I’ve been blogging now for almost a year and, since I started, I’ve never been quite sure or felt quite right about how I rate the books I read. I know, as someone who reads a fair few book blogs myself, that ratings help me decide if I want to read a book, especially once I’ve come to trust a blogger’s recommendations. The same is true for reviews in magazines and newspapers. At the same time, I often find myself agonising over ratings for my own reviews and what to “score” books.
Early on, I tried to solve the problem by giving books 1/2 or 3/4 ratings but pretty soon gave up on this as just too complicated. Plus, they still didn’t properly express how I felt about a book, especially when it got to the three star rating. To me, this suggested average when I saw it on other sites but I sometimes rated a book 3 out of 5 because of one or two little things that had bugged me…and might not bug anyone else. I wondered if I was being fair to these books but also couldn’t give them a higher rating because that didn’t feel right either.
I also had a bit of an issue with consistency as I don’t score the books I read for the Classics Club or other challenges like Play On! or the books I’ve been revisiting. These, I just give my opinions on. Don’t as me why as I’m not sure – because they are older definitely but also because, in my head, they weren’t reviews. Except they are because my writing about them tends to follow the same format as books I’ve been rating.
In January, I started adding an opinion along with my ratings, saying whether I loved a book or liked it a lot. That felt better. More in line with how I would share a book with family or friends and with how I wanted to express my opinion on what I read. As with my fractionalised scoring system though, I think I was just making things more complicated for myself (I like to do that in most parts of my life – again, don’t ask me why – so no surprise I did it here).
Which brings me to today and this post, which is a very round-a-bout way of formalising something I have been working through and towards for a while and actually started last week with my review of Dead Wake when I decided not to give it a rating. I have to say it felt good and so it’s how I think I’ll go along for a while at least. What do you think – do you prefer ratings or not? Or do you not mind either way as long as the review tells you what you need to know?
[Photo credit: Got Credit]