Other Bookish Stuff

The Art of Rating Books

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m coming to you with a discussion post. The topic I’m discussing, rating books! This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while and really want to share my thoughts with you guys so we can discuss this. Let’s dive into it shall we?

Obviously ratings are very important to us bookish people. The whole point of a rating is to give people a brief idea of our opinions of a particular book. This is usually done through some sort of scale such as a percentage or an out of 5 sort of rating. Looking at other people’s ratings often helps us assess whether or not we should pick up the book ourselves. This means that ratings are pretty important and influential especially for people who have a large audience who trust their opinions on books. Now by no means do I feel like I have a large audience (especially in comparison to other book reviewers) but I still feel like I have a sort of duty to uphold to the people who do view my ratings and take them into account when picking what books to read.

I started noticing that a lot of my ratings were quite high in comparison to other reviewers who had a wide range of high and low ratings. At first I thought this must be because I enjoyed all the books I’ve read a lot more but when I started reading their reviews I found myself agreeing with most of the points they were making. My first instinct was to lower my rating on certain books but I couldn’t find it within myself to do that. A part of me still believed that book deserved 3 stars even though I completely agreed with another review that only gave it only 1 star. For example Winter by Marissa Meyer, I completely adored this book and everything about it making it impossible for to give it less than 5 stars. But even I can admit the book was not perfect but I could accept the author’s decisions and put them aside in favour of my love for the series. After reading a few reviews which rated the book 3 to 4 stars, with which I agreed with the arguments made I wondered why my rating was so different. I concluded that when rating a book I factor in my enjoyment level of it therefore making the rating less critical and more personal.

This had me completely re-evaluating what a rating actually is so I turned to good old Google for help. It turns out a rating is ‘a classification or ranking of someone or something based on a comparative assessment of their quality, standard, or performance.’ This made me question every single rating I have ever published.

Were they all unfair and biased simply because I take into account my person experience reading the book? Previously I thought this was the point of ratings. Someone could go online and see a variety of mixed thoughts on the one book. Then I realised that if everyone looked at a book from the same 100% critical view that in no way included their personal thoughts, opinions and experience then shouldn’t all ratings be pretty much the same.

In regards to my own ratings here’s what I concluded. I read the majority of my books for entertainment and enjoyment; therefore shouldn’t my ratings reflect this? I am by no means a master of English and therefore am pretty certain I could never look at a book 100% from a critical perspective. I feel if I did, I would struggle to enjoy any book. At the same time I admit that if I rated books purely on my experience reading they could reflect my personal feelings at the time just as much, if not more than my thoughts on the book itself. So here’s what I’ve decided. I am going to continue to factor in my critical thoughts as well as my personal experience into my reviews no matter what.

If someone is looking for a strict critical review of a book I’m sure there are plenty of serious reviewers out there who have just that. I would like to think that anyone viewing my ratings would acknowledge that they also reflect my personal thoughts and opinions on the book. I feel like this could be even more useful to readers similar to me who read just for fun.

For example I may see a review from someone who reads for fun who has a similar taste in books to me. Let’s just say we both really like young adult romance. I see that they rated a young adult romance book 4 out of 5 stars. This shows me that they enjoyed the book and there is a high change I will enjoy it as well. Take this in comparison to a high rating I might see from a serious critical reviewer on a highly praised book. I could pick up the book and highly appreciate it as a smart and interesting novel but I wouldn’t necessarily have a fun time reading it. Do you see where I’m coming from here? If anything, this has taught me how important reviews are to go with ratings. They allow people to put out their specific thoughts on a book rather than just a rough summary.

I want to know what you guys think of rating books! Do you agree or disagree with anything I said? How do you rate your books? Do you think there is a certain way books should be rated? Did anything this post make any sense? 😛 Please leave a comment in the description so we can talk about this! I’m sorry again for my lack of posts, frankly I’ve just been lazy but I’m going to try and get up as many posts as possible this week. It would also be great if you could leave any suggestions for any posts you would like to see! Thanks y’all for reading my post!!

Gabby The Dauntless Warlock xx

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8 thoughts on “The Art of Rating Books

  1. I give high ratings more often than not for whatever reason. Lol. I’m a serial 5/5 rater, and I didn’t notice until I started breaking it down in my monthly wrap ups. Unless I absolutely hated a book, I’ll usually give it AT LEAST 3 stars. Rating is so personal and subjective.. One person’s three could be entirely different than another person’s three, ya know?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The only one or two star ratings I’ve given that I can think of are books that I had serious issues with, like sexism or consent/lack thereof problems. Unless something really makes me slam on the brakes while reading, I won’t rate really low. I’ll DNF before I read all the way through and give a crappy rating. For whatever reason in my mind, that’s better.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, I’ve never come across a seriously bad book like that before but if I did I’d definitely give it a lower rating! And yeah I don’t rate books that I havent completely read either just to be fair. 🙂

        Like

  2. I think you always should follow your gut instinct when rating a book. Sometimes I’ve given a book a high rating when realistically there wasn’t much to praise other than I enjoyed it.

    I also think that’s why reading someone’s review is important rather than just skipping to the final rating.

    Rating a book IS a personal thing because it’s a personal experience. Even if you tried to be completely critical, personal experience and expectations have to play a part in that.

    I have rated a book lower than 3 stars.. but it takes some series reader dissatisfaction for that to happen!

    Great post! It’s got me thinking about my own rating system (which has changed and evolved since I first started blogging)

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have decided what each rating stands for me. The feeling I am left with after a particular book is over contributes to the rating it will get. If I am really awe struck by the book..It will surely get 5. Earlier even I use to get affected by seeing other people’s rating.. but I realised no two people read the same book. Each ones liking and thinking differs. So I also stick to my instinct and rate it similarly.
    I would suggest keep on rating as you always did. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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