Does The Order We Read In Affect Our Ratings?

Today I’m wondering what’s made me stricter when rating books and whether it’s a case of; the more 5 star books I read, the less 5 star ratings I give!

This year is my highest read count of my life so far- in 4 months I’ve read over 50 books.
I’ve never really paid much attention to my rating statistics before, but of these 50 I gave 5 stars to 11 titles.
Whilst 50% of my reads are rated above average, considering the pains I go through to select each and every title I pick up, the percentage of 5 star reads feels lower than I’d like. (Visit my GoodReads challenge if you’d like to see them!)

Initially I thought about this in terms of food, stay with me here…

When I fancy something to eat I can be outrageously fussy. An apple isn’t gonna cut it and a packet of ready salted crisps sounds like the most boring thing in the kitchen.
BUT, if I’m seriously hungry that bruised apple and the last pack of crisps in the cupboard taste bloody marvelous!
Which led me to question if the order in which we read books plays a part in our overall rating?
If I read the same author or the same genre consecutively am I becoming satiated and giving less attention to detail? If I’m coming down from the high of an almost perfect novel does it lessen the appeal of the next one?
Continuing my food analogy- The first slice of a pizza always tastes better than the next.
The more I consume the less I appreciate what I’m getting, am I the same with books?
For example:
If I’ve just finished a title with a main character I really connected with, will I struggle to invest in the one I read next?
If the last horror I read scared the pants off me will I be slightly desensitized to the next frights in store?
If I was shocked and surprised at a plot twist in my previous read will I be subconsciously preparing for it in my next choice?
If all the emotions are evoked in my current read will I be too hungover to experience them again right away?
To try and combat this, (and as a fitting excuse for my mood reading habits) I’ve been switching genres after every read.
If the last dystopian I picked up was three books ago my mind will be a clean slate for the next round of world building.
If I’ve just finished a heartfelt YA novel I’ll be more inclined to freak out at a scary creature feature.
After reading a magical fantasy the cold realism of human violence in crime will slam me back down to earth.
It would be all too easy to make comparisons between books of the same genre if I were to read them consecutively. Suddenly what might have been a 4 star pales further in comparison to the 5 star I’ve just finished leaving it at an average 3. Even if that second slice of pizza is of the exact same quality as the first I’m probably going to rate it lower, by the third or even fourth slice am I really tasting it anymore?
Conversely, if I just finished a truly awful book will the next mediocre book seem incredible?
Does this make sense to anyone else? 😂
What do you think?
Thanks to Kelly for inspiring this blog post! xx

Screenshot 2019-04-22 at 11.14.38

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

25 thoughts on “Does The Order We Read In Affect Our Ratings?”

  1. Very interesting post! From me it’s a definite YES; the order in which we read books matters very very much in my case. The food metaphor resonated with me lmao. It’s exactly like that! If I’m super in the mood for eco-thriller and I didn’t really know that and then I read a book that’s exactly what I need without me even knowing what that is, I’m awed. And obviously not every book can quench my thirst or answer my call or be a perfect fit, so I’m probably going to rate a book that could’ve been or would’ve been (if I hadn’t read it at this exact time) a 5 Star read differently because I have just tasted WONDERFUL PEACH PIE and this pie is kinda blueberry with a crumble?? which is nice and lovely and just as juicy but not that i want right now when I’m still on the HIGH OF MY PERFECT PEACH PIE. PS: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! also sorry lol for taking the food metaphor so far haha.


  2. I think that the more we read in general, the more we expect from books. When I was younger, I used to give 5 stars to lots of books, but now I do it very rarely.

    Also, for the reasons you mentioned, when I finish a book I make sure that the next one I read is as different from it as possible.


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