Star Ratings

The A to Z Challenge is an annual blogging challenge. It isn’t restricted to book blogs – all kinds of blogs can participate. It takes place every year in April and during that month you have to write a post on the designated days (all except Sundays). These posts must have some correlation to the letter of the day. So, there will be a total of 26 posts starting from the letter A and ending with Z. Here is a list of all my posts.


Hello guys!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about star ratings. You might have noticed that some book bloggers don’t use star ratings when reviewing a book and some do. I’ve even read a few posts from people who don’t generally use star ratings explaining why they don’t. The usual reason is that they don’t like putting books into “categories” and two books might end up having the same star rating when the level of how much they like these two books is very different.

I can totally understand those reasons and sometimes (if not most of the times) it’s quite hard to rate a book. It’s true that you’re putting it in a category with other books when they might be quite different to one another (on the level of how much you liked them).

On the other hand I find star ratings absolutely useful. When I read a review it’s always the first thing I look for. It gives me an idea of whether the person loved the book, liked it, thought it was ok, disliked it, or hated it. It just gives a general idea and then I can go ahead and read the rest of the review or skim through it. I can also deal with it if there’s a general “I liked it”, or “I would recommend it” at the end of the review. But if there’s nothing it kind of bugs me a little. I tend to skim through a lot of the reviews I read and I like having an idea if it’s a good book or not without having to read the whole review.

I also find star ratings very useful on goodreads. Ever since I discovered that site I always take a look before I buy a book or before I even add it to my to-read list. And I have to admit I don’t usually add books with a rating lower than 3.5 stars. It would need to have a very interesting cover, or synopsis, or a good review from someone I’m friends with on goodreads.

So I will probably continue using star ratings on my reviews as well, but I’d like to know what you think about it too.

Do you use star ratings? Do you think they’re useful?


7 thoughts on “Star Ratings

  1. Another great topic. I use star ratings but I don’t obsess about them too much. I don’t like reviewers on any site who make a big thing of what their rating means as my 5 star criteria won’t be identical to anyone else’s. Reviewing/rating is subjective so I always choose mine before looking at the average and I tend to read a selection of reviews for each rating when choosing a book.

  2. I find them useful too, (especially when reading reviews) but I’m not too bothered when there’s not one as long as I can get a general idea of whether they liked it or not from the review. But I do get why some don’t, like you said, because it has hard to rate books, especially when there’s a lot of different reasons why. But yes, goodreads. I ALWAYS check ratings and a few reviews before buying a book to get a feel and the pros & cons of a book to see whether I would like it or not before buying (saved a ton of money the last few years by doing that) when before I’d just buy a book blindly and that’s why I have a huge box of discarded books I haven’t even finished. 😦 I have a lot of free precious shelf space now, haha.

    Kirsty @ StudioReads

    • I’ve also read a lot more books that I liked after I started using goodreads! When you go completely blind there’s a better chance you’ll end up with sth you won’t like. I rarely take the risk now when I buy books.

  3. I do find them useful at times though I think 5 is a bit limiting of a scale. On my blog we used to do a 1-10 but some of my other bloggers worried that giving a book a 1-2 star rating would affect them when they submitted to the author’s agent (because we’re all also writers). And I decided to try out the no system rating and in some ways I like it because I can admit when a book is not for me but also can say who might like it. So, that’s how we try to end the reviews now, by saying who would like a book in particular. But I still use the rating systems elsewhere.

    There are also rating systems on peer review sites and I notice the problem at times is they lose their meanings to a small degree because it’s a hard system to standardize. Why one person gives a 1 star might be something silly. On books, people have given low ratings because of delivery issues, or something else that had nothing to do with the book. They are rating the experience from the transaction but it gets showed as a rating for the content of the book. On the peer review site it can go the other way too. People who don’t want to rate below 4 stars even though the writing is really bad. They don’t want to discourage by giving an honest, 1 or 2 star rating.

    So, I vary on the topic. Great post for today.

    A to Z commenter
    Reading at Dawn blog

    • I can definitely understand the problems with ratings. It’s also hard to understand what a person means when he/she rates a book 3 stars for example. Depending n how they normally rate this could be a very good rating or a very bad one. So if you haven’t read many reviews from that person it’s hard to figure it out.

      And everyone has their own criteria and their own way of rating a book. I’ve also seen a 1-100 scale which might be more accurate. I use the 1-5 one because it’s the most usual and it’s easier to just have the same rating everywhere. Otherwise I would have to change it for goodreads etc.

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