I’ve always struggled with rating books. And not just how to rate one, but how to do it through my rating system. My rating system has changed over the last year or two. Back when I was still on Blogger, I didn’t really do half star ratings as it would mean I would have to insert more graphics into my posts. And also, how the heck was I supposed to rate it on Goodreads who still doesn’t let you give a book half stars? Do you round up? Or do you round down?
My ratings are also largely based on my mood. If I’m in a good mood while writing the review (or even reading the book) I’m usually more generous with my rating. And if I’m in a bad mood… you probably can figure that out. After I moved to WordPress and purchased the Ultimate Book Blogger and the Rating Report plugins, rating became a bit easier. Now I can just rate individual categories like romance, plot, pace, and world building and then average their ratings together, which you can see at the bottom of my reviews. That would be my more unemotional, mathematical rating. The rating I put at the top of the review, near the book info, and the one I sort my review archives by, is my more, uh, moody rating. Gotta love compromises!
After I decided I wanted to do half star ratings, I had two problems. One, the problem I mentioned above about Goodreads’ half stars. Or really, it’s lack of. My second problem is what each rating means. According to Goodreads, an one star book means I did not like it; two stars, it was okay; three stars means I liked it; four stars, I really liked it; and five stars means I thought it was amazing… my ratings on the blog were not like those. To me, a one star book means I hated it, two stars means I didn’t really like it but it wasn’t horrendous, three stars means I thought it was okay… average, four stars means I liked it, and five stars means I thought it was amazing. All the in between are filled in by half stars.
How do you rate your books?
Oh my gosh, I’m SO frustrated that Goodreads still hasn’t installed a half-star rating system – I feel like we’ve been pestering them for so long, but they just keep dragging their feet. 😛 For me, I don’t write reviews on my blog anymore, but when I rate them on Goodreads I have shelves called “add half a star” and “subtract half a star”, which eliminates the need for me to round up or down. That takes a lot of the guesswork out of it – thank goodness for my fickle mind!
I always try to be more professional when it comes to ratings. I don’t want to be too harsh nor too generous. I mostly give 4 stars now because if I hate the book I will give it a low grade immediately and DNF it. I want to read good books as much as possible, I don’t have the luxury to spend on horrible books.
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