1 Oct 2015

Rebecca's Ramblings: Star Ratings & Why I Quit Them

You’ve probably noticed that over the last few months, I’ve stopped rating books when I review. [Note: I still rate on Goodreads, but I just wasn’t happy enough with it to continue it here.]

Why? Well, for a long time, I hadn't been happy with how I was rating them on the blog (out of 5). Sometimes deciding on a number just didn’t feel right; maybe it’s because books are made up of words and numbers can be cold and calculating... (Can you tell I don’t like Maths? We have a bit of a love-hate relationship - in that it loves hate me.)

Like I said, I’m no longer rating on the blog, but I continue to do so on Goodreads. Why? Because it's not my blog, so I don't feel so protective of it. Secondly, not putting up a rating was not an option. For some reason, I need those yellow stars in my life! I decided to be lax on there for the sake of my sanity.

If you want to know how my brain works, it's like this: when I’m reading a book I’m rating it as I go along - without even meaning to. I can't help it. To give you a sneak peek into my exhausting brain: "Yep, a 3-star book so far."...or..."It’s going great! I'm loving it. 4 stars for sure, maybe 5?" I just can’t seem to escape the numbers!

I’ve tried coming up with a different system, but I got nowhere and just decided to focus on the review itself, which is what I’ve been doing. But it’s still been playing on my mind, as you can obviously see from my post. If it was all good and dandy, I would have let it be. But I have thoughts and feelings, so you poor loves have to listen to me squabble on. I'll be the first to admit: I think a rating is super great in the way that you can walk away from a review knowing full well just how much the reviewer enjoyed (or didn’t) the book. When that rating system - or any kind of system - isn’t there, things can be less clear. The reviewer might have enjoyed it, along with the characters and whirlwind romance, but is it a four or five star? Is it a buy or borrow? There’s a difference and that is where the waters can become murky.

But enough of my ranting... Let’s take a moment to look at a few types of rating:

- First off, you have your good ‘ol, trusty 1-5 stars (3/5 stars)
- Letter grade (A+. B-. C. This gives you room to rate, which is always a plus I think.)
- Word rating (Fabulous. Loved. Good. OK. Not my cuppa tea, ect. Straight to the point.)
- Recommend? (Yes, this was fabulous…. No, unless you like... ect. Effective and gives plenty of room to sum up.)
- Multiple star ratings for different aspects (plot, writing, characters, ect. I quite like this - clear and let’s give you room to rate.)

Rating Systems I love:
A Reader of Fictions GIF rating. Love this, it's so original! Especially since Christina is known to use Buffy GIF’s. (See: the way to my heart.)
Rather Be Reading's Buy It/Worth It/Borrow It. Such a fan of their rating system. I think it’s great!

So, we've established I can talk write your ear off. But…I’m still not sure what to do about my rating system. All that I know is I want to come up with a new rating system that I’m happy with and I’ve yet to find it. Maybe this post will kick start some new ideas. Let's hope!

I haven't rated a book on the blog for some months now, but before I decided to part with the rating, I'd been unhappy with it for a while. That extra aspect that can add to a review? Well, it was just doing my head it. So after much thought, I axed it. I'm sorry if it's something you've missed, but I do plan to bring the rating system back soon. I'm just going to make sure it's something that'll work for both me and you.

Now to open the floor to you guys: What’s your rating system like? Are you ever conflicted with star ratings? How do you feel about no ratings and relying solely on a review? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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