2016/08/24

BOOKISH REFLECTIONS:
HOW I RATE BOOKS

Around two years ago (blows my mind that it's been two years) I wrote this post on ratings, basically explaining how I rate the books I read. However, after some time has passed, I find myself in need of sharing my updated thoughts on this topic.

What's happened is that I see myself being much stricter in my ratings nowadays. I think it has something to do with reading much more than I used to and having read a fair amount of books, I have developed a bit of a different taste for what I appreciate and what I don't. I also have to say that I trust myself more with my own thoughts on books, now being more able to explain what I think.

I still use a five star rating system (the one Goodreads uses), but my thoughts behind the different ratings has changed a bit:

1 STAR
This rating means I did not like the book. It isn't often I use this rating, as there is almost always something good to find in most of the books I read, but I find that I have used it a couple of times in the last few years, whereas before I never did. It's still rare though.

2 STARS
This means I thought it was OK. I find that there are many books that are just OK, and even though 2 seems like such a strict rating, it's not necessarily. Sometimes a book is just OK and that's fine. 

3 STARS
This rating means I read and enjoyed the book and that I liked it. For me, 3 stars is not a bad rating at all - I find that most of the books that I read are 3 star reads, and most of the time, I would still recommend them, because I enjoyed them, but I'm usually a bit more specific as to what kind of readers I think would enjoy these books. About 40-50% of the books I read get this rating. 

4 STARS
This means I thought the book was great, and there was something to it that made it above average. It also means I would highly recommend it. There will still be an element or two that I thought made it less than perfect (or sometimes just a feeling), but still, 4 star reads are some pretty damn good books. About 30% of the books I read are 4 star reads.

5 STARS
The ultimate rating means I LOVED IT. I used to throw this around to more than a few books, but how often is it that you really love a book? Not that often. Even though not all 5 star reads make it into my favorite shelf, this rating is for books I truly adore and probably push on people. I'd say about 10% of the books I read make it into this category, if not less.


There are things that play into my rating of books that I feel a need to mention:

Genre:
I usually take the genre into consideration when reading a book, as I think it matters. However, it doesn't play as much of a role as it used to, as I think sometimes the genre can be used as an excuse - or sometimes even as a defense - but a good book is a good book. A genre doesn't guarantee a good or bad book, and it shouldn't restrain it.

0.5s:
I don't use 0.5 ratings. I try to make up my mind and if I'm unsure, I usually tip the scale down. 

Expectations:
This is still a big issue. I try to note my expectations in my reviews if it has made an impact, which it often has. It's near impossible to stay unfazed, but I think it's important to mention when it makes a difference.

I hope you found this enlightening. I would love to know how you rate your books (if you do) and if your way differs from mine.
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