Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Anywho! In defense of Goodreads' rating system.
On Goodreads 1 star means you didn't like it. I don't see anything wrong with this. If you think a book you didn't like deserves no stars then you must not believe in the rating system to begin with. No stars isn't a rating it's...well, nothing. So, yeah. I'm defending the 1 star rating. I think of it not so much as giving the book a star as marking the book with 1 star to show your opinion...Does that make sense? No? Well then the rest of my post might just be as boring. Feel free to quickly exit the building.
The 2 star rating. On Goodreads it means you thought the book was OK. Again, I don't have a problem with this. Lot's of my friends think that 2 stars is just far too low of a rating for a book if you thought it was OK. I don't see it that way. I mean no offense to a book I give 2 stars but to me, it means exactly what it says. I thought the book was OK. It doesn't mean I hated it.
3 stars stands for, according to Goodreads, you liked it. Yep! I agree. Now I'm sure some author's out there want to punch the 3 star rating in the throat. It brings their numbers down, damn it! But, I think a good solid 3 star rating is perfectly acceptable. I like a book, it's getting 3 stars.
And then there's the 4 star rating. Goodreads could have gotten a little more clever with this ranking that means you really liked it. Oh well. I still can get behind this. 4 stars means I really loved the book. It was entertaining, funny, romantic, exciting, beautiful etc. It had great writing, great characters, great world building etc. I loved the book so I'm giving it 4 stars.
And 5 stars. Goodreads says: "It was Amazing". Here's where I shake my head. I disagree. It's just me but an amazing book is getting 4 stars. For me a five star book is a book that I wouldn't hesitate to read again. We book lovers have a never ending pile of books we hope to read someday, right? So for me, to close a book and think, "yeah, that was perfect and I want to read it again. If not now, soon". That book gets 5 stars. It's a new favorite. That's why I'm stingy with my 5 star ratings.
So what about you? Do you hate Goodreads' rating system or do you like it? Do you think 2 stars is stingy? Do you wish you could give a book you hate no stars? What say you? Anyone even still here?
Posted by Jenny at 7:00 AM
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Great post, Jenny! I agree with you, and now you put into words what I've been struggling to do. Simple and to the point. I agree with your five star rating too. I'm now going to simplify how I rate following how you outlined your ratings. Thanks for the help. (I too am stingy with 5-star, I just was unable to verbalize why. Duh, smh.)ReplyDelete
Wow! I helped. Cool.Delete
Interesting question! I've given no stars to books that I've not read in years but just want to mark as read. Especially if I don't really remember much about it, yet I know I read it.ReplyDelete
I don't mind the 5 star rating system. I DO wish we could give half stars. That'd be incredibly helpful!
I've noticed that I tend to give a lot of 4 star ratings because I really liked a story, but wasn't blown away. I save 5 stars for books that I read fast because I couldn't hold my breath for waiting to see what would happen next. Ones that enthralled me from start to finish. Otherwise I tend to use 3 and 4 stars a lot. I do use 1 and 2 stars, or just don't finish so I don't rate it at all then.
I see other bloggers who use a ten star system and for me that would get WAY too complicated. I'm good with 5. Even in the moments I'm not sure what to rate a book.
Some people use 10? Whoa. That's too much for me. I'm good with no half stars. I mark books I didn't read with no stars. On ones I read before goodreads I just guess on the stars relying on my memory.Delete
My only complaint with the GR system is I wish it allowed half stars. I think of 1 star as an F, 2 stars as a D, 3 stars as a C, etc. I just wish I could go halfsies sometimes, you know? That's why I "grade" books the way I do on my blog. No rating/grading system is perfect, but "grading" books makes the most sense to me.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I'm okay with out the half stars but I get what you mean. If the had them I'd use them for sure.Delete
I think that the Goodreads rating system works pretty well. The rating system on my blog is partially based off of it. My only problem with the Goodreads system, which other commenters have mention, is the lack of half-stars. There are just some books that don’t fit neatly within the categories and that's when I think half-stars would be a great asset.ReplyDelete
I started on goodreads so I use their rating system on my blog too.Delete
I'm with you on 5 star ratings; I don't give out too many of those, because while I read a lot of books I "really like" I don't want to own them or read them again, so I don't feel like they rate 5 stars. The only thing I sometimes wish Goodreads had was a way to mark a book as not good enough to finish. But they don't. What do you do then?ReplyDelete
I mark it as read with no stars. I figure if I could have finished it there might have been some redeeming qualities or not. So I don't rate it at all. Just say I couldn't finish it.Delete
My philosophy, I just try not to think about it too hard! If I loved a book, it's five stars. If I had issues, it's two stars. The rest is in between.ReplyDelete
Lol! Of course. I really need to be more like you. I always overthink things.Delete
Yeah, I like your thinking.ReplyDelete
5 stars means it's a favorite, no ifs, ands, or buts. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to have fantastic writing or anything like that. It just means that I loved the story so much, it's a favorite and I'll read it over and over again.
4 stars means I loved it, which for most people is a 5 star so that's where I differ from a lot of people. If I loved a book but it's not quite a favorite, then I give it 4 stars. Again, writing doesn't factor into it. It's just my enjoyment of the story.
3 stars means I liked it. Simple.
2 stars means it's okay, so just like Goodreads.
1 star means I loathed it. I've only given 5 one-star ratings. So, I'm very stingy with this rating. If it's okay, but I didn't like the story, I'll still give it 2 stars. But, if I hated it so much that I never want to see that book again, then it's a 1 star.
So, yes, I'm kind of the same as you, but with a few differences. I'm also not as critical as you are (not a bad thing) so I give more books 3 and 4 stars than you do. And, writing isn't as big of a deal to me unless it's spelling errors/typos. That rankles! But, the book could be written very poorly but have an awesome story and I'll still love it. Whereas, a book could be beautifully written but boring as hell and I'll give it a lower rating. I'm much more of a story person than a prose person.
You and Suey should do a book banter on story vs. prose.
You're a genius! We could totally banter that! Thanks. We've been searching for ideas.Delete
My biggest problem is people thinking if I rate a book with 2 stars that means I hated it. Not at all! It just was an okay read for me.
I am not a huge fan of Goodreads ratings, that is why I developed my own system for the blog that works better for me. But I still have to enter those ratings in Goodreads. So here is how I look at the stars (I don't pay attention to how they want it)ReplyDelete
1 Star is I hated it, either didn't finish or forced myself to finish it.
2 Star is I finished it but wouldn't recommend or look at ever again.
3 Star is okay, it wasn't horrible but not great, I read it but there was nothing particularly unique, interesting or new about it.
4 Star is I really enjoyed this one and will probably recommend it to someone else.
5 Star is I could not put this book down (or there was something so unique about it) and this book will remain on myself forever and be forced into other readers hands more than likely.
I think I rate books much like you. 1 or 2 for a book I didn't really like...depending on my level of dislike. 3 is average, 4 is a book I'd quickly recommend to someone, and 5 for a book I would read again. I think I mostly rate for my own reference when I look back at Goodreads to see what I read and what I liked.ReplyDelete
Until this year, I was all about half ratings on my blog. I was frustrated by not being able to do half ratings on Goodreads. But then I decided that I would stop doing half ratings. No more on the fence ratings! If a book is just okay, I would rate it that way. I used to hand out 3, 3 & 1/2, 4 stars like candy. Now I really have to pick- is the book good, really good, or so good I want to shout from the mountain tops? I no longer think of 2 stars as bad- just books I probably won't re-read. 1 star ratings are fine with me, if I hate a book so much that rating it above o stars seems too high, then obviously the book made me feel something (even if it was only rage and anger).ReplyDelete
I save my 5 stars for books I love, books I want to own and reread and share. Am I more generous with them than other people? Maybe, but I'm okay with that.
Great discussion topic!
I just use my own rating system for rating books on GR. For a long time, I never even knew what each star rating was on there! We all have our own way of figuring out what book gets what rating, so I don't see how people get so miffed about it. GR ratings don't mean much to me, in general, since people can rate a book they've never even read, for crying out loud. It's not very reliable. I consider individual reviewers reliable and ignore general ratings.ReplyDelete