On rating books, how, why and the complicated feelings of it all

I started reading books very early on, even before I could actually understand the words on the page. Once I got the hang of it, started reading the words, the books swallowed me whole and I never got out of this world. Whether a book left an impression on me, made me cry in the night or just gave me a “meh, this was okay” feeling overall… Ever since I started reading books, I never really thought about giving books an actual rating.

It’s only when I started book blogging that I started rating books.

Funny story: I started this book blog back in late 2015 by writing book reviews, without actual ratings at the end of the reviews. I just wrote what I thought and that was it. Slowly but surely, I started implementing my own rating system, linked to the name of my blog, Drizzle & Hurricane Books, because I just wanted to be good like that.

Also, I will admit it, I wanted to do like everyone else does and rate books, too.

Ratings are very common on the blogosphere and, in a quick glance, gives an idea of whether we love, hated or thought the book was in the “meh, it was okay” part of the rating spectrum. Whenever I read a review on a blog, whenever I scroll on Goodreads to see whether my friends liked this book before actually deciding whether it’s worth my time, or not, I look at the rating. I don’t only focus on that, but I like how quick it is to see stars, rainbows, little squirrels or whatever your own rating system looks like, to know what you thought.

I followed the flock on that one and I’m happy that I did. I like having a sense of what I thought quickly, I also like ratings and being coherent between Goodreads and my own blog, basically, wherever I talk about books. Let’s face it: ratings also help so many readers picking up their next books.

I can’t be the only one second-guessing everything whenever I see bad ratings from my friends. I can’t be the only one second-guessing my choices when I see so many problematic things highlighted in a story, resulting in 1-star reviews on a book I was searching for on Goodreads, or a friend giving a book 5-stars to a book because it rocked his/her/their world.

Rating books is WAY too hard, at times.

Obviously, the rating system and thoughts is way more complex than just a couple stars and I know that now. Do you ever just spend a couple hours – even, a couple days – thinking about a book before deciding to rate it 3 or 4 stars? Do you ever wish you could rate a book 3,75 stars on Goodreads, just because there were details that were good, yet didn’t quite reach the 4-stars mark. I know I do.

Whenever we think about what we read, whenever we want to deliver a great book review, we have to take so many different elements into account. Sometimes, things round up really well and everything is okay, but sometimes… we just have mixed feelings about EVERYTHING and have not a DAMN idea what we should do.

Want to know what I do? I rate my books on a feeling.

There is some sort of system to rating books and everyone on the blogosphere has their own. Like many bloggers and reviewers, I pay attention to the elements everyone is waiting to hear about: the characters, the plot, the pacing, the writing style, and so on. Yet, my rating won’t be the same as everyone else, because all of these elements have different weights on the balance. I KNOW I care about my characters a whole lot more than plot and, it won’t bother me if a book hasn’t much plot but has amazing characters, for instance.

Yet, despite all the calculations you can make, or think of making, despite the little formulas you can try and make, you will never quite figure out how I rate my books, unless you get into my brains and my mind. I rate books on a feeling. Sometimes, a book was really, really great and, both in my head and review, I can’t see anything wrong. Yet, the book will end up staying in the 4-stars range, only because I did not get that ground-breaking feeling about it. Ultimately, no matter the book I read and no matter how hard I try and analyze every aspect of it, feelings always had and always will win me over everything.

I also know that being a book blogger has made me more exigent.

There are so many great books out there, so many hyped books. Even if I’m far from the 100 books a year mark, I’m still reading a whole lot more than before and that means… reading more of the same kind of stories. Reading more different books and somehow, finding myself a little bit more exigent. Because I know what I love and I know what I want from a book. I also know what I should expect – sometimes, even if it’s wrong, because of the tendancy of OVER HYPING THINGS TOO MUCH sometimes. Despite all of this ; I’m kind of happy to say that, in the past year, I haven’t rated any books too harshly. I rated 1 book 2 stars in 2017. All of the other books I read were above.

I hate that numbers and ratings are ruling our lives, yet, looking at these ratings make me feel like I had a great reading year overall and that makes me happy.

Do you rate your books? Why, or why not?

What elements do you take into account when rating a book? Do characters win you over, as well? AND WHAT ABOUT FEELINGS??

Do you find yourself being a bit more exigent with books, lately? Let me know everything in comments!

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. ๐Ÿ“š |๐ŸŒ | ๐Ÿ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

121 thoughts on “On rating books, how, why and the complicated feelings of it all

  1. I do rate my reads. I think it’s a good measure of how much you enjoy a book. However, it’s totally subjective because it’s just my opinion. Someone else might read it and absolutely hate it which has happened to me. I have noticed that I’m becoming more stingy with my 5 star reads though…

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    1. I get it, it is so subjective and sometimes, a 3 stars for someone means it’s a great book, while for others that means the book was, mediocre at best haha ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your comment!! โค โค

      Like

  2. After I started using Goodreads and posting monthly reads series on my blog that I started rating books. I still rarely use GR but I’ve to admit that when I’m picking books to buy, I’ll unconsciously look at the rating. I wouldn’t buy if the rating is lower than 4 lol. In that sense, I guess I become more demanding on book ratings compared to the times where I use to just pick books on a whim.

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    1. OH I get the feeling – I am always a little more wary to pick up my books whenever the rating is lower than 4 I am not sure why haha, I guess we become more and more exigent now ๐Ÿ˜›
      Thank you so much for your comment!! xx

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  3. I didn’t start assigning star ratings to books until I joined Goodreads. They need to change their format to allow for half stars!
    But anyway, I completely agree that assigning a book– a book that made me feel all sorts of things, frustration joy– assigning that a star value, seems to collapse the complexity of the book. Everyone views the rating differently. For example if I DNF a book I give it 2 stars ((if I managed to finish it, at worst it’ll get three)). I’ve given a book a 5 star rating once not because it was the BEST BOOK EVER but because it did something really interesting ((characters actually changed from book to book depending on what trauma had just happened and I loved that)). This personalized way to approach ratings does make it super difficult for someone to come along, look at the stars I gave a book, and off the top of their head understand how I felt about the book. Which seems to undermine the entire point of a rating system! I don’t know…sometimes when I post reviews on my blog I forget to assign an arbitrary number– I’m much more excited to explain to you /how/ and /why/ I felt things hoping that by the end you’ll have a better picture of my opinion than a star rating would give you.

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    1. I agree with you, so many times I want to give half-stars to books. It is so hard to rate books sometimes, ahah.
      And YES, I agree! Everyone sees books differently and just looking over the rating doesn’t really tell the whole story, as we all view our ratings differently . Best way to know that is to actually read the review, where we can properly express ourselves about the book ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your comment, Anna! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Hi Marie! I also rate books. I admit that I look for certain things like connecting with the character and plot, but mostly its a gut feeling. Did I like it? How much? Why did I like it as much as I did? Also, the mood I was in while reading it also plays into whether I liked the book. The best thing about books is that for every person who loves a book thereโ€™s someone who says โ€œreally?, you liked it that much?โ€ Or โ€œI loved that book, why didnโ€™t you?โ€ Itโ€™s all so subjective!

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    1. Oh same here, it is really a gut feeling and the time when you read the book can change everything too. A book read at the right time can be a 5-stars, while in another time it would only be a 4 stars ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Deb!! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie this is such a good post!!
    I agree with you, I actually find rating books sometimes quite difficult, I have to admit tho – since book blogging I’ve been quite harsh with my rating, I used to give 5 stars quite easily but now I am quite picky, like if it doesn’t blow my mind and I’m not thinking about it for days then I usually give it a 4 star instead xD
    but when it comes to rating books 3/2 star I find really difficult, especially 3 stars books as they are never a bad book tbh?? like there’s usually just bits I didn’t like // or like it was just really slow paced? I don’t know!!
    but like you I always check out a rating before I read a book just to make sure that I know I’m going to enjoy it so I don’t find myself buying a book that I probably won’t like!
    I don’t 1 star very often, I tend to leave that to books that I either dnf (if I’ve read at least half the book anyway!) ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Aww thank you so much! โค โค
      I agree with you, sometimes I feel like I am too harsh, but… I'm guessing there is a reason too? If the book didn't blow us away… maybe we are expecting too much.? It's hard to know, really, haha ๐Ÿ™‚
      OH same here! I feel like 3-stars books aren't that bad, they were average reads, interesting but some things were missing. Some people think 3 is a bad rating, but for me, it's just… average?
      Thank you SO much for your sweet comment!! โค โค

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  6. I use Goodreads for my base. If you hover over the stars there is a verbal phrase on there to prompt you.

    It has to be slightly adjusted on Amazon which I find silly that Amazon and Goodreads hasnโ€™t made their star system match yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH yeah I know that. It’s just harsh sometimes to decide between two ratings, when you liked some aspects of the book, but weren’t sure about others… rating is SO hard at times haha ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for stopping by Kristin! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  7. OK excellent post once again Marie! I rate books and I will rate them on a feeling too. Sometimes I will give two ratings: my personal rating due to may taste and a more “objective” rating. I explain: recently I read a book so out of my comfort zone that my personal feelings were between 2 and 3 stars. But I added a second rating of 5 stars because objectively the author did a fantastic job in this genre and fans of the genre would certainly love it.
    That is for books that leave me conflicted but that I can see the author’s skills.
    Why? Because I rate book and write review (the review is even more important than the rating as you explain) for other readers. To help them make an advised choice. To not buy a book not for them at all.
    Now I’m like you: if the characters are exceptional, if I can walk in their shoes I will be swalowed by the story and whatever the plot the book will be a success for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so much for your sweet comment, Sophie! โค
      oh I think that's such a great system you have here! Whether I read a book out of my comfort zone that I didn't quite enjoy, but others used to that genre could, I always try and mention it at the end of my review. I like the fact that you use two different ratings, such a great idea! ๐Ÿ™‚
      And YES characters are amazing, such a great part of any story for me โค
      Thank you again!! โค โค

      Like

  8. OH YES! Ratings, just like feelings, are so complicated. I do rate the books and definitely agree that every factor that accounts for the rating can weigh differently for each reader or reviewer. Sometimes even preferences take a front seat, like I love fast-paced books so a slow-paced book might be rated less by me, even when the story or the characters were super good.

    It’s so difficult to decide a rating because it’s basically like summing up the entire review and a book reviewer or blogger doesn’t wanna go wrong with that. Sometimes my rating changes with time. Like, immediately after reading a book, I might give it four stars but after a few hours or days, I’ll remember how the story didn’t make me hold on to it so I might end up giving it a 3.5. Ugh, it’s complicated XD

    Loved this post, Marie! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I so agree with you. I know I love a good friends-to-lovers romance or I like what some people call “flowery” writing style sometimes and I know that tends to make me rate a book a little bit higher sometimes! ๐Ÿ™‚
      AND YES. I actually never went back to re-rate my books properly, but I know I changed my mind a whole lot about books since I started blogging and reading way more…. so many books would be rated lower now, poor them haha :/
      THANK YOU so much for your sweet comment, Fanna!! โค โค

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  9. I find it really hard when Iโ€™m rating books. The main thing that I find is if I really enjoy a book, and say give it a 4 stars, is that it doesnโ€™t equate to other books Iโ€™ve given a four star. I consider 3/3.5 to be average for a book. So, if I give this book (a book I really enjoyed but had a few problems with) a 4 star and it doesnโ€™t equate to other books do I have to lower my rating? And then if it is better than books Iโ€™ve rated a 3.5 where does it go? I find this really difficult. To be honest, I try and give enough detail in my review about how I felt about the book so that whoeverโ€™s reading my review can really make up their own mind. A five star to me could be a four star to someone else too. I like to think readers will base their opinions on whether or not theyโ€™d like to read the book on the review, rather than the rating. Great post though!

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    1. Oh I SO understand your feelings about this. Sometimes, I rate a book 4 stars, but then I wonder, it’s not EXACTLY as good as the other books I rated 4 stars, but… it’s not as “average” as the other books I tend to rate 3…. it’s a NEVER ending struggle, trying to find the right rating for a book. That’s why writing reviews help, way more than just a simple rating ๐Ÿ™‚
      I agree with you and want to hope that as well. I like that ratings give quickly an impression, but they don’t tell the whole story and I hope people rely on my full reviews, too, to know what I really thought of a book ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES! It’s so difficult. I feel like I spend more time contemplating what I’m going to rate the book than what I’m going to say about it. Really, I’d rather not rating the books but I know that other people like seeing a rating so that’s the only reason why I do it.
        Yes, exactly. I completely agree.

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  10. I so agree with all of this post! I rate all my books, but truthfully, I don’t even know if I agree with my own ratings sometimes. It’s just so hard! Like you, I mostly try to rate on feelings. Like, if I was obsessed enough with a book to read and read and forget time and my surroundings, then it’s a 5 star. If anything felt a little off to me, I take down some stars. But really, it’s difficult to compare certain books sometimes which in my mind get the same rating but feel completely different. So I’ve been thinking about changing my rating system a bit, but I haven’t figured out how yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Oh I so understand your feeling, I have been thinking about the same thing lately. Some books I rated 4 stars, don’t feel like they deserve the same rating, yet… they don’t deserve 3, either? It’s hard to know where these books are supposed to be on that scale….
      If you find a way to figure this out, I’d LOVE to know! ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your comment!! xx

      Like

  11. Ugh this is SUCH A GOOD POST, Marie!! I definitely agree with you on so many things — all my ratings are based upon feelings, and I can’t really form a rating system based off of that. And ugh, I’m facing that 3.75 stars dilemma right now!! It’s not deserving of 4 stars… but 3.5 stars is too less?? Why is this so hard. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Sometimes I’m really doubtful of my ratings (especially my old ones) but other times I feel really secure! And I totally agree that sometimes I second-guess myself when I see friends rating it differently than me & bringing up good points. And when I’m buying books, I get so AAAHH over my friends’ mixed ratings! ๐Ÿ˜‚

    GREAT DISCUSSION, MARIE!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, May!! โค I know right? We need to come up with a new way of rating books, based on feelings, but… it would be REALLY complicated, I think ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Same here – I always second-guess my ratings and I know I don't feel the same way as I did when I first rated a book, sometimes. It's a bit crazy and bothering how our feelings change, because then, we can never really be fixed on anything ๐Ÿ˜‚

      THANK YOU!!! โค โค โค

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  12. I love rating books and find that a rating can be a good orientation if someone liked a book or not. I have seen a few people not rating or using a different system lately, which of course is totally fine! I always read the Review after I’ve looked at the rating after all. Still I will probably never get away from rating the books I read ๐Ÿ™‚

    When rating I take into account many things, but feeling definitely is one of them, so I’m with you in that point ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to care about the characters/story/world and only books that have that special spark/leave that impact/make me think about them days afte finishing them get a 5 star rating. Therefore, you could say that I’m basing especially those 5 star ratings on what I feel ๐Ÿ™‚

    Having so many mixed opinions about a book is the WORST when trying to decide for a rating D: I have experienced that a lot lately, especially when it comes to “is this book 3 stars or 4 stars???” Just a few days ago I finished a new release by one of my fave authors and was unsure what to rate it. On the one hand I love her writing style and liked a few elements of the story, but on the other hand the plot wasn’t goot, there was a love triangle I didn’t like and overall the book was badly executed. I decided on 3.5 stars, but it was really hard :/

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    1. I agree with you – it is a good way to know whether someone liked a book or not, yet never replaces a full review. After all, we have so many conflicted opinions about books, they can never be summed up in a simple rating ๐Ÿ˜€

      I AM SO WITH YOU ON THAT. Sometimes it’s so hard to know what to rate a book, especially when you expected some things, when others loved it, when some elements were amazing, but others not so much… what matters more, in the end?? It is SO hard to decide sometimes, I get that struggle so much :/

      Thank you so much for your comment!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely ๐Ÿ˜€ Especially as everyone has a bit different rating system – This is why I always read through the Review ๐Ÿ™‚

        IT’S SO COMPLICATED ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Sometimes I have so much to talk about, so many good things, but also so many bad things and it’s really hard to figure out if the good outweighs the bad ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

        You’re welcome โ™ฅ

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      2. I know, right? It’s just SO hard to know what weights the most on the balance, what we ended up enjoying a bit more, etc etc. Rating books is so hard ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  13. Yes I agree on the whole feelings dictating my ratings thing! Like honestly, there are just some books that I very much enjoyed, found no problems with whatsoever, yet stay in the 4 star range. It’s just really hard to compare between books. One book is phenomenal in one way, while another book is amazing in another, and I just can’t say for sure what makes the former a 5 star and the latter a 4 star.

    I just hope that people will focus on the review rather than the actual star rating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I feel the same way – I feel a bit silly whenever I rate a book 4 stars, and have like, no big argument for it not to be a 5-star read. It’s just… I was not feeling like it was a 5-stars read for me? It’s really weird, it’s just a feeling that separates the great from the incredible ahah ๐Ÿ™‚

      I really hope so as well. I like that a rating gives a quick indication of whether a person enjoyed the book or not, but it never replaces a full review telling us ALL the feelings a reviewer had ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Val!! โค

      Like

  14. I’ve always rated books (well, not always) but I actually had a Goodreads account before I started blogging so when I did start blogging for the first time (one of my failed blogs before I came around to the one I have no) it never really occurred to me not to rate the books I read. I do wish Goodreads had a half star rating system, god there are so many books that I can never seem to settle on whether they’re three or four stars and then I would just rate them three and a half stars and it seems like a perfect solution. ๐Ÿ˜€
    For me when it comes to rating I can never really specify why I rate books the way I do, I mean I have a review policy on my blog with a breakdown of what each of my star ratings means but a lot of the time its just how I feel about a book and it really does vary case by case. I have got more critical in my ratings lately I’ve noticed. Part of me things it’s just a side effect of blogging you know? Like the more you read reviews and the more you’re aware of out there the more you release something you could have rated five stars a few years ago isn’t actually a five star read for you now?
    Great post Marie, as always! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, the half-stars seem like a great solution for whenever we are feeling a little bit undecided about the books. It’s just really hard sometimes, when we have conflicted feelings, to settle on one exact rating ๐Ÿ˜›
      I completely understand, I feel the same way! With reading more and everything, we get a bit more critical and aware of every aspect of a book ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much, Beth!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You have spoken my soul again, Marie! I have sooo much trouble rating books, sometimes because they’re too good I can’t even classify it them and sometimes because they’re just indescribable in every sense of the word.
    But my rating leans heavily on feeling and in the end, a book may be incredibly well written and perfect, but spark nothing within me so it ends up getting a lower rating than expected. Some people end up questioning the final rating in my reviews because of what I say before that – and they’re right to do so because it rarely matches ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Anyway, I think your method works perfectly and really creates a very personal look into the book. It’s fine to pay attention to the more technical details but I think in the end what matters is how a book made you feel.
    I also notice how much more demanding I’ve been getting ever since I started blogging. You end up reading a lot more, of course, and the interaction with fellow bloggers also helps shape your views.
    Amazing post, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw I am so glad I am not the only one with this issue ๐Ÿ˜‚ I’m always scared that people will question my reviews, whenever I have nothing really bad to say about the book, yet it’s not a perfect rating. I… just wasn’t feeling it ๐Ÿ˜‚ It feels like a weird excuse, but that’s how I feel? ๐Ÿ˜›
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Sophie! โค โค

      Like

      1. Hahaha it’s not weird at all, I feel the exact same way! I try to make them as objective and helpful as possible but sometimes all I can muster is “hdksbdfguvvekaodhdbk” ๐Ÿ˜‚
        So yeah, you’re not alone!
        No problem, hon โค๏ธโค๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post! Ratings are so complicated… I try to give a rating thatโ€™s influenced by both objective and subjective measures โ€” if the technical quality of a book is excellent but I didnโ€™t enjoy it, then to me itโ€™s not worth the full five stars itโ€™d get on technical quality alone. Likewise if I really enjoyed a book that wasnโ€™t that well-written. I think itโ€™s a difficult line to navigate, which is why everyone rates their books in different ways!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚
      It is really hard to find the right kind of balance between feelings and technical elements of a book, and we don’t all have the same standards either, or the same weights on the balance. I know I LOVE my characters, while some people will LOVE the plot of a book way more ๐Ÿ™‚
      thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Amazing post, I JUST had this sort of battle with myself last month. I rated The Picture of Dorian Gray with 3 stars, even though it was amazing because some parts were just so… boring. Then I read another book, The Witch’s Daughter, and I gave it a three-star as well. But they didn’t give me the same feelings! So I was conflicted on which rating I should adjust… And promptly forgot about it until I read this post LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THIS. This happens to me way too often, it’s not even funny anymore ๐Ÿ˜‚ I just don’t know what to do, sometimes two books end up with the same rating, but I had different feelings about them…. but they feel like 3-stars books anyway? I guess that’s where the detailed review comes in, to help us REALLY figure out how we feel about everything? ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Honestly I love rating books.It cements a certain finality to the books I read and I can look back and find out by the rating if I loved them or not.I rate books on feelings too and also the characters and sometimes even the story line.Before I started blogging it was purely based on how I felt after I finished a book.But since I’ve been blogging, I am more picky with my ratings.Great post, Marie โค

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    1. Oh yes that’s such a great way of looking at things. I also love looking back at my year in books on Goodreads, and seeing the books I rated 5 stars ๐Ÿ™‚
      I am also becoming a bit more picky with my rating, side effect of blogging I guess ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Thank you so much ffor your sweet comment โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is a great conversation starter Marie. As a fellow book blogger, I have been rating books for a couple of years. Every now and then I get really stuck on a rating, usually when my feelings clash with what I know about the book objectively e.g. a book that is objectively perfect just wasn’t my cup of tea. In that situation, I feel like I don’t deserve to give a rating, especially knowing my rating will affect other people’s opinions (people who maybe are the perfect audience for the book) plus the book’s overall score on Goodreads. Ahh it can be super conflicting. It sounds like you might not have this problem since you rate based on your feelings alone?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you are raising such an interesting point here. I do rate based on my feelings, but I do take into account some other technical elements in the story, characters and their development, world-building, pacing, etc. If, in the end, feelings will be what will give the final rating, I try not to forget these elements and most importantly, always try and end up my review with mentioning people who could enjoy the book, which elements, themes and technical details could interest most readers ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like that extra detail you add by mentioning what sort of readers would enjoy the book. It’s like acknowledging that we’re not always the ideal reader for the book, and recognising that there will be people out there who will adore it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  20. I always rate my books since I started blogging. Before that I honestly didn’t really track my reading anywhere? I just got books, read them and that’s it. Since I started blogging and reviewing that obviously changed.

    When writing my reviews it’s sometimes easy to say up front what rating I’ll be giving. Sometimes I write my entire review and then see how many good vs. bad points I mentioned and use those to decide my rating.
    I’ve also had cases where I read and reviewed a book months before posting my review – yay eARC’s – and then reread it when it’s posted and go “Why didn’t I give it a lower / higher rating? Like.. My review is obviously very much on the positive / negative side and my rating doesn’t match it?!” I do tend to change my rating at that point because it simply seems the fair thing to do.

    There are also some books where I know there’s some problems with it but the message it sends or the feelings it gave me are waaaay up there, which causes me to give it a higher rating than I would’ve otherwise.

    Ratings are soooo ridiculously subjective. It’s all a matter of letting people know WHY you decided to give a certain rating; WHY you decided the cons of it didn’t weigh through that much in your rating because you simply loved it anyway. It’s hard, but it’s also what makes writing reviews more fun to me.

    Awesome post, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH I did not track my reading AT ALL before, either!! I’m so glad I’m not the only one haha ๐Ÿ™‚ Funny how blogging changes our whole habits ๐Ÿ˜‚

      I understand your thoughts – I sometimes question my ratings afterwards as well… I never got back to re-rate books, but sometime I will, when I’ll stop being lazy ๐Ÿ˜‚ Our feelings are bound to change with time, I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

      OH YES, ratings are SO subjective…. but it’s also fun to see how there are so many different opinions on the same books, that way ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so, so much, Kathy!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right?! Like, I actually PLAN my reading and blogging and automatically everything else so I can read as much as possible? I never planned anything for when I was just at home.. :’)

        Haha. Laziness is pure evil! I immediately adapt them though. I think it’s only fair when people check older reviews and then read something I think about differently now. ๐Ÿ˜›

        True! Like, somebody will give a higher rating because the writing was amazing, but someone else might say “sure, the writing is amazing BUT THE PLOT” and give a lower rating

        โค !

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly! And then you get distracted by things *coughsimscough* and your whole plan goes out the window because well.. distractions!
        [I wanted to read the entire Legend-trilogy this weekend and failed because of. Sims. I’m addicted to it. My couple has like five kids now and I just cannot stop.]

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Yessss if anything rating books is so important because it helps me benchmark all my reads against each other! I rate books based on feelings as well, especially how much I liked a book can come into it. Although it’s interesting to see how much my book ratings have changed over time as well, it depends if I’ve read any good books recently or if that particular read really resonated at that time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH yes, I agree with you – sometimes, when we read the book at the right time, it just clicks and it will be a 5-stars, while reading it a couple weeks later, everything would be different. It’s so funny how that is.
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Jeann!! โค โค

      Like

  22. Glad I’m not the only one that lets their feelings be the deciding factor in a rating. At the end of the day, I love a book that makes me feel something. I don’t care if a book is technically flawless, if it doesn’t make me feel something then I’m going to be overly impressed. I hate choosing a rating. I always feel like I’m too generous with my ratings since I’ve never given a book below 3 stars yet so I feel like people get bored with my positivity but at the end of the day I know which books I’m likely to enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I feel the same way – I rarely ever rate a book less than 3 stars. I am almost never writing ranty kind of reviews, I don’t think I ever did, actually? I don’t know if that makes me boring or… just good at picking my books? ๐Ÿ˜‚
      thank you so much, Lois!! โค

      Like

  23. OHMYGOSH YASSSSSS! I also rate my books on a feeling! LOL! Often times leads books that I loved to be rated 4 stars for the same reason, if I don’t get that specific joyous feeling by the very end then it’s not getting the full 5. I also look at plot/characters/writing…but also twinning with you when it comes to character driven books, I just love them & will excuse a weaker plot if the characters are out of this world amazing haha! I love your discussion posts Marie <3! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Lilly! I know, I will always favour characters in a way, they’re my favorites in a book, I can’t help it ๐Ÿ˜›
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet words!! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I definitely agree that it’s tough! How can we quantify 400+ pages of feelings, plot, writing, characters, etc. into a number?? There’s so much that needs to be taken into consideration, so I try to remember to consider other people’s ratings with a grain of salt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RIGHT? It’s impossible, we need a thousand different ratings for every aspect of the book and a thousand more for all the conflicted feelings we can have ๐Ÿ˜‚
      I agree, it’s good to look at the rating to get a general idea, but it has to be taken with caution and full reviews have to be read to understand all the positive / negative aspects for sure ๐Ÿ™‚
      thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Great post, Marie! You know that I rate my books, but I did adjust my rating system over time. I still remember that silly 3.78 stars that I gave, because hoooow on earth did I even come up with that? Anyway, I think ratings help so much to give a quick overview, but of course they don’t replace actual reviews.
    Again, really well written post!! โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 3.78?? Now that’s rating dedication for sure, how did you do the math? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Just thinking about doing more math than I have to makes me tired ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
      Thank you so, so much, Kat!! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I always love your discussion posts and I agree whole heartedly that ratings people give books HEAVILY impact whether or not I’m going to read it. I mean I just don’t have the time to waste on books I’m not going to love! Also I totally agree that good characters can make or break a story (I will literally read a book just for the characters even if the plot is complete and utter trash)

    Oh BTW I tagged you in my latest post, Anti Valentines Day!

    Great post and happy reading:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thank you so, SO much for your sweet comment, that means so much to me โค
      YAY for loving characters, they're the best and I care about them so much more than anything else in a book hahaha.
      Thank you again! โค โค

      Like

  27. I do rate books because of Goodreads. Before that, not really.
    I usually rate books immediately after I finish them and go completely on my feelings at that moment. Occasionally Iโ€™ll drop or raise a star after Iโ€™ve thought it over or retead it, but usually my gut instinct works for me.
    I explain why I rated something what I did in my review, and itโ€™s there I break down all my thoughts. There are times I really loved a book but it had just one thing I couldnโ€™t understand or accept, but it might not affect my rating if I loved the book enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh it’s so great, you are rating books just like me, on a gut feeling ๐Ÿ˜€ I always rate books after I read them, but want to change the rating sometimes after a while, because I changed my mind, though that doesn’t happen too often ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I didn’t realize you used to not rate books, Marie — I guess I’m so used to seeing the drizzle & hurricane rating at the end of each of your book reviews that that’s news for me ๐Ÿ˜Š I’m hesitant about rating books myself, just because my feelings for a book is often so much more complex than just a number, so for now, I’m fine with just writing out my thoughts… but it is more convenient for readers to see a quick rating. I guess I don’t want readers of my blog to see a bad rating of a book without reading *why* I thought a book deserved that rating — after all, that one book might be another person’s favorite. ๐Ÿ˜Š Rating books does bring up a lot of complicated feelings, right? ๐Ÿ˜… Great post, Marie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, well, I didn’t rate books for maybe the first month of blogging and it was back in 2014 ahah, so…. far far in the depth of this blog haha.
      It is so hard to rate books, sometimes a rating doesn’t show what a book really meant to you, or it’s just, well a rating is too easy, while books are so complex at times? ๐Ÿ˜…
      Thank you so, so much for your comment!! โค

      Liked by 1 person

  29. THAT FIRST GIF OF EUGENE GIVES ME LIFE I LOVE TANGLED SO MUCH ANFJDGHDJF ok sorry that is not the point of this post :’)

    I find rating books such a difficult topic. I’m a very nice rater and it’s rare that I give a book 1 or 2 stars. Most of the books I read have 3 or 4 stars, but what I’ve realised is that I often change my mind about books a few months/years after I’ve read them! And it’s so WEIRD because I don’t know if I should change my rating and make it lower just because it doesn’t represent how I feel about a book now, or if I should keep it because those were my original thoughts!

    UGH why is this so hard XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But.. IT COULD BE THE POINT OF THIS POST?!!! I mean, Eugene IS pretty awesome! ๐Ÿ˜›
      I feel like I am a nice rater as well, OR that I just pick up books I like overall? I don’t know, but I can’t remember rating a book really badly ๐Ÿ˜…
      I feel the same way – I want to change my rating sometimes, but my rating reflected my feelings at the time, so… it’s SO HARD ๐Ÿ˜…

      Thank you so much Jackie!!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  30. This is a great discussion Marie! The thing about ratings is to remember that they are all subjective – even the most “objective” journals have an ounce of voice or opinion in it.

    I love rating books myself, but it’s mostly for my personal use and for letting my friends know if they should pick up a book or not. I would be much more careful with my ratings if I were, for example, writing for a magazine or company.

    Awesome discussion!

    Like

  31. I have a system so mathematical to give my stars that it’s almost ridiculous! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I can’t help it, I like formulas! ( Where was this love for statistics and numbers when I was in high school!? ) But, sometimes despite all these sophisticated calculations, I don’t know, it’s not quite right? Perhaps I should add ” stars on a feeling ” in my formula because that’s what should win after all. Thanks for giving me the idea. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, you are talking about FORMULAS?! Really? Now I really have to know what your formula is to rate a book ๐Ÿ˜‚ There are so many elements to take into account, technical details,obviously, but then there is that gut feeling you get about the book and… well, everything changes with that ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Thank you so much for your comment, Morgane!! โค

      Like

      1. I use the ”star report” formula, but that’s just a pretty, sophisticated name I gave it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s not as complicated as it sounds. I’m sure someone used it too! I give stars to basics stuffs like: plot, writing, world-building etc. If there is a love story or a b-story, I give stars to that too. It can be different depending on the book. Then, I addition all the stars, divide by the numbers of “variables” and BOOM! I have my stars! Perhaps it’s as complicated as it sounds after all? ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OHhhhhh okay now that makes sense. I was thinking of a very complicated formula and I thought, damn, you’re REALLY into doing this math thing, too, while rating your books ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚
        Now that makes more sense, I have seen a couple bloggers rating their books like that. I guess it gives a fair rating overall, given that you try and take every aspect into account ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m far too lazy to think like that ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  32. I rate books on Goodreads because I like how the site will suggest other books based on those ratings, but that’s really just for my own use, and I don’t write out actual reviews there or anywhere else. I admit, sometimes I am tempted to write reviews on my blog, but I’m hesitant because I don’t think I have much to offer given that there are so many wonderful reviewers already, plus, I worry it will make me a hypocrite as a hopefully-to-be-author.

    But yes, it’s all about the feelings, haha. I think I’d go crazy if I had to measure books according to some actual guidelines that made sense ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no – well, personally, I don’t think it would make you a hypocrite at all? You are allowed to have an opinion on books and it’s okay to share it, we are all sharing our thoughts on stories and doing so respectfully even when a story was not for us ๐Ÿ™‚ Are you writing reviews on Goodreads, or just rating the book there? ๐Ÿ™‚
      That makes complete sense, and having complicated guidelines would be way too complicated for me, too ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! โค โค

      Like

  33. I always rate a book UNLESS it is a book that I don’t feel like it would be fair of me to rate. For example, I recently read a book that included a topic that I am sensitive to. I didn’t know going into the book that it would be such a big part of the book. In this case, I didn’t feel like it would be fair to the book & author for me to rate this book.

    Rating books is hard! If Goodreads would add half stars, it would make things so much easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I understand your feeling – in some particular cases, I wouldn’t feel at ease rating a book either, or if I DNF a book only a couple pages in, I couldn’t feel like I could rate a book fairly ๐Ÿ™‚
      OH yes, half stars would make things so much easier, it’s already hard trying to decide on a rating! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much, Amanda! โค

      Like

  34. I rate books on the 1-5 scale as well and I also started doing that for my blog/goodreads. Before that I either liked it or didn’t lol

    Nowadays I rely on ratings to tell me in quick fashion whether it’s a book I should read or not (trusting that it’s an honest book reviewer). Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. i started rating on goodreads and just do the same on my blog… i look at ratings if i want to get a book, but that doesn’t really mean anything. some books i loved only scored around 3.3-3.6 on goodreads. i prefer reviews with the rating to help me decide

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I use goodreads to track my reading so I guess I kind of feel obligated to rate books, but I like it anyway. I definitely rate books primarily on feeling, I have a rating system and everything but really it’s in my head; for the most part, once I’ve finished reading a book I have a clear feeling of what the rating will be. This isn’t always the case, and sometimes I’ll think about it for a few days before deciding on a final rating but usually I just know.

    I’ve found that when I first started using goodreads, and before my blog existed, by ratings were all high (mainly five stars, and the occasional four) and since then my rating system has changed heaps. Those books I rated five stars would probably be three/four stars on my current system, and it’s just because I’ve developed higher expectations since I started reading critically. I actually enjoy rating books things other than five stars, because to me the rating is a number, whereas the review talks about the aspects of the books I liked/didn’t like which probably helps others more because like you said, people prioritise different parts of book content more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I feel the exact same way – after I’m reading a book, I usually know, have a clear feeling of what the rating is going to be. Sometimes it’s a bit tricky though and I think about it for so long hahaha ๐Ÿ™‚

      I understand your thoughts – I started reading a bit more critically ever since I started blogging and if I discovered some incredible books this way, my standards have changed to. Going back, I would probably re-rate some books, too ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  37. What an insightful article, Marie! I, too, never thought much about ratings in the pre-Goodreads, pre-blogging days. Then again, I started out as a very casual reader, so take what you will of that. But, like you, I have own rating system now. And I must say the rating almost always comes to me first before everything else. It’s sort of intuitive I guess. You’re also right about ratings giving us a good sense of how our reading year had been. And I totally agree with you on gravitating towards character development over plot. I love me a good character study.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, so happy you enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚
      I was a very casual reader before, as well, now… whenever I read a book, I get an idea of a rating to give to it afterwards as well, aha ๐Ÿ™‚
      Characters are THE BEST, I love my character-driven books so much ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you!! x

      Like

  38. This is so true! I feel like goodreads gives a good overview and a quick idea of how good a book is but I sometimes look at two books that I’ve given say 4 stars to and they aren’t an equal in my mind! Star ratings can be so limiting. Rating systems work per person too, rather than across blogs/reviewers. My 5-star rating might be worth more or less than your 5-star rating! I think if you had a mathematical algorithm to work out a perfect rating, then maybe stars or numbers would be best. I feel like it’s definitely based more on feeling sometimes than on objectively whether it was a good book or not!
    Great post, you’ve got yourself a new follower! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s the worst, whenever you are rating a book 4 stars, then seeing the last book you rated 4 stars and start comparing them. Ratings don’t mean anything sometimes and they just end up confusing us more and more haha. Ratings are quite limiting, while we can rant in our reviews for billion of words and explain all of our feelings haha ๐Ÿ˜›
      Oh thank you so much! Happy you enjoyed this! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  39. I actually started rating when I got on Goodreads, but I didn’t review. Would you believe I just didn’t want to be noticed? :DDDDD I laugh when I think about it now. I didn’t want to appear stupid or to be judged. I can’t believe I blog about books to hundreds of people now xD what even happened? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Rating is tough thought. Like, you can rate adventure and literary with 4 stars, but they won’t be the same 4 stars. The genres are too different. Or like 5 romance stars can’t always be the same as 5 stars on some earth shattering book about race or womanhood. It’s just… different. So stars are tough xD

    I also rate books on a feeling! I am impressed by those people who do like an average of writing+feel+characters+plot.. but I just can’t do that xD I’m an emotional person ๐Ÿ˜€ and sometimes it’s annoying, cause the book gave me ALL the feels, but I know it’s written worse, compared to that book I just gave less stars xD those kind of situations are grahhh ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahah I can’t imagine, you crazy famous book blogger, not wanting to be noticed ๐Ÿ˜€
      I agree with you, there are so many different kind of 4 stars, depending on the genre and… I don’t know, there are so many different criterias?! Rating is so hard, that’s why reading full reviews is so important โค

      Ahahah I so get that. I am a very emotional person and I know I will rate a book higher if it made me FEEL ALL THE THINGS. I'm here for that aha ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment!! xx

      Like

  40. Yet another amazing discussion post, Marie ๐ŸŒธ
    When I first started this blog I also didn’t have a rating system, there was just too much pressure and like you said sometimes you wish you could rate a book 3.75 stars because it just wasn’t quite a 4 star read and I just didn’t know how to reflect that using stars. But as I got more into Goodreads I decided to incorporate a rating system onto my blog and it os definitely WAY harder than it looks!

    I am exactly the same as you, my main rating is predominantly influed by my feelings for a book – did I connect with the characters, did it make me cry like a baby, did it make me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside – those things really influence my rating. The same with enjoyment factor, I’ll 100% without a doubt rate a book more if I enjoyed it. Then I take into account things that bothered me or that I was impressed by.

    I think ratings are very personal things and I think each and every blogger will interpret them differently and that is also what makes it so unique and interesting โค๏ธ

    P. S. Please teach me your discussion post magic ways. Goodbye and thank you ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear you are having the same kind of rating system as I do! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have to agree with you, ratings are so personal and every blogger will have a different way of rating, depending on their feelings and their own criteria, as well ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much, wow, you are way, way too sweet Michelle!! โค โค

      Liked by 1 person

  41. I am so dependent on ratings. It is true that I too, look for the ratings first and then read the person’s review. And I so wish that Goodreads implement the point rating system.
    While the rating is not always everything, but to an extent, they are important to summarise your overall feeling about the book.
    And a big YES to rate books on feelings. I too do that especially when I am confused between 3.5 and 4 stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to agree with you, I always look at the rating first, even if there is so much more in the actual review… the rating, you can see it in the blink of an eye, it takes a bit more concentration to focus on a full review, haha ๐Ÿ™‚
      Feelings are soooo important. Sometimes, it’s so hard to rate a book, because we are feeling SO conflicted about everything?! that’s crazy annoying ahah.
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Love the gifs you used in this Marie, especially the Chidi one is perfect haha. I rate books based on feelings too, but that gets really hard when I just,, don’t know my feelings?? There have been times that I didn’t look forward to finishing the book because that meant having to rate it and I didn’t know how ๐Ÿ˜‚ lovely post as always Marie! โค๏ธ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CHIDI IS THE BEST, he’s my favorite haha I love him so much ๐Ÿ˜›
      Oh I get the feeling, sometimes we are just SO conflicted about a book, we dread the moment when we are going to rate it ๐Ÿ˜›
      Thank you so much for your comment, Michelle!! x

      Like

    1. Yeah, I guess it’s too complicated for them or I don’t know, the system has been like that for so long now ๐Ÿ˜‚ It would make things so much easier though.
      Thank you so, so much for your comment, Nicole โค โค

      Like

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