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! I think that order can affect ratings. I find that if I read a lot of the same genre I wind up in a reading slump. As soon as I finish a 5 star read I will almost always switch genres, UNLESS I know I have another book that might be just as good. If there is any doubt I switch to a completely different genre. I also try not to read too many of the same kind of books in a row. If I just finished an intricate high fantasy and I still want to read a fantasy novel then maybe I will go for a fast paced urban fantasy. Things like that can make a difference.

    As a blogger sometimes my reading schedule is dictated by publication dates of books, which can be SUPER HELPFUL and sometimes SUPER ANNOYING. If I feel like I just want to read another fantasy after another fantasy, then suddenly I have no fantasy ARCs (except for titles that come out in 6 months) and that makes me sad. If I read my ARCs in order of publication it almost always forces me to jump around genres. But at the same time I don’t always do that because I am definitely a mood reader. I try to save myself some books in my favorite genres for when I’m feeling like I’m on the verge of a reading slump, but sometimes that can backfire too.


    1. That’s a good point! I hadn’t thought about how my ARC schedule impacts the order. And it does! I recently had 3 similar horrors I had to read back to back to review in time. I’ll have to be more choosy about blog tour dates I’m committing to in particular.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really winds up affecting me. I have so many fall ARCs that I can’t wait to read and in the meantime I feel like I have a bunch of mediocre books. Hopefully some of them will surprise me and be amazing though..


  2. I definitely find that I get more critical as I read more books in the same genre in a row, or that I get bored and nitpicky. Not sure what it is, but after like 3-4 fantasy or scifi books I have to switch genres otherwise I have a terrible reading experience that is more ME than the book itself. I have a not now shelf for books I started when the mood wasn’t right so I can return to them, hah. Great post!


    1. I’m really bad at going back to books if I put them down without finishing. But I have started to notice when I’m forcing myself through something it just isnt the right time for.
      A not- now shelf is a fab idea! I may have to try that approach.


  3. No way, the second slice of pizza is just as good!
    But, all other comments I agree with. I started mixing genera a few years back. If I have just read a mouth watering, five star, science book I have found it is wise for me to choose a fiction next ect ect. And I think that does affect my ratings and my reviews, two historic fictions in a row for example is enough to make me very picky.

    However another thing that is super important (to continue your food analogy, because I loved it), is not to eat burritos when you fancy pasta: If I am totally craving a classic sci-fi read and I force myself to read the next non fiction on my list, I think I am not giving that book the chance to shine.


  4. This is a great point! I guess I’ve skimmed over this idea but never really given it too much thought. I mean, no one really wants to put in the work to actually request a book and wait for it for a month prior to your previous reads… I don’t even understand what I’m saying 😂
    But great post, and great blog! I’m following for more awesomeness 😀


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