Does my rating of a book depend on how long it takes me to read? (figuring it out using MATH!)

If you’re reading that title and going “hey wait a second, I read this blog for books, not math!” – don’t worry. When I first contemplated doing this post and attempting math, my first thought was:

Image result for confused math meme

But then I remembered that, even though I haven’t taken a math class in like five years, I do know how to do basic things like adding and averages! Look at me now, math teachers.

I often tell myself and others that if I’m enjoying a book, I’ll fly through it. In fact, some of my best bookish memories have to do with tearing through a book in a single sitting because I can’t bear to put it down – sobbing through The Fault in Our Stars on Christmas day, reading the entirety of Carry On during one memorable train ride, missing my first night of study abroad because I couldn’t put down The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, etc.

But I sometimes wonder whether saying that is entirely true. Yes, I might read a book more quickly if I’m loving it, but there have also been instances that I take my time with a book and love it just as much or even more.

I’m attempting to answer this question, using some of my 2018 reads as data. I’m pretty good about updating my Goodreads and keeping track of when I start and finish books, so I have a fairly accurate sense of how long it took me to read all the books I read in 2018.

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What I did was average the number of days it took to read 14 of my lowest rated books and 14 of my highest rated books from 2018.

Of course, there are so many other factors involved, like book length, format, what was going on in my life at the time, and so much more, but for the purposes of this post, I’m ignoring all of this.

Here are my results:

Low rated books: average of 5.29 days

High rated books: average of 2.71 days

Which shows me pretty clearly that the books I enjoy more end up being faster reads!

However, the second part of my question is this: do I read a book fast because I love it, or do I love it because I read it fast?

There have been times that I fly through a book and rate it highly, only to look back weeks or months later and realize I overlooked things at the time which might lower my rating if I went back. There have been other cases where I take my time with a book and, by the end, realize that it’s a new favorite.

I don’t know if I would have liked those low rated books more if I had read them faster – if I had been less busy at the time, if other things hadn’t been going on, if I had been more motivated to read – but it’s a possibility. And maybe some of those high rated books would be rated lower if I had slowed down on them.

For me, I consider it high praise when I say I read a book in a single day, but maybe I need to reconsider that. Despite the large difference between the average number of days it took me to read my lowest and highest rated books, there is still some overlap. There was one book on my lowest rated books list that I read in a single day, whereas one of my favorite books of the year took me almost a week to read. Obviously, length of time and enjoyment of the book isn’t completely clear cut.

In conclusion, I don’t really know how to answer this question and I feel like I’m talking myself in circles now. Going forward, though, I’ll consider more how the length of time I spend on a book impacts how I rate it. Maybe I’ll find that some of my ratings change in the future…

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What do you think about this? Does your rating depend on how fast you read a book? 

x Margaret
goodreads | twitter

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13 thoughts on “Does my rating of a book depend on how long it takes me to read? (figuring it out using MATH!)

  1. I agree! I will normally read a book faster if I’m enjoying it, but not always. For example, when I was reading Turtles All The Way Down, I read it in about 2 days, but at the end, I was like, “That was just okay”.

    For me, I think it all comes down to how much I’ve heard about the book, too. If other people are loving it and I’m not, I’ll usually try to get to the ending so I can understand why people rave about it so much.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I completely agree! And that’s interesting about how much you’ve heard about the book – I hadn’t considered that. I don’t know if hype has made me read a book faster, but it’s true that sometimes I’ll stick it out to the end when I normally wouldn’t just to see why everyone is talking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such an interesting post! I definitley thinks how long it takes me to read a book plays a part in my rating. I’d never thought about it until I started listening to audioboks on my commute and realized I had a harder time rating those, since I listen to them at the same pace and for the same amount of time whether I’m enjoying them or not. I also tend to get frustrated when a book takes me longer than I was expecting, which probably impacts my reading experience. This comment is so long and rambly, I’m gonna go on Goodreads and do your math thing now! Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s such a good post! I loved the idea and well, it is all so true. It made me think and well, I think I, personally, read faster if I like a book and so this might happen… On the other hand, what about long books? Let’s take the Kingdom of Ash- it is 900+ pages and I took almost a month to get through it but I thoroughly loved it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so true! I ignored that part for the purposes of this post, mostly because I’m not good enough at math to factor in book length 😉 But long books usually do take me longer, which doesn’t necessarily mean that I didn’t love them!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh this is such an interesting question! I think I tend to read books I enjoy a little faster, but I also noticed that my reading speed depends a whole lot on the genre that I’m reading. I will devour contemporaries (and my favorites are more often than not contemporaries, since it is my favorite genre), while fantasy take me a little more time to read, even if the amount of pages can be similar, at times. I don’t know, my brain takes more time to take in the information I guess 😂 Yet, even if I sometimes take my sweet time with some reads, I can end up loving them, too… I think that especially works out well for books with flowery writing or things like that. Sometimes I adore the writing style and feel like I read slower because I want to take it all in 🙂
    Loved this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s a good point! I don’t know if I’ve noticed a big difference in how long it takes me to read different genres, but that would be an interesting thing to investigate too! And I definitely agree that the books with flowery writing that take a while to read can end up being some of the BEST!

      Liked by 1 person

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