Rating Books

Like many book bloggers, I go back and forth with my rating system. On one hand, I like my current system (out of 5 points/stars/whatever). For the most part, I can figure out where to place a book. 5 means I loved it. 1 means I hated it. I do fall into a lot of gray area though. “Should this book be a 3.5 or a 4? I enjoyed it fairly well…” You can see where some of the trickiness comes into play.

On the other hand, I wonder if some people are like me and sometimes only pay attention to the ratings. “Oh, she only gave the book a 3? Hmmm guess I should pass on it.” If people are doing that, then they are missing out on some good books! I know I’m a bit guilty of looking at the ratings on reviews on other blogs and then deciding if I should read the review.

I’ve been contemplating a bit of a tweak with my review ranking/rating system. I’d like to keep everything the same in my reviews except the rating part at the very end. I’d like to do something like more like the bottom line. A few examples: “The bottom line? A must read for science fiction fans.” or “The bottom line? Not my favorite book by XXX but still worth a read.” or “The bottom line? It’s everything I hate about romance. I can’t really recommend it to anyone.” You get the picture.

Basically the bottom line is just a quick summation of my feelings on the book. Obviously the reviews are my thoughts in longer form but the bottom line would be more to the point. I think the bottom line would give people a better idea of how I felt about a book or at least it would give them a better idea than rating it 3.5/5.

I’d still keep ratings in my tagging system so books are easy to find and because I need organization on my blog. I’m still going to rate out of 5 on Goodreads but that’s really for myself.

What do you think? Does it annoy you to not have a rating when reading a book review? Would the bottom line encourage you to read my review (or would it just make you skip it)? All feedback is appreciated. Nothing is decided yet. I just wanted other people’s thoughts.

10 thoughts on “Rating Books

  1. I like it when reviews have something similar to the bottom line you are mentioning. I view books with three stars as something for a visit to the library, not something to gush over but worth a look all the same.

  2. I think it’s a great idea particularly for those books you don’t rate very well. Other people might like the book! I’ve felt this way about many books I’ve rated very lowly. I’ll see that people on Goodreads love the book so my style is just different. I’m not sure it would annoy me to not have a rating, but it’s a great starting spot particularly if you know the book blogger has tastes similar to yours.

    • You’re right. I think it will work well with books that didn’t work well with me. It doesn’t mean it is a bad book; hopefully this will steer the right reader in the the right direction.

  3. Hmm… For me, when I give a book a 3 out of 5, it means I liked it and would recommend it. I take my 4 and 5 star reviews very seriously and seldom give them out unless I feel a book is worth re-reading, special notice, or was just overall exemplary. 3 is pretty much standard for me.

    I don’t tend to read reviews for book I haven’t read yet, and if I do I don’t read the positive ones. I read negative reviews all the time, but the usually make me want to read the book, just to see if it’s as awful as these people are saying.

    I do like your bottom-line idea! I do something like it with my “verdict” at the end, but yours sounds better.

  4. I think I could like a bottom line better actually! Sometimes I’ll read a blogger’s review of a book, think it sounds amazing, get to the rating and find they’ve only given it three stars, and then decide not to read it. So a bottom line is really better.

  5. Pingback: Online Review Etiquette « cvelezauthor

  6. Hi…I only use rankings on sites that require it in order to post. I personally think they are worthless but am finding that thoughts are wide and that, because I don’t agree with the process, have been rating high based upon my own thinking. I’ve been involved with what has turned into a discussion and used a link to this on today’s blog entry…Would love to have you participate!

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