Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Rate or Not To Rate?

Lately everyone's been taking their ratings systems (1--5 stars, grading scale, etc) out of their reviews. At first, this kind of horrified me. I liked ratings. Reading them and giving them. It helped me get my thoughts together, if that makes any sense.

Now though, I'm not so sure. I mean, there are pros and cons to both sides, both for the author and the reader.

For the author:


(If you're me) Helps you collect your thoughts about a book.
Makes it a bit easier to express your opinion on a book in a short, easy way.


Sometimes, it's hard
Different genres are difficult to compare.

For the reader:


An easy way to tell if someone liked a book if you don't have much time to read the review in its entirety.
Sums their thoughts up nicely.


It can get confusing sometimes. Like when you see someone who had a few issues with a book but rated it five stars, when just the other day they raved about a book and gave it four.

So, what do you think? What are your favorite and least favorite things about ratings? Is there a certain rating scale you prefer? Sound off in the comments!


  1. I like ratings because I feel that reviews are the same in that sense. Reviews in conjunction with a rating paint a better picture for me as a reader. The important thing is to define the rating scale I think. For me, I rate books differently on my blog than I do on Goodreads, but if the scale is explained then there isn't much of a problem. The biggest con for me is also trying to compare genres and in cases like that, I add a blurb under the rating to try and clarify.

  2. I used to be all about ratings, but someone posted something once and it kind of resonated with me. They said that most readers will pay more attention to the amount of stars you give a book in your review rather than what's actually in the review. And I noticed that if I gave a book two stars, but gave some positive feedback in the review, I'd still have comments from people saying "Ugh, 2 stars? This book sounds horrible. Won't be picking it up."

    So I got rid of my ratings. But I think it's a personal choice for every blogger. I don't think ratings are bad or anything, but I don't think readers should absolutely NEED them.

  3. I use and appreciate ratings. They help me gauge the reviewers thoughts.

  4. Katie said " I noticed that if I gave a book two stars, but gave some positive feedback in the review, I'd still have comments from people saying "Ugh, 2 stars? This book sounds horrible. Won't be picking it up."

    I have even found myself doing this when reading others reviews. Not picking up a book or not even reading the whole review just because the reviewer gave it a low rating. I've found reading the review and skipping over the rating has helped me get a better feel for the book than ratings ever did. So now my rating system is based more on statements rather than numbers. Like, I loved this book! Or this is a must read book! It's definitely a personal preference.

  5. Personally I like reviews that have a rating system. I generally find it easier to tell what the person thought about the book when read the review and see a rating, but that may be just me. =)

  6. There is an AWESOME and very in depth post on ratings that one of my favorite bloggers did recently. She breaks down every pro and con. If you want to read it, it's here:

    I personally like ratings. I think that while they might not be perfect, ratings are still very valid ways of gauging how well a book was for someone. I think that if you gave a book two stars, then there is a good *reason* you gave a book two stars. So even if there were other redeeming qualities about the book, that still wasn't enough to make the book a few stars higher.

    I think more than anything it's a personal preference. I like rating books, but others may not, and that's okay. There are pros and cons to everything, and there is no right or wrong way to review (that I know of, lol), so it's up to the blogger what they want to do.

  7. I know what you mean about having some issues with a book and rating it a five; and also about raving about a book and only giving it a four. I really think a solid number helps to give the overall worthiness of the book itself. Keep doing it!

  8. I used to NEVER rate. But over time, I realized that it's so much easier for the blog readers to actually figure out whether or not I liked/loved/hated/disliked the book! Sometimes if the book is really difficult to rate, I'll say and won't do it.


Your comments feed the greedy comment-addicted blogger inside of me. Thanks for keeping me going.