Rating a book

Published 10/02/2015 by leannecrabtree

How do you rate a book? Are you someone who if they enjoyed a book they give it five stars and then work the ones they liked less by so many stars? Or do you base it on a scale of your choice because it had this or that in it? Do you give out 5 stars all the time? Or save it for those extra special books that you fall in love with?graph

As you can see from the above image from Goodreads, I’m rather picky about giving out 5 stars and have to be blown away by the storyline and the characters. If I give a book a half star rating then I round it up instead of down which is probably why I have so many 4 star ratings.

I can’t help but wonder how others rate books so feel free to leave comments 😀

One comment on “Rating a book

  • I’ve asked myself that question quite a bit lately. This brought me to the realization that it’s all based on how I’m feeling at any particular time. Simple enough recipe, right?

    But in all fairness it cannot be marked as such without some definition. Which brings me to the following – three variables on why I rate stories the way I do.

    1) Paperback vs Kindle

    Call me old school, but I rather enjoy turning the pages of a paperback, or hardcover, novel. So it goes without saying that I would be more inclined to rate a published story higher than one on a Kindle.

    It may not be savvy considering we now live in an Eco Conscience world. Not to mention the risk of becoming an outcast in a techy driven society. But it’s just how I’m hardwired. Others may claim that I’ve been conditioned to accept this, and to an extent, they would be correct. Forgive me, I’m a child of the 80s lol.

    With a novel, I find there’s a greater intimacy to be had.

    Another point of reference over why I rate paperbacks higher than Kindles came to light over a year ago. Susan Napier is a romance writer, and at one point I had in my possession several of her works. Unfortunately deterioration brought one of the books to an untimely & heart rendering end. To fill the void I purchased an Amazon copy for my Kindle. It did nothing for me. It felt devoid of passion, lacked any real character and left me feeling worse than before. But I refused to give up on it. I fell lucky at a garage sale and found the same book. Once again I was filled with all the emotions.

    2) Strong Lead Characters

    This is a must! If you give me a flimsy & transparent character, expect a rating to reflect this. And for some unknown reason the market is flooded with these. Not to mention a lot of authors have this whole jaded view of what qualifies as romantic, or sexual gratification. Apparently there has to be a saturation of sadism, masochistic tendencies, extreme narcissism and explicit content to sell a book.

    I crave depth, complexities and things that question your moral fibre. These are fundamentals when exploring a character, or bridging a relationship between others.

    Not only must the characters carry substance, but they must grow. There’s nothing worse than starting with a petulant and stubborn so-and-so, then ending the same story with a now overly indulged petulant and stubborn person, who learnt nothing. Accept that a lot of pouting, crocodile tears and threats of violence get you what you want.

    3) My Looney Cycle

    I’m sorry, there was no other way to say it lol. Basically it’s my emotional response to whatever I’m reading. This is literally regulated by what’s going on at any given time of the month. Due to work & familial constraints, I can find myself dancing to a crazy tune. One of the safest options to find that baseline is through reading.

    For example, I’m feeling underappreciated, I pick up a romance. I’ve had a bad day, I read a PNR with a tough female heroine. Feeling a touch of nostalgia, a Manga is in hand. Or perhaps I want some excitement, then it’s an action adventure.

    The problem I then face is time. If I can’t finish the book while I’m feeling that initial rush of emotion, it goes from a potential 4 or 5, straight to a 2 or 1.

    Every now and then I go back over ratings and literally say “What the Harry was wrong with me!” I’ve given 5 stars to reads that I have no idea what it was all about. I mean if something was good enough to garner the top position you should remember it, right?

    The same can be said about those that I’ve given a one star. I may not remember names but the gist of it is firmly emblazoned like a high noon sunburn. So theoretically, shouldn’t a book be given a greater rating for emotional recognition?

    I’m not sure if my summation makes any sense to you. But it’s based on generalized understandings on how I view things. I also regularly revisit my GR ratings and modify them accordingly. Especially if I feel the initial vote was too generous, or too harsh.

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