Happy August! What are your plans for this month? Is it summer break where you live? I guess traveling to faraway places is out of the question for now. Hello friends!
For my part, I enjoyed some time off work and it felt really really good. Even when we were in quarantine I was always working and getting back to the office was really tiring so it felt good to take a breather for a while.
I’m back on the blog today with a topic I had in mind for SUCH a long time but I really didn’t know how to tackle it. So please excuse me if my post is all over the place.
Pretty much everyone’s on Goodreads nowadays, right? And if you’re not, you’re on another similar platform.
Goodreads is a great tool to keep track of your reading, to put a little review and to grade the book you’ve just finished reading.
According to Goodreads:
- 1 star is “I did not like it” (That’s a bit weird because if you didn’t like it, isn’t a 0 star? Or is it too harsh?).
- 2 stars is “It was OK”.
- 3 stars is “I liked it”.
- 4 stars is “I really liked it”.
- And 5 stars is “It was amazing”.
I’m not going to get into a debate about “How the hell are you supposed to rate a book, isn’t it a bit indelicate especially for the author who put his heart and soul into it??”, today I’m just going to talk about a problem I’ve been having (or is it really a problem?).
🌪 I’m obsessed with the 4-stars rating
When I was younger, I had no issue putting 5 stars to a LOT of books I’ve read. I put 5 stars to Pretty Little Liars, I put 5 stars to Divergent, I even put 5 stars to Gossip Girl for God’s sake.
Would I give them the same rating now?
Probably not but that’s not the issue, the issue is that I don’t or can’t really put 5 stars to a book anymore. I’ve read 494 books and I’ve only rated 102 books 5 stars, how is that possible? But it’s not only the problem that I can’t put 5 stars, it’s that I pretty much ALWAYS rate books 4 stars.
Looking at my shelves, there are a few 2 stars, some 3 stars and absolutely none of the 1 star rating. So is there a problem with me? Well…maybe a little bit, but not really.
🌪 I pick books I know I’m going to enjoy
If I always put 4 stars, it’s because I really know the books I’m going to enjoy.
Over the years, I got to know myself and the stories that I will like. This book full of drama, secrets and back-stabbing, I’m in! This one about a sweet friendship, it’s definitely for me. Or this one about traveling, this one about enemies-to-lovers romance or this one about a very imaginative dystopia: yes, yes and yes!
That’s why I very rarely rate below 4 stars and that’s awesome because I read for fun! I read books that I know I’m going to like, whatever people say, whatever people recommend to me. I choose books for ME!
🌪 Rating a book 5-stars is like the Graal
Another reason I almost always rate books 4 stars is because, with time, I became super critical.
I guess in my mind when you put 5 stars, it means it’s perfect. I DO know that a book can’t be perfect, it’s not possible! There is always something that will annoy you, a chapter that will be a bit slow and a character you won’t find developed enough.
I didn’t have that problem when I was younger but now, rating a book 5 stars is a big deal. The Hunger Games, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Lunar Chronicles, Harry Potter, I’ll Give You the Sun, I’m always comparing books to those favorites of mine and I know it isn’t fair because every story is unique and if reading it made me feel something, I should just stop the overthinking bit and rate it the goddamned 5 stars.
What about you? Do you have the same issue? Always a bit scared to rate a book the big 5-stars?
Why do you think that in our society we always have to rate stuff? What does a grade really mean?
Let’s chat in comments 💬