Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Thoughts on Rating

How I Rate Books

Sometimes rating a book is the hardest part of writing a review for me. This is when you make all those observations about the book and give them a quantity. It doesn't have have words, or explanation, its just a number. All of your thoughts being turned into a number.

"Then why do it?" I ask myself on occasion. I think that it is still valuable to assign a rating to books (though sometimes it feels really weird and artificial). It really is a part of writing a review for me- it communicates to anyone reading what kind of a review this is going to be, and I think it contributes a lot to how I write my review here.

Part of the issue is that I'm such a student. I'm incredibly used to ratings. Increasingly, I think in percentages, I rate my books out of ten. I'm not a fan of the five-star rating system, because I mentally turn it into a percentage, and it bothers me that there isn't a 50%. To me, 5/10 means that it passed, but wasn't great. (Like I said, student.)
To me this is 80% and it bothers me that it can actually be anywhere from 70% to 90%. Why, Goodreads?
It does vary quite a bit, though, depending on things like if the book managed to actually make me feel emotions (other than frustrated, when-will-this-be-over emotions). Basically, in my reviews, it is best to look at the rating and the "Review at a Glance" to get an impression of how I felt about a book. Or you could read the review. That would be good too.

Retroactively Rating Books

I'll often give a book a rating right when I finish it, and I'm still riding whatever emotional wave came from reading it. (Incidentally, I NEVER rate a book before or during my reading of it.) I often come back the next day, or while I'm writing the review, and change the rating. This can go up or down, I have certainly done both.

Do you rate your reviews?

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