Second Thoughts

If my past history has proven anything, it’s that I can change my mind about how I feel regarding a book. I would have given The Hobbit three Rings when I first read it, but after reading it a second time? A solid five! I don’t know why. Perhaps because I was in a hurry to get to The Lord of the Rings since the first of the films was going to be released later in the year and I had planned on seeing it in theaters. (In truth I didn’t get to see it until the summer after once it was on DVD.) The more time that went by after I finished The Count of Monte Cristo I realized that it was brilliant as the story and characters continued to simmer in my mind long after I closed the book.

Yet they haven’t always been positive changes in my thinking. I reread The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt for the first time since I was a budding adolescent and while I still really enjoyed it, I don’t think it was a perfect five in my present reflection. There was one period since I’ve started this blog where I altered my ring ratings for reviews on here. Two books actually but that’s after the series’ glow wore off and I realized what they were missing and the books were slowly becoming. (There’s actually a post regarding this annoyance in the drafting stage, but I’m afraid to post it and then decide to delete it later because I sound like pointless ranting…) I’ve since rid myself of all those books, except for the first book in the series, which I’m still having a debate about whether to keep or not.

Yet I wonder if I rated other books high enough. Actually I’m thinking about Runemarks. Did my experience of the audiobook detract any from what I would have felt reading the book myself? I’ve said before that some readers are fantastic, some are okay, and others are horrid. The one for Runemarks didn’t blow me away so I wonder if perhaps I should have given it a higher score. My boyfriend told me I was squee-ing over it as though it had earned a solid five Rings! Should I have rated it higher after all? Would that just make me indecisive on here and not to be trusted if I can’t even settle on a single solution? However, since I now own a paperback of the novel for my own collection, I plan on reading it before starting Runelight and perhaps I can settle this dilemma.

So, dear readers, do you change your minds on what books you read? Tell me about some books you’ve had second thoughts about during your reading adventures.

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7 thoughts on “Second Thoughts

  1. I remember reading a series of Star Wars books when I was about 14-16. Back then, I read them over and over and I did count them among my favourites of my Star Wars collection. There were some books in the series which I’d not been able to get hold of because they were YA books that had been really only published in the US. A couple of years ago, I managed to get hold of the rest of the series and because I’d not read the older ones for a long time I decided to read the series from the begining and I must say that my experiance of reading them as an adult has changed my veiw on them. For several reasons, I think.

    The main one is that I am older now – I’ve read more books since then, a lot of which have been more complex books. So I think that the more books that you read, the pickier you seem to get when you read books because you progress in your reading. This does not mean that the books that you’ve read in the past which you liked are poor books – you just seem to out grow them (I’ve also had this experience with films as well…) I also think that the age at which you read books can impact on how much you like it, particularly when it comes to books that are aimed at a younger audience. Part of that is due to with you being older, you don’t relate to the characters as well.

    I do read urban fantasy books and I read Kelley Armstrong’s work before I read Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series. I think I would have enjoyed the series better if I’d read them before Kelley Armstrong’s work because of the similarities of some of the themes in the book (but then, the Shifters series do have flaws in them which are unrelated to those similarities, so I probably would have found something that I disliked about them even if I had read them before Kelley Armstrong’s work.)

    • I kind of felt that way about a series of Star Trek books. I read the first four books as a youth and I still liked them later as an adult, but when I tried reading the rest of the books in the series (which I had discovered cheap in a used bookshop), they just kept getting worse with each installment. I had to eventually abandon the idea of reading the whole series when it became a distasteful prospect.

      I have a couple of Star Wars books that I loved reading during my teen years… I hope that they haven’t lost their appeal yet!

  2. I got to say mine was the Twilight series. I enjoyed it the first time around, the second time I just wasn’t into it. I just thought it wasn’t very good the second time around.

  3. I’m torn about rating systems in general. On one hand, I find it hard to be consistent. On the other hand, I think they can add a stronger opinion to a review. Sometimes I write a ton of good things about a book, but I rate it a three on Goodreads, which would indicate I think it’s essentially average. We don’t do ratings on our blog, so our followers don’t get that information.

    I know what you mean about changing ratings, though. Sometimes rereading a book really does make you appreciate more. Sometimes you reread a book and wonder why you thought it was brilliant–but then you wonder if you should take away a star because maybe it’s a really good kids book, but you’re older now and that’s the reason you don’t like it as much.

    Which is a problem in general. I never know whether it’s legitimate to give a book five stars because it’s awesome for it’s genre, or whether it deserves fewer stars because even though it is marvelous in (x genre), (y genre) is somehow an inherently higher art form and so this book doesn’t live up to the standards of all books everywhere. Does that make sense?

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