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?