Thursday, December 10, 2009

To Rate or not to Rate...That is the Question

I have noticed that some bloggers are changing their formats lately. Some are adding rating systems, some are removing rating systems. The new year seems to ignite change in everyone, even bloggers.

I have never been a fan of star rating systems. How can you rate a lovely romance novel, the same number of stars as War and Peace? Sure, you loved both, but in my mind the 5 star rating should be used far less often than it is. I would have to reserve the highest rating for the absolute best books I have read, ever. I hate having to rate books on Library Thing or Amazon, with the star rating. Sure I may have really liked a book, but it isn't the best book ever, so how can I rate it a 5? I understand that the genres are different, but before I give a 5 star rating, it would have to be really, really, really,really. really good. And yet, I feel guilty if I liked it a lot and rate it a 2 or 3. It may be good but is it great?

My question is rate or not to rate? Do you use a rating system? How do you decide if a fluffy dog story is as good as a classic ? Does a good Dan Brown tale rate as high as a Victor Hugo?

I don't think I will ever use a star rating, I will continue to write from the heart and the gut. I will continue to make my suggestions, and let you know how I felt as I read, and what I think of the story. I don't want to get into too much detail and ruin the story, nor do I want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. (there are some blogs that make me feel really stupid) Let me know what you think!


  1. I don't like to use stars or scores out of 5 or 100. My words should speak for themselves. Should I perhaps use a tear rating, did I cry while reading???

  2. I understand your struggle with a rating system because I feel the same way. I switched awhile ago (back) to a word rating - very highly recommended, highly recommended, recommended, so-so, not recommended, did not finish - because I struggled so much with assigning a number. In reality, many of my very highly recommended would probably be a 4.5. Occasionally I'll also add a note, like "very highly recommended for fans" or "great airplane book" or something like that. I'm very conscious of the fact that my likes and dislikes may not be the same as others... And how do we rate those guilty pleasures, books we enjoyed beyond belief but that we all realize aren't fine literature?

  3. I have very mixed feelings about star ratings. I use a 5-star rating, and in 6 months, I've only given one book 5 stars. I save it for something that really stands out, probably a classic.

  4. I don't do star ratings or grade ratings or anything like that. I just try to explain as well as I can why the book didn't work for me or why I loved it so much.

  5. Yes I use a rating system (? out of a possible 5). After all, a well written book is a well written book no matter what the genre. As for using 5 stars/5 out of 5 too often, it's actually very rarely that I rate any book as highly, perhaps I'm not reading the right kind of books.