Discussion – How Do You Rate?

Aloha Guys!

Today I am coming at you with another Discussion Post. You know I love to do these so I can find out each of your thoughts on the chosen topic. So today it is all about Rating Systems and how we rate books. 

Lately I have been seeing topics like this all over social media. It’s something I’ve seen people express their opinions on for years but recently it has come a popular subject/issue. When I think about Rating Systems for the books we read, I think about how everyone’s is different. We all use 1-5 star ratings and sure we all think 1 is the worst right? 1 means the book wasn’t so good but 5? Well 5 is more subjective. A five-star rating means different things for different people.

First let’s remember the days we never rated books. The times back at school or when we were younger and would visit our libraries simply choosing books based on a cover or synopsis and not because we saw it online with tons of high ratings or reviews. I find it so interesting to think about, how we grow up and as we grow not only does our reading preferences change but the way we choose books also changes. But as I become more immersed in the book community, i’ve found that I like to go back to that time when I was younger and would go into a book Blind. I’m much less likely to pick up a mega hyped book until some of the hype has died down unless I am already hooked on the series.
Now in terms of our actual Rating Systems…

Oh the raters, gonna rate rate rate…
I’m just gonna rate, rate rate. Rate my books. Rate my Books.

Yes that’s The Rating Song to Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off…

There was once a time people expressed their hate for people who constantly rate books five stars and I hold my hands up and admit that I am one of those people who constantly rates five stars. I am a serial five-star rater. Why?
I would say for me that I rate my books less critically than others. My ratings are purely on my enjoyment as well as some criticism whereas others rate far more critically. I definitely don’t go into a book looking for faults, I start reading them and if I come across a fault then that becomes my criticism and that is reflected in my review and rating.

What warrants a five-star rating for me?

A five-star rating for me involves a number of things. Firstly did I find the book easy to get into? Did I like the characters and the plot? and with all this also comes other questions such as, how was the pacing?
Overall I rate five stars if I find a book so enjoyable I can’t put it down, I have to read on if the book is a series, I want to recommend it constantly or if I also have the desire to want to read it again or find out more. I definitely won’t rate a book five stars if I find that it’s pretty forgettable.

Some people never rate five stars as they believe no book is worth a true five-star rating because they argue that no book is perfect? But for me I wouldn’t say I’m looking for perfect? I’m looking for enjoyment. Nothing is going to be ‘perfect’ so for me that argument doesn’t really make sense. I don’t mean any disrespect against those who think this but for me I can’t personally imagine reading so critically that I am searching to find plot holes or criticism on characters, plot or setting. I can’t imagine simply not rating a book 5 stars because then it would be deeming it perfect when nothing can be perfect? It’s an argument that’s rather confusing for me.

I have seen it also argued how others do not trust people who regularly rate 5 stars. For me a person who does it regularly I have to say the way I choose books is very particular. Whilst I try to go into books somewhat blind, when I’m purchasing them I always look up what the book is shelved as on goodreads and I tend to look at the basic reviews to see if it sounds like something I will like. I buy books which I know I will like as a whole instead of really going in fully blind not having a clue the genre etc.

Are you a half star rater?

Alongside the standard 1-5 star ratings, we also have half ratings. Do you rate with half stars? some do and some don’t. Me? I do. Not always but sometimes I can definitely say they come in handy, some times a book really is not quite 4 or 5 stars as it is lacking something rather minimal but that little thing in turn made the book lacking. On the other side of this arguement, some reviewers  hate the use of half stars and find them pointless but again it’s all on perspective and what you choose for your Rating System.

When thinking about how we rate books I also start to think about how we read book reviews. I have heard arguments before from those who do not like five-star reviews that they are less likely to read reviews that are five stars or follow people who five star rate a-lot. For me I’m the opposite, I’ve found that really low- raters are now kind of like a pet peeve for me. Which isn’t the right word to describe it but it puts me off seeing the same person continuously rate books so low. I’m talking about every book they read comes up as 1-3 stars on Goodreads and rarely 4 or higher, it makes me think surely one of the books you have read this year has to be worth more? Maybe I enjoy books far more easily than others, of course everyone has different preferences but I can’t imagine not finding a book I LOVE in a year of reading.

So there we have my thoughts on How We Rate books and reading Book Reviews based on ratings. Let me know in the comments how you rate books. Whats your rating style?


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24 thoughts on “Discussion – How Do You Rate?

  1. I agree with you a lot! I’ve actually become more “strict” with my ratings because I realized that I need to reserve 5-stars for books that truly deserve them, with a 4 being I enjoyed it. A lot of times, 3 means it’s a good book, but it didn’t click with me, yet when I review I’ll be more positive. Rating is so hard because you don’t know at times whether a book deserves either a 4 or a 5, etc!

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    1. I agree! I find rating so hard as well and I always wonder if other people do as well. I really go back and forth about what I want to give a book but if I really enjoyed it, couldn’t put it down and needed to grab that next book in the series I know it deserved 5 stars for me! Thank you for reading and sharing your opinions! 🙂

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  2. I’m definitely an half-star rater! It’s so frustrating that Goodreads and Amazon don’t let us put them! For me to give five stars to a book is difficult, I need to be swept off my feet and find ORIGINALITY! I more often give 4 stars 🙂 Tree stars are for okay/nice books, and those I dislike get a 2. I’ve never given a single star rating.

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    1. Thank you for reading! We should start a petition for Amazon and Goodreads to do half star ratings! They really make a difference sometimes. I can’t actually remember if I have given a single star rating, I read a book which was AWFUL and I was like ZERO STARS. Nope. I did a rant on it and everything. But probably not 1 star!

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  3. I’ll rate a book a 5, but I require a hell out of a lot before I do so. I tend to rate 3s to 4s, and yes, I’m a halr-star rater. There are good books that I’ll give a 4, but would never give a 5. So, sometimes I’ll settle for a 4.5, but that’s rare. 2.5 and 3.5’s are the more likely options.

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    1. OO really! This is interesting, i’m a serial five star rater so it’s almost like were opposites haha! It’s so interesting to find out how everyone rates and what constitutes a five star rating for one person and another. What would you say would be the thing that makes you give that 5 star?

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    1. I don’t always use them either but like you say they definitely come in handy! Also the whole not rating a book five stars really is a weird one isn’t it? Each to their own but for me not rating something 5 because nothing can be perfect is just strange

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  4. I am right there with you. I rate on my enjoyment. I do like half stars though. In words, 1 = didn’t like it, 2 = OK, 3 = I liked it, 4 = I loved it, 5 = Amazing! But sometimes you liked it, but you didn’t quite love it. So, 3.5 stars. I want someone to know my experience was a little more. I use the 5 star system, because it is the Amazon, GR, NG system. Edelweiss uses a 1 – 10 scale, so I just double.

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    1. Excellent point regarding how different websites also use a different rating system. I definitely prefer the star rating system, 1-10 is too much for me. 1-5 stars is just easier to clarify! Thank you for reading and sharing your opinions!

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  5. I do use half stars as I think between 3 and 4 or 4 and 5, it’s a BIG jump. As for 5 star books, it’s a feeling thing for me, I just *feel* when a book is a 5 star. Critically speaking a 4.5 and a 5 could be the same, but the 5 star gave me more feelings or is special to me in a way. I don’t know if that makes sense but it does in my brain hahaha.

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  6. This is a really awesome discussion! I’ve found that focusing on what I’ll rate the book detracts from my enjoyment, so I try really hard not to think about it while i’m reading. I probably use a lot fewer five stars than I used to now, but I really don’t see an issue in rating books five stars. I guess a lot of that’s because i tend to base my rating predominately on how i *feel* about the book, not its objective quality. Also, I think it’s just more fun to try to be positive about what we’re reading and not have to justify our good ratings with bad ones.
    Great discussion!

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    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your opinion! I agree with you and you put it so well, I try to base my ratings on how I feel about a book as well. I go into a book blind and go off my feelings and how I felt about it when i’ve finished 🙂

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  7. Half stars come in handy for me. I think it’s quite a jump between 2.5 to 3, 3.5 to 4 and 4.5 to 5. I used to give a lot of 5 stars in the past, back when I didn’t think critically of the books, but now I don’t anymore. I think more critically, but it has always been a matter of feelings. A 5-star-rating (or any other rating, for that matter) never means the same for two people, just as a book doesn’t mean the same for two people either. If I really, really connected with a book, I’ll have no problems rating it with 5 stars, even if it isn’t the best work of literature out there. I don’t have problems trusting people who constantly rate with 5 stars, either. Like you mentioned, we now research books before we read them. It’s only normal we’ll buy the ones we think we’ll enjoy. :/
    Great post! 🙂

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    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion and for reading! I agree with all your points, like you say there can be quite a jump between 2.5 and 3 stars. I am definitely a emotional reviewer, I rate based on my feelings to a book as well. If I found I really loved it and got emotionally invested it’s definitely going to get a high rating no matter if the writing wasn’t perfect!

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  8. I really think they should add half-stars everywhere ahah. I don’t rate with five stars on my own blog because I am a bit lazy but I should update my rating system. So many books are amazing, yet they miss that little thing to be a five-stars, so it’d be great to actually rate it a 4,5 ahah. As for the actual 5 – stars rating, I don’t know if I give it out too easily, it really comes with feeling. No book is perfect for sure, like you said, yet sometimes there are books that you can feel are just THAT good, books you won’t forget anytime soon! 🙂
    Rating is so hard at times though, ahah 🙂
    Great post, Hannah!

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    1. Thank you for reading Marie! I’ve missed you, hope you had an amazing holiday. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to my comments, my bloomin internet has been playing up. I agree with everything you said, I need goodreads and other platforms to add half stars to their rating systems!

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  9. I find rating so hard, it sometimes ends with me reading some books twice, to give a 5 stars for a book. If i completed the second time with no boredom, i give 5 stars immediately!!. Nice post i really liked it. I can read it again when im stuck with rating 🙂
    Have a good day!

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    1. Thank you! I agree rating is so hard, I am definitely an emotional rater though I go off how I felt reading the book rather than overly critical?! It’s been so interesting to find out how everyone rates because everyone struggles and everyone has their own style. Thank you again for reading!

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