Musing About Book Ratings

I enjoy keeping track of the books I have read on Goodreads, usually adding a rating, and very occasionally even writing up a short review comment. I have started thinking about how I rate books and how this might compare to how others rate them.

Very loosely, here is how I apply Goodreads’ 5-star scale:

  • 1 star – Did not enjoy at all and would not recommend because it was waste of time to read.
  • 2 stars – Finished it, but likely wouldn’t recommend to others.
  • 3 stars – I enjoyed it and would recommend to others.
  • 4 stars – A very good book that I would recommend widely.
  • 5 stars – This book was so brilliant that my life was forever changed by reading it. Everyone must read it now.

Of course, I reserve the right to adjust ratings up for authors who I know personally (favouritism, yes, but it’s my feed and I take licence to be consciously arbitrary in supporting my friends).

I realize that others may have different rating systems, and I’m very curious to know how my assessment above compares to yours. I rarely give a 5-star rating, even for books that I very much enjoy. For me a 4-star rating is a glowing review.

Is my system too harsh? Should I adjust my system and start handing out more stars to those books that I enjoyed?

Please leave a comment to let me know what descriptions you would attribute to the 5-star rating scale.

More of my Goodreads stuff:

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