Aug 28, 2010

ratings: keep or no?

I'm considering doing away with my rating scale. For several reasons.

Too often, it is difficult for me to pin a number on a book. Many that I stick in the same rating category are really so different from each other; others I feel strongly about at one point but when I read them again don't find quite as good. Another reason is that although I've noted that the middle rating "3/5" is a good book, several times I've had readers make remarks like this in the comments: oh, I wanted to read this but you only gave it a 3, or: didn't you like this book? all it got was a 3. But on my scale a "3" is a good book! I don't know why this wasn't coming across more clearly.

Another reason is that it's just one more thing for me to do when I write up reviews; think of what to assign a book, and type it in. And does anyone even use it? I'm sure some readers click on the category labels in my sidebar, but I'm not sure if anyone ever uses the rating labels. I'm thinking of keeping the "Abandoned" category and turning the 5/5 into "Favorites" because those are both ones I feel strongly about, and think other readers might be interested in seeing together: all the books I didn't finish, or all the ones I really love. But perhaps it doesn't make much sense to have favorites and DNFs and nothing in between....

So I'm asking you, my readers. Do you use the rating labels? do you find them helpful at all? If I do away with rating books, should I keep the "Abandoned" and "Favorites" categories, or just ditch it altogether?

8 comments:

Debi said...

I don't use ratings, for many of the reasons you just mentioned. But mostly I think because even if I could really get a handle on how I rated them, I'm not sure others would understand them anyway. Like you said, to you "3/5" is a good book, but many people seem to think "3/5" means you didn't like all that much. I really do like the idea of a favorites category though! I think it's easier for others to grasp that you really, really loved or really, really didn't like a book than to grasp the nuances that might go into those "in between" ratings. Sheesh--I'm so afraid I'm not making any sense at all...please feel free to simply ignore me.

Chris said...

I think that's TOTALLY up to you on whether or not to do ratings. If you do them for yourself as sort of a reference, I say go ahead and stick with them...if you do them for others and just don't want to do them anymore then do away with them! I did ratings last year and then ended up getting rid of them because I hated them :/ I just couldn't concretely put a number on a book. I do like ratings on blogs for a quick reference, but really it doesn't do that much for me...I read the review to get the most out of whether or not a book is for me!

Jenny said...

I like to have ratings for myself, when I'm looking back at books I read in the past, to tell me how much I liked a book. On other people's blogs, I pay attention to very high ratings or very low ones, but on the in-between things, it's all about what they say in their reviews. Lu at Regular Rumination does something I love: she rates books based on how soon she thinks you should read them. Like, read this: today / next week / next month / when your TBR pile is exhausted. I love that!

Janet said...

I don't use rating labels, or pay much attention to them on others' blogs. I think your idea of keeping "favorites" and "abandoned" is perfect.

Zibilee said...

I like the ratings, but I don't do them on my blog, so I am really of two minds about them. I think you should go with whatever you are most comfortable with. I do keep a list of rating for my private use, that way I can recall my feelings a little more clearly as time passes.

Amanda said...

I've gone back and forth over the last two years on ratings. My problem is trying to rate nonfiction! It just doesn't work the same as fiction. Eventually I settled (for now at least) on not rating on my blog but keepign the ratings at Goodreads (which I admit, I do change from time to time as my thoughts change).

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I like ratings. I've been on the fence about adding them to my blog. My problem is that my 3 star rating means I liked it. I give a lot of books 3 stars. My 4 star rating means I really liked it. Amazon's 3 star is "it was ok". So, there's no consistency. So many people give 5 stars to everything and I only give 5 stars when I'm moved beyond words or find a book to be truly exceptional.

So, I haven't really answered your question. If I could find a cute star graphic I might start rating on my blog! LOL!!

Jeane said...

Thank you for all the feedback. I think I agree mostly with Holly- my 3 stars means it was good, 4 that I really liked it, the rare 5 that it was an exceptionally amazing book. I think I'll just continue as I've been doing; I only wish people would take note where I've explained what my 1-5 means!