Back in November I posted some thoughts I had about a Ratings Scale Update. Essentially I was discussing the fact most of my reviews are 4 and 5 stars and I hardly ever have anything less than that, and why I think that happens, and (most importantly for that post) that I was thinking of doing away with a rating score entirely with a list of reasons why.
That post generated a lot of feedback here on the blog as well as on Twitter. More feedback than I expected to be honest. All of it was good and appreciated. Some readers supported the idea of doing away with a rating and others felt I should keep it. Well I’ve been pondering those comments and the discussions we had, and in the end I’ve decided to keep a rating scale. Here are a few of my reasons:
- They are helpful for review readers: Many of you noted how you really like seeing how people score a book, especially if it the rating is given by a reviewer they like and trust. Yeah it’s always possible you may not agree with another reviewer’s score but often it helps when choosing future books to buy and read.
- They are helpful for me: I had to admit that even with the negatives I came up with for coming up with a rating score when it’s all said and done a score does help me when looking back on the year to see what books I absolutely loved compared to those I really liked. This doesn’t mean I no longer think there are negatives to a rating score, it’s just that the positives are worth it for me as a reviewer.
- Goodreads and Amazon: <sigh>…yes in the end these two platforms had a lot to do with my decision too as much as I dislike it. I never intended to stop posting my reviews to Amazon and Goodreads. I post there because of the help they provide to book sales and to readers. Both are important to me in their own way. I feel that to really get the most benefit from those platforms I need to provide a rating. If I’m going to do that I might as well keep them on the blog as well.
Though I’m keeping a rating scale I’m simplifying it. I’m officially tossing the calculated scale that’s still posted on my blog where I had categories such as plot, characters, pacing, and world building, each with subcategories that received an average score then the categories were averaged together for an overall score. I did that for a while and decided I really didn’t like it. It made it to technical for me and left out some nuance that isn’t easy to quantify.
I’m also updating the descriptions I had for each level of the rating scale slightly. While what’s there now is good I’m going to go with the following:
- 5 Stars: I LOVED this book. This will be on my “best of” list for the year. I’ll read it more than once. A book I’ll recommend to everyone who loves the genre and maybe some who don’t. Few criticisms if any. This is the kind of book that stays with me a while and often does more than one of the following:
- Blows me away
- hits me in the gut
- makes me cry
- makes me laugh out loud
- Frightens me
- Expands my horizons
- 4 Stars: I really liked this book. I’m likely to read it more than once. This is a book I’d recommend to everyone who likes the genre. There may be a number of criticisms but none so huge that it really diminishes the story for me. May do at least one of the things listed above under 5 stars.
- 3 Stars: I liked it, it was entertaining, but it didn’t blow me away. Was worth the read, but I probably won’t read it again though.
- 2 Stars: I didn’t like this book but I kept reading for some reason. There are probably multiple reasons/issues why.
- 1 Star: I really didn’t like this book. Probably a DNF. Very rare.
I’ll update my Rating System page with this information soon. Maybe this weekend. Until then, and as always I’d love to get your thoughts.