On Rating Books

An exchange from last night with André regarding the last book I read made me think about the way I rate books. I usually use Goodreads guidelines for ratings, that is, one to five stars, with no half stars, and pretty positive descriptions for all except the one star (which is equivalent to “I didn’t like it”).

Shortly before New Year’s Eve, as I was perusing my reviews from last year, I noticed most of them were pretty positive. I believe it takes a truly bad book for me not to get anything out of it, so it makes sense that I didn’t even give a single one-star rating. I decided to be a bit more picky with books this year, which is why, I think, I’ve only given one five-star rating so far, and most of them fall on the three to four stars reviews.

But the fallacy that I noticed last night is that, by using Goodreads guidelines, I can give a three-star rating to a book I liked, when in reality it should fall in the mediocre on a one-to-five rating. And really, is there such a big difference between “I liked it”, “I really liked it”, and “I loved it” (these correspond to three, four and five stars on Goodreads)?

Maybe I need to rethink my rating process, though I’m not sure how, exactly. I’d welcome any tips / suggestions!


2 thoughts on “On Rating Books

  1. Deckard says:

    Realmente dar pontuações a livros no Goodreads não é tarefa fácil. Pelo menos, se quisermos ser rigorosos. Tenho as mesmas dúvidas que tu: devemos avaliar o prazer da leitura ou a qualidade literária?

    • Exactamente. É um problema que ainda não consegui resolver. O resultado é que noto que as minhas pontuações são pouco consistentes ao longo do tempo, consigo ver todas as alturas em que decidi começar a seguir outro método de rating… Para mim faz (quase) sempre sentido, mas não quero correr o risco de estar a prejudicar um livro com uma rating que parece pior do que é.

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