It's almost the end of the year, but I have another true confession to make: over the past six months, I've had a serious case of doubting my own ratings.
This is something that's happened to me before when I use that treacherous "Compare Books" button on Goodreads with the Goodreads elite- I look at their ratings, their reviews, and think to myself, "Gosh, did I really rate that five stars? I really meant four." But in this case, it was the reverse: I'd read plenty of books this year, and only one had been a five star read for me- one.
In the vast realm of the internet, I often come across people who can give at least ten five star ratings to books a year. People who read less books than me, but seem more enthused about the books I was 'meh' about that I feel like something must be wrong with me. As I do take and change up medications used to ease my chronic pain, I began to wonder if my enthusiasm had been somehow sapped from me by a bunch of chemicals dumped into my system. I've always felt like a positive person, but nothing makes me feel less positive when I compare books with someone who has one hundred five star ratings to my twenty-some. Am I some weird ratings Scrooge? Do I actually not enjoy books as much as the average Joe, yet continue to flog myself with the hobby to feel like some brainiac?
About a week ago I began reading a bundle of classics. Usually, I try to go for books I see a deficit in reviews of on my blog, but since it's the end of the year I decided to read whatever I felt like to try and make it to 100 books. I started The Phantom of the Opera and felt kind of 'meh' about it from the beginning- it was okay, but nothing special. Halfway through I started liking it. By three quarters of the way through, I was prepared to rate it 4.5 stars. In the end, it earned its own 5 star rating with one scene. I felt like my status as a reader and enjoyer of books was suddenly redeemed.
As a blogger, I've been trying to keep up with the latest and greatest. If the majority of bloggers I follow say 'read this' I take their advice and galavant out to find said book. But here's the problem with that formula- I'm not them. We each have our own unique set of experiences that make us individuals, and if a group of individuals like a certain book, it doesn't mean I will. I have known that fact for a while now, but it seems more and more I forget that as I try to involve myself more with the blogging community. I pride myself on being a unique individual, and yet I was consuming a diet of books that were popular, trendy, and everything I am not.
TL;DR: I doubted myself due to my low star ratings, read books everyone else loved (but I didn't), and came to realize reader's opinions are as unique as snowflakes (perhaps even special ones).