | 2409 comments I've been in a couple of mini slumps I think that's what I want to call it and usually it's because of stuff happening at home or just a lack of interest to read for example I put down way of kings in June because of not being able to concentrate properly as well as some redecorating which through me reading that book out of the window and it happened in September with shadow of what was lost where I just couldn't pick up a book and it effected the other books because I had no interest to read battlemage then which annoyed me but I got back into by reading a simple ish book which I can enjoy like the great hunt

I don't think it effects ratings since I give fairly positive ratings although I read books everyone else likes and the I'm very stubborn with the books I put down due to going in a slump like way of kings and other books I put down although I'm being stubborn with it because I refuse to think I DNF them because I did find them interesting haha

So yeah it is me in a way as my reading is usually effected by what's happening to me at the time to my mood one day I cant finish a book another I've read 400 pages of the book in 2 days (Hero of ages) haha who knows maybe when I become as wise in my reading like you Scott I may experience what your describing


message 9: by Lee (new)

Lee (leeman729) | 828 comments I have a relatively high average rating, but honestly that's only because I never read a book unless it comes very highly recommended. There have only been a few books out of hundreds that I've given 1-2 star reviews for. Majority of the books I read fall between the 3-4 star line, just because I really only read a book if I genuinely expect to like it haha.


message 10: by Scott , Karsa Orlong (new)

Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 8082 comments Mod
Bill wrote: "I always blame Scott. 😂."

There's a guest room whenever you need it. You'll fit right in with the rest of the clan.

Iain wrote: "I dunno, but I do think my ratings are too homogenous... I rarely throw out a 1-2 star... or even a 3 really... most books get 4 and ones I really like get 5...

The excess of 5 stars this year is ..."


Your 4.1 average having is higher than I would have guessed.

Mayim wrote: "You know me, I never shy away from handing 1 and 2 star reviews even to celebrity authors and even to overly-hyped books. It's never me :D it's their bad writing!"

Your average rating 3.69 is inline with my 3.59. I'd have to look but if I was to guess I probably have fewer 2*'s than any of the other ratings. I generally either like a book and it gets a 3* or it's a bag of shit getting the 1*


message 11: by Niki Hawkes, I made it past GOTM... barely (new)

Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller | 7025 comments Mod
Mine is 4.04. I don't think it's accurate these days, as when I first joined the GR I was fairly indiscriminate with 5* ratings. Now I have a list of only about 20 titles that have earned the true 5* (out of 1000). Most things 2 stars and below don't get finished, so I don't rate them. Maybe I should lol.

I'm with Liam - I usually only pick up the books I'm reasonably sure I'm going to enjoy.


message 12: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 3340 comments My average rating is 3.12 so I'm not shy about handing out lower ratings either (though 1s and 5s are rare), even for favorite authors. I have to have a deep visceral reaction to a book for it to get a 5.

I always find it amusing when I read a review where the person goes on and on about why they didn't care for the book as much as others in the series, this was dumb, that was too contrived, they felt like skimming or had to push themselves to finish, etc. ....but then still rate it a 4 because they like the author and his/her past work.


message 13: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2130 comments Scott wrote: "Bill wrote: "I always blame Scott. 😂."

There's a guest room whenever you need it. You'll fit right in with the rest of the clan.


Sounds right in line with every other married man with kids I've ever know.

My average is 4.14. I think I need to readjust some of the titles I read before joining GR. Think I handed out a lot of high ratings just trying to get them all in.


message 14: by Timelord Iain (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments Like I said... my ratings skew high... Most books I read get 3 stars or more... most things that would be 1 star are DNF'd and unrated... 2 stars are books I wouldn't have finished if I wasn't invested in the series enough to suffer through...

At this point, going back and adjusting the ratings on 1500 books just seems like too much work...


message 15: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 3340 comments I wouldn't go back and change old ratings. They reflected what you thought or felt at the time. Unless of course you re-read and rate it again to reflect how you feel now, because that can change over time. We get older and, for me, I find that more books I read in a genre the higher my standard gets so I get less lenient over the things that in years past I might have obligingly swept under the rug. Now I'm more likely to ask, "what is that crap on your floor?" :-)


message 16: by Miche (new)

Miche | 2939 comments I find that after finishing a good series my next reads might get a lower rating because I am still too invested at the series I just finished. That happened after i read Stormlight Archive and I am sure it will happen again when I finish Malazan.

My average rating is high, 4.06, but that didn't surprise me as I don't have that many books rated in total. Since I started reading fantasy more often, I think I started at mid 2016, my average rating went up as I have been reading series that really impressed me (Sanderson, Erikson).


message 17: by Petrik (last edited Oct 03, 2017 10:01AM) (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Everyone has their own opinion but I strongly believe in an "it's not me, it's not you" situation. No book is universal, that's all. If a book is universal, every author should stop writing and let this "god" author write every damn book in the world.

Also, I'm petty with both 5 stars ratings and 1 stars (anyone who know me, knows which book I'm talking about).. For me, again this is just in my review criteria, I will never say "an author has BAD prose" until the day I wrote a book which in my opinion could outclass this author's prose. I mean, let's check our reviews.. the number of typos in it would probably make authors cry tears of blood if they're being picky.

I'll always say "it's not for me" in terms of prose. The best example for this: Mark Lawrence. People go on and on about how beautiful his prose but I need paracetamol when I binge read his books. But that's how it is, a lot of people love it, just not for me.

My average rating currently is 3.84


message 18: by Mayim (new)

Mayim de Vries | 2864 comments Petrik wrote: "I'll always say "it's not for me" in terms of prose. The best example for this: Mark Lawrence. People go on and on about how beautiful his prose but I need paracetamol when I binge read his books. But that's how it is, a lot of people love it, just not for me.."

That is Gwynne for me! A toothache! :D

On the other hand, I like giving out 5 stars, it means the book has moved me in a way that only art does move a human soul. It doesn't mean that it needs to be a perfection.


message 19: by Tammie (new)

Tammie | 3882 comments I hardly ever think it's me. It has to be the book. My average rating is 3.51 so I do tend to be harsher on books. I don't think I've ever experienced a time where I just felt meh about every book I read. My reading slumps just consist of me slowing down on my reading for a while.


message 20: by Scott , Karsa Orlong (new)

Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 8082 comments Mod
Veronica wrote: "My average rating is 3.12 so I'm not shy about handing out lower ratings either (though 1s and 5s are rare), even for favorite authors. I have to have a deep visceral reaction to a book for it to g..."

I agree.


message 21: by Petrik (last edited Oct 03, 2017 10:22AM) (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Mayim wrote: "Petrik wrote: "I'll always say "it's not for me" in terms of prose. The best example for this: Mark Lawrence. People go on and on about how beautiful his prose but I need paracetamol when I binge r..."

yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p anyway, for 5 stars.. I gave full 5 stars ratings only to books that made it to my favorite shelf; sometimes a 4.5 rounded up could make it there too. My head feels weird if I gave a book 5 stars and it's not in my favorite shelf


message 22: by Scott , Karsa Orlong (new)

Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 8082 comments Mod
Petrik wrote: "yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p"

*cough* Uprooted *cough*


message 23: by Samir (new)

Samir (royceblackwater) | 842 comments My opinion is similar to Petrik's. It's nobody's fault. Not every book is for everyone. It all comes down to your personal taste. A lot of people can love a book or an author but you can feel that is just not for you and vice versa.


message 24: by Petrik (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Scott wrote: "Petrik wrote: "yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p"

*cough* Uprooted *cough*"


whoops! the forbidden name has been spoken! :D


message 25: by Timelord Iain (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments 4.1 seems like a pretty high average after 1450 ratings... but like Veronica said, that's the other reason I haven't really fiddled with my ratings... they are heavily affected by my familiarity with a genre and it's tropes/plotlines... hindsight and all that...


message 26: by Petrik (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Samir wrote: "My opinion is similar to Petrik's. It's nobody's fault. Not every book is for everyone. It all comes down to your personal taste. A lot of people can love a book or an author but you can feel that ..."

hear hear my friend!


message 27: by Margret, Caladan Brood Face (new)

Margret | 3170 comments Mod
Petrik wrote: "Scott wrote: "Petrik wrote: "yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p"

*cough* Uprooted *cough*"

whoops! the forbidden name has been spoken! :D"


I spit on the ground every time I think of that book.


message 28: by Petrik (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Margret wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Scott wrote: "Petrik wrote: "yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p"

*cough* Uprooted *cough*"

whoops! the forbidden name has been spoken! :D"

I spit on..."


I already sold the book, Margret, don't want to look at it in my room xD


message 29: by Margret, Caladan Brood Face (new)

Margret | 3170 comments Mod
I think the worst was all of the “ *swoon* the Dragon is such a heartthrob!”

Actually he was an asshole and grouchy as f***, and not even in any kind of redeeming way


message 30: by Ahdam (new)

Ahdam (snowlocke) | 2409 comments That's interesting I feel like there should be a thread for books you hate with a passion or something i personally haven't read one that made me cringe but it sounds interesting to see haha


message 31: by Timelord Iain (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments One of the only books that ever made me cringe was Tempting the Beast (Breeds, #1; Feline Breeds, #1) by Lora Leigh ... it's just brimming with frothing c*nts... worse word choice I've come across in Paranormal Romance... I think it took me 3 months to finish the book...


message 32: by Margret, Caladan Brood Face (new)

Margret | 3170 comments Mod
That sounds like a pretty serious condition 😂


message 33: by Lee (new)

Lee (leeman729) | 828 comments I've never had a book that I so passionately and adamantly hated among fiction haha. One or two of them in the non-fiction realm apply though.

If I give a book five stars, it will almost immediately end up in my favorites, but not always. I think sometimes I can recognize that a book is an incredible work of art, without it necessarily being especially meaningful to me. On the flip side, I have more than a few four star books in my favorites folder, because there are books that I can see flaws in that just I just really love or touched me regardless.


message 34: by Petrik (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Margret wrote: "I think the worst was all of the “ *swoon* the Dragon is such a heartthrob!”

Actually he was an asshole and grouchy as f***, and not even in any kind of redeeming way"


EXACTLY! I cant imagine treating a girl the way he did! My balls would be cut clean with a machete


message 35: by Timelord Iain (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments Apparently the later books of the Carpathians series (somewhere in the #20s) by Christine Feehan introduce the velvet helmet... I never read those books tho... I quit Feehan after 4 GhostWalker books...


message 36: by Margret, Caladan Brood Face (new)

Margret | 3170 comments Mod
That sounds like “velvet-wrapped steel” in the later Throne of Glass books


message 37: by Mayim (new)

Mayim de Vries | 2864 comments Petrik wrote: "Scott wrote: "Petrik wrote: "yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p"

*cough* Uprooted *cough*"

whoops! the forbidden name has been spoken! :D"


His review of Uprooted is glorious! "This is when I fell in love with Petrik Leo." (a sentence of my An Autobiography of a Reader, to be published post mortem, mind you). :D:D:D


message 38: by Veronica (new)

Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 3340 comments Iain wrote: "Apparently the later books of the Carpathians series (somewhere in the #20s) by Christine Feehan introduce the velvet helmet... I never read those books tho... I quit Feehan after 4 GhostWalker boo..."

Do I even want to ask what that is? Something tells me I shouldn't google it at work.


message 39: by Timelord Iain (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments It's PNR... so just think phallic...


message 40: by Tammie (new)

Tammie | 3882 comments Samir wrote: "My opinion is similar to Petrik's. It's nobody's fault. Not every book is for everyone. It all comes down to your personal taste. A lot of people can love a book or an author but you can feel that ..."

Honestly I feel the same way too with most books I dislike. I do think it's the book sometimes though haha.


message 41: by Tammie (new)

Tammie | 3882 comments Ahdam wrote: "That's interesting I feel like there should be a thread for books you hate with a passion or something i personally haven't read one that made me cringe but it sounds interesting to see haha"

There was a thread for that at one time.


message 42: by Tammie (new)

Tammie | 3882 comments Iain wrote: "One of the only books that ever made me cringe was Tempting the Beast (Breeds, #1; Feline Breeds, #1) by Lora Leigh... it's just brimming with frothing c*nts... worse word choice I've come across in Paranormal Romance... I t..."

Eew! That sounds like an STD.


message 43: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 1763 comments I think I had a mini slump in September where at least three books did not exceed four stars and one of them was particularly disappointing (The Shadowed Sun by NK Jemisin). But then I read Ace of Skulls (same like Scott) and all is well again.

I am very picky with what I read so if I am in a slump for more than two books I will read a book I am familiar with, especially next in series. Another example was when I joined the Old Man's War BR the second and third books are not satisfying for me so I decided to delay reading the rest.

My average rating is currently 3.25. I can be harsh with my ratings ESPECIALLY for my favorite authors who I know can do better.


message 44: by Petrik (new)

Petrik (petrikleo) | 1546 comments Mayim wrote: "Petrik wrote: "Scott wrote: "Petrik wrote: "yeah I know, you haven't shut up about it since you read it... :p"

*cough* Uprooted *cough*"

whoops! the forbidden name has been spoken! :D"

His revie..."


lol thanks Mayim :D


message 45: by Seán (new)

Seán | 602 comments I definitely have some moods where I know the next book I read has to be in a particular style/genre, or I'm just going to slaughter it. This is particularly important if I have a book that I know is a bit slower so I need to prepare a bit more patience for it.

That said, I definitely put a lot of the responsibility on the author to draw me into the book and convince me that it's worth reading, no matter what mood I'm in. I enjoy [i]reading[/i], and I know I read pretty much any genre so long as its written well. So if I think a book is bad or meh or not engaging, I'm putting that squarely on the author.

I think the rating system itself is to be taken with a grain of salt, because it's so easy to shift what three or four stars mean to you, and then if .5 ratings are added in it becomes very hard to stay consistent. I thought I had a year where I was handing out low ratings all over the place, but my average rating is still 3.73 which I think is a fair reflection of how much I've enjoyed what I read; I mostly read books that I know I'm going to enjoy as I've researched them a bit beforehand, but some negative experiences still slip through the cracks to drag the average rating down.

I also think Goodreads has changed how quickly I judge a book, because my TBR has grown in size significantly so I'm more likely to put down a book early on if its not grabbing me.

So maybe that's my point to take from this: for me anyways, how I rate books is linked closely to how many books I have lined up to read - the more I have on the list, the less patience I'm likely to have for something that doesn't grab me in the first hundred pages.


message 46: by Scott , Karsa Orlong (new)

Scott  Hitchcock (lostinthewarrenofchaos) | 8082 comments Mod
I actually thing half or even quarter ratings would allow me to be more consistent. There's so many times where I give a book a 4 because it's simply better than all my 3's and yet not as good as the 4's. Then book two comes out and is better but I can't give it a 5 because it's not worthy. In reality a 3.75 and 4.25 is much more accurate for the two books.


message 47: by Lee (new)

Lee (leeman729) | 828 comments Scott wrote: "I actually thing half or even quarter ratings would allow me to be more consistent. There's so many times where I give a book a 4 because it's simply better than all my 3's and yet not as good as t..."

This is a good point. I tend to think of my ratings at being more like on a scale of ten, and then I break it down accordingly. Thinking of it on a scale of ten actually helped me be more consistent, in a way. Because I'll read a book that is definitely a 5/10, but rather oddly, 5/10 sounds a lot better than just a 2.5 star rating to me haha.


message 48: by Seán (new)

Seán | 602 comments Scott wrote: "I actually thing half or even quarter ratings would allow me to be more consistent. There's so many times where I give a book a 4 because it's simply better than all my 3's and yet not as good as t..."

I think I'm happier adopting the maxim 'not all 4-stars are equal' rather than breaking down ratings further. But I know if I star with .5s, pretty soon I'll be into .25s, and then I'll end up with some 3.89s and it'll just devolve into madness. So using the stars as a rough indication of quality and then the review itself to elaborate on this is my tactic, so far anyways.


message 49: by Lee (new)

Lee (leeman729) | 828 comments Seán wrote: "Scott wrote: "I actually thing half or even quarter ratings would allow me to be more consistent. There's so many times where I give a book a 4 because it's simply better than all my 3's and yet no..."

This is definitely true, and it's exactly why I limit myself to .5s and never go deeper than that haha.


message 50: by Timelord Iain (last edited Oct 04, 2017 06:44AM) (new)

Timelord Iain | 14879 comments I rate this book 3.14159265358979 stars... that's as far as I can go with Pi without looking it up... just taking Sean's comment to said extreme... (My 8th grade math teacher had the first several dozen/hundred digits of pi circling the wall of the classroom, and when I was bored I started memorising it in class... some of it stuck nearly 20 years later... mostly because there's a decent amount of "number sandwiches" early on... 535... 979...)


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