The more books I read the more books I end up rating, such is life when you are a constant goodreads addict. Rating books used to be simple but as time goes by I find it harder to rate books in comparison with other books. One 5 star read might be a completely different 5 star in relation to another 5 star read, are you following? I think books can be a different level of amazing but how would I accurately portray this if all I have is 5 Stars? Today I discuss my problems with the 5 star rating system and ask for your opinions on this topic.
The Tea and Titles 1-5 Star Scale
When we first set up our blog we, like many others established our own interpretations of the 5 star rating system. Below is what we had defined our 1-5 stars.
5 star – asfnasfknsdknflkdngjfdngfdbngb READ THIS NOW!
4 star – Very good book, you should probably read this. Only minor flaws.
3 star – The book was okay but not very memorable and probably wouldn’t read it again.
2 star – Not a very good book, major flaws. Wouldn’t recommend.
1 star – Either didn’t finish it or it had too many major flaws. I wouldn’t recommend it to my worst enemy.
5 Stars Is Not Enough
I like the 5 star rating system I really do, it’s effective and everyone understands/uses it. My problem with this system of rating is that I don’t think it fully covers the range of enjoyableness ( that’s a word now) of a book and I know that many of us include half stars in our systems like 3.5 or 4.5. If we include half stars then why don’t we rate books between 1 and 10?
I find as I mentioned above that I can read two completely different books and they can be rated exactly the same, do they deserve to be rated the same? and are my feelings of the book really coming across?
Many people also consider a 3 star book to be bad, they consider it a negative rating when in actuality its supposed to be halfway between good and bad. It’s not one or the other.
I am not a very harsh rater of books either, I almost never give books lower then a 3 star and I think this is because I am usually quite easily pleased and I never seem to find something so bad that it’s worthy of that low a rating. I do notice a lot of other people rate more harshly and I wonder what their rating scale is like, we all use the 5 star system but inside our own minds this system means different things.
How Should We Rate Our Books?
I am not claiming to be an expert on any of this, obviously this is all just my opinion and I am pretty sure I am not making any sense and just jabbering on. Coming up with a different way to rate does not mean it’s the best way to rate or that the 5 star rating system is wrong, I just think it is problematic and would like to see some other ideas/methods.
For some more information on this topic I recommend reading Shannon form The Fault in Our blogs post
I’d love to hear what your thought are on the 5 star rating system, do you agree or disagree with me? How do you rate your books and what do you think we could do differently when rating books?
As always Cats and Wine for all!