The main reason why I wanted to bring this up is because I feel like there's a certain euphoria after finishing a book that sometimes obscures our better judgment, whether we'd like to admit it or not. I used to think I was immune to this euphoria, but that proved wrong quite recently, as I was reading other people's reviews of a book I had just rated and reviewed. It was a sequel to one of my absolute favorite books ever, and I enjoyed it enough that I thought I'd fallen in love with it the same way I'd fallen in love with the first, but the fact of the matter is that the book wasn't as good as the original. It was captivating and written wonderfully, but the plot just didn't quite hold up as well. Despite all this, I was disillusioned because the ending was almost exactly what I wanted it to be. So I initially rated it 5 stars. But looking back, it wasn't truly a 5-star read, and realized this has been happening a lot lately. So today I thought it would be interesting to discuss the perfect time to rate books, if there even is one.
Usually I rate a book as soon as I finish it, or at least within a few hours of finishing it, but that's just a natural instinct. If you've read my post about the complexity of rating systems, you'd know that 1) rating books is not a simple task, and 2) I have a rating calculation based on writing style, creativity, characters, plot, and romance (if applicable). However, this is still a rather quick evaluation and lately, as I previously mentioned, I've been altering my ratings a lot after the fact.
My main problem is that many books fail to grab my attention from the start, but by the end, I'm completely captivated. That euphoria I mentioned before so often fills my mind and heart with happiness by the last page, and, as a result, I often give those books a rating higher than they deserve. I'm not saying that loving an ending and rating a highly book because of it is necessarily wrong, but obviously we're supposed to be rating a whole book, not just based on the second half or last 100 pages (or whatever the situation may be).
For me, based on when I usually change my ratings, I should probably decide the rating within a few days of finishing the book. I always have to start writing reviews right away since I don't have the greatest memory when it comes to books, but I think it's better to decide the rating after starting to draft the review. That's not what I've been doing, but it probably makes more sense to do it that way so I can articulate my thoughts and recognize the problems the book may have had (and base the rating on those things).
So the thing is, I don't know the answer to the question I'm asking, but I do know one thing. That it might not be be the best idea to rate books as soon as I finish them. I misjudge books frequently, and it's not like my initial ratings are lies, but I think I do need some time to settle and organize my thoughts. I'm always so giddy and want to share my opinions right away, and don't have the patience to think things through. And I don't usually realize my mistakes until much later. I know they're mistakes that can easily be fixed, but since I've made this mistake so many times, I figured it was worth analyzing further.