Tag: ratings

Why I’m Quitting Ratings

Posted June 8, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments

fiction-genre-cloud-600x312Rating books is too hard, how can I give five stars to a book like Frankenstein, which is my all-time favourite novel and give five star ratings to other books like The Sense of an Ending, Super Sad True Love Story and The Marriage Plot. Sure I love those books and will reread them when I get a chance but really they are not on the same level as Frankenstein. Five Star ratings are the easiest ratings too, imagine comparing books with a 3, 3 and a half or 4 star rating. There are books there that really are not worthy to be sharing the same rating as others. Ratings are personal, often changing and are never really a true reflection of what I think about the book.

When I starting book blogging I thought a star rating is a good TL:DR way for people to see what I thought of a book but I’ve come to the realisation that maybe they do too much harm than good. So after weeks of wondering what to do about ratings I’ve decided to quit them for my blog. I probably will still rate books on Goodreads, but that is because that community is based more around ratings than reviews. It’s not an accurate representation and who knows I might quit rating there as well but I think it’s time to say goodbye to ratings on this blog.

In all honesty I would love to quit genres as well but as a literary explorer I think they need to stay, just so I knew which genres need to be focused on. My problem with genres is most books don’t fit neatly into a single genre and sometimes categorising books become too damaging. For now the genres have a place, unfortunately, but I don’t think ratings anymore. I’ve looked around the book blogger community and see a lot of blogs that don’t rate books and I think they have the right idea; trying to pick a rating for a book is hard and often it changes from day to day. I feel like I’m passionate about books and like to try and pick at books and write what I like and don’t like about a book then you see the stars and think the review doesn’t match that rating.

So let’s see how the blog goes without rating the books, if you want to know what I think of the book read my reviews or if you are lazy, check my Goodreads page. I feel like this is the right decision and I even think it is a liberating step as well. I don’t want to be constricted to telling people what star value a book is worth, read the book and find out for yourself. I rather talk about what I liked or didn’t like about each and every book.

Book Ratings

Posted September 19, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 0 Comments


My dad asked me the other day, How do you rate books?” This is an interesting thought, I’ve got a system for rating but I never really thought of it into great details. I’m not talking about my 1-10 scale that I use but what factors determine the rating. So I thought I would brainstorm my thoughts into this blog post. When I finish reading a book I often got to Goodreads, mark the book as read and give an initial rating of the book; this is basically my feeling of the book at the time of finishing the book. But I often spend some time thinking about the book and how I would like to review it (yes, that’s my excuse for always being over three reviews behind and I’m sticking to it).

While thinking about how I want to review the book I often look at some key elements. I normally have a think about the plot, writing style, characters, grammar, research, my personal experience, insightfulness and any other elements that should be factored in. But should I have a standard criterion or should each rating be based on a tailored scale for that book? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and I feel like while I really liked the parody novel Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, I could never put it on the same rating criteria as Crime and Punishment.

I think the fact that I’m trying to explore the different genres out there a rating template would never work but I should look at some key elements no matter what the book was and I think the main ones would be plot, characters, style and my personal experience of the book. These for elements make up my end rating; I often change the rating of a book when I finish reviewing it.

 The problem with ratings are the fact that they are very personal and when looking at your reading list as a whole some books shouldn’t be considered to be on the same level as others. But should you review a book without a rating or is adding a rating just a good way for people to quickly look at what you thought of that particular book?

I would love to hear people’s thoughts on ratings. I know most people have different scales and ways of picking the final rating so please tell me about your process. Also if there was ever a standard criterion for book ratings what would you put on it. For example if you to break down the characterisation, would you look at believability, personality and so on?