I've chosen the third Weekly Geeks option which in effect asks whether knowing that I will be writing a book review affects my enjoyment of the book.
* Do you find that the anticipation of reviewing the book has changed your reading experience?
I think that knowing I will be trying to write a review of the book (I always write a review, either a full blown one, or a mini-review) does make me read a little more carefully. However I try not to include any spoilers for other readers in my review, so I am unlikely to mention any plot points that occur past page 50. I will talk about characterisation, credibility, pace, and sometimes even topics or themes.
* Are you rating the book even as you read? Or do you wait until the end to sum it all up?
I rate all the books with a 0-5 rating. Even as I'm reading, particularly in the last half of the book, I am thinking where this book lies in my rating spectrum.
My general benchmarks are
4.0 Very Good
1.0 Did Not Like
0 Did Not Finish
However I do not actually assign a rating until I have written the review, and in that process I can change my mind particularly in the granularity of the rating.
* Does knowing you'll be reviewing it (or rating it) publicly affect which books you pick up in the first place?
There are two sorts of books that I review:
- ones that have been sent to me for review - I try to read one of these a month, and they can be an unknown kettle of fish.
- books that I have picked up because I have seen them highly recommended, or I know something about them. That doesn't necessarily mean that I will assign them a high rating, but I guess it increases that possibility.
* Does the process of writing the review itself change how you felt about the book?
Part of the reason why I decided to write reviews in the first place was to help clarify my ideas/impressions of a book. At the drafting stage the rating I finally assign is fairly fluid. Sometimes when I think about what the author has achieved, I will convince myself of a higher rating than I had previously intended to give it.
* What is your motivation to assign a rating to a book and declare it to the world?
I guess part of the answer to this is that I think there are readers of my blog who will enjoy the books that I enjoy. The rating system also allows me to recommend books in a sort of comparative fashion.
My lists of books that I have reviewed in the last 20 months are available on Smik's Reviews. If you look at that site you will see that I have them listed in various ways:
However, I am very aware that my system is very subjective, and my ratings can be affected by a number of other personal factors.
I also know that just because I like or dislike a book, that will not necessarily be another reader's experience. I am always ready to believe that I could be wrong.
My Book Review Policy & Guidelines