Books,  Reading

Super Technical Book Rating System

I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about the way I rate books before, but since I have another wrap up coming next week, I’m going to do it again anyway because I want to.

I think I’m pretty good at picking up reads I’ll enjoy, plus, I don’t think I’m all that hard to please, so when I run across a book I don’t like, I do tend to be kind of pissy about it.

Of course, ratings are subjective. And they might change over time with distance, discussion, and rereads. But I like to rate books. It’s a fun way to gauge how I felt about something at that point in time, though I’d like to write more reviews. They help the book perform better. The existence of ratings and reviews matter far more than the content of the reviews. A book with 2,000 reviews and a terrible rating is going to sell better than a book with 2 reviews and a great rating. People can’t help themselves if it looks like “everyone” has read a book, especially if the book seems super controversial. ^_^

0 Star
If I don’t rate a book, which according to Goodreads has happened twice, it’s because I don’t know what to think. I’ve definitely not known how to feel more often than twice, but I usually try to put how I feel into some kind of rating.

1 Star ⭐️
If a book is a one star for me, I’m not finishing it. Simple as that. I’m not trying to torture myself.

2 Star ⭐️⭐️
Dude, if I two star a book, I hated it. I finished it, but probably only because it was either short, or because I still wanted to know what happened, even though I was having a terrible time. It could have been content, something could have rubbed me super the wrong way. This hardly ever happens, and sometimes I feel like if I hated a book I should give it one star, but I feel like if I’m interested enough in the plot to finish the book it deserves an extra star, so here we are.

3 Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Three stars could be “I really liked it but…” or it could be “I really didn’t like it but…” For examples: I could really like the story but not the way it’s written. Or I could really dislike the story but appreciate how well it’s written. Sometimes it’s just because the story isn’t really for me and I didn’t find anything particular positive or negative about it. This happens a lot when I’m reading outside of my preferred genre zone. It happens when I love most of the book but then something hits a nerve towards the end. It happens when the story is great but the writing is trash, making the story hard to read. 3 stars are far more common than two stars, but it’s still way less common than 4 stars.

4 Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is when I liked a story a lot. Sometimes this is even when I loved the story. I’m happy. I may even be super excited about it. But maybe I didn’t totally love the ending. Maybe I didn’t totally like the MC. Maybe there were too many pop culture references. Sometimes there’s an undefined tolerance level for drama or violence or cheesiness that gets crossed unexpectedly. It varies. Because sometimes something can be real cheesy and I love it, and sometimes I’ll put the entire book down over it. Whatever it is, there was something I didn’t love, but it wasn’t anything that I disliked enough to be mad at it. At least not mad enough to give it three stars.

5 Star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If I finish a book and I was blown away, positively delighted, or left filled with excitable bubble gas, it’s five stars. Even if I can gripe about something. Five stars. Even if I put the book down to fuss about something. Five stars. That said, I don’t have to be bouncing off the walls. Sometimes I just quietly love something. So, this has everything to do with how I feel when I finish the story. I do tend to put more emphasis on the middle and endings, so I’ll totally forgive a sloggy beginning if the rest of the book is great.

It’s funny because I’m actually not very forgiving as a reader. The number of books I’ve quit on over the years is high. The number of times I zone out just reading the blurb is high. And I have been known to read one paragraph of a sample on Amazon and write the entire book off, while at the same time sludging through two chapters of something else.

I guess as much as I analyze my reading habits, it’s never completely going to make sense. I’m an emotional brand of human. But there are patterns, and that is interesting to me. ^_^


  • Jodi

    I might steal your book rating system. I’m too lazy to come up with my own so my star ratings are all over the place. I’m liable to give a book 5 stars because it’s a pretty, sunny day outside.

  • Michelle Athy

    Yeah, two stars tends to be my lowest rating. One star seems very harsh to me, so I do two as my lowest and three stars is more variable. I either felt kind of “meh” about it or it didn’t click at all or I liked it, but it didn’t feel particularly special. Or if it was nonfiction, yeah, the information was cool but that was about it. Four stars is a “yay, this was awesome” or a “I loved this, but I recognize it’s not perfect.” And five stars means it either blew my mind in some way or I LOVED it or I was in a good mood when I finished the book lol

    • Krystal Jane

      Lol! I like being in a good mood when I finish a book. That helps. ^_^ I’m usually pretty happy if I finish a book and I feel like I experienced it. That’s cool that we’re on the same page about one and two stars. I gave a book one star once, but after sitting on it, I just couldn’t leave it like that. Lol!

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