Rating my books

November 14, 2018

As a book blogger I am constantly rating and reviewing Books. But I have always found one thing to be very difficult. I just can’t get to grips with the 5 star rating system that everybody loves to use.

Now like a lot of people I keep track of all my reading on Goodreads because it is an easy way to keep track of what you have read, what you still want to read and what you are reading at the moment. But there is one little thing that just irritates me very much. Whenever I have read a book they want me to Give it a rating.  I can choose between 0 and 5 stars, where 5 stars is the most perfect book I have ever read I guess.

But after reading a lot of books I find that most of them fall in the 3 star category, with so far only 1 book making it up to 5 stars, namely a Dutch book about the Second World War. 3 stars to me means “It’s just a great book” but that is just a little bit too easy for me. Because even in the 3 star category, one book is better than the other, but there is no way to express that at the moment. A lot of books are great, but 4 stars is just too much, but 3 stars is not quite enough.

Is there any rating system that is better? What kind of rating system gives me the possibility of rating in a different way? I used to have a rating system on this blog, but I deactivated it after some time because the top 5 books stayed the same for months and months. It was a nice list for sure, but seeing the same list for months is very boring.

Are there actually systems out there, better suited to the needs of avid readers like me? And in what way do you judge a book? The story, the characters, theme and even story development all play a role for me whenever I rate a book in my personal list. What do you use? Is it even necessary to rate books anymore when there are so many others out there doing the same thing?

If and when I need to choose my next book to read, I do like to see ratings by other people, but mostly people I already know and trust. Their opinions mean more to me, than some random stranger who thinks it was a great story. I have no idea if people even read this blog or my opinion about books, so what would my rating add? I have seen some really cool and unusual rating systems in some of Thewritereads blog of the day posts, but none that I think quite fit what I am looking for.

So far I have not discovered a system that works for me, but I am open to suggestions……..




  • Jheelam November 16, 2018 at 10:03

    This is a topic very close to my heart as well. I used to rate books on my blog as well (still do at Goodreads profile) but not anymore. Like you, I also find most books tend to fall on 3-star category.

    Also rating system has become bit misleading these days. Because of it, I picked up some YA fantasy books and DNF them (cue: Sarah J. Maas). Instead, I now point out to whom a particular book is “recommended for” and “recommended not for”.

  • Cindy Jefferies November 16, 2018 at 11:00

    I don’t often rate books, but when I do it’s about how some aspect of them stays with me once I’ve got to the end. It can be the plot, a character, some wisdom that gives me pause, the beauty of the language or a combination. More than a page turner, which can sometimes be instantly forgotten afterwards, for me, five stars are for the books that continue to live for me for long afterwards.

  • Valerie November 16, 2018 at 11:39

    I am guilty of doing 1/2 stars lately. It’s so hard! I have trouble with the 3-4 range. Five is easy. A book tends to get 5 stars if it stays with me after the last page.

  • kerry robinson November 16, 2018 at 11:56

    I only give stars on Goodreads or Amazon as I feel that a book review is my opinion only. Books are art. They are subjective and personal to the reader and we engage with them on different levels from different experience perspectives. Xxx

  • Julie Christine Round November 16, 2018 at 12:11

    I don’t think I rate the stars the same way as most people but very like you, I only give five stars to outstanding books. I give four stars to well written books that I have enjoyed, three stars to good books that I will probably forget, two stars to books where the writer had something to say but hasn’t quite done it as well as I hoped and I very rarely give one star as I feel for any writer who gets that!

  • Janice November 16, 2018 at 14:32

    I use goodreads also but I am the opposite..i always want to rate a 5 star but lately I have been doong some 4 star.

  • A Voracious Reader November 16, 2018 at 15:43

    Ratings. A more sticky topic than any other for a blogger. Or anyone for that matter. I’ve found myself rating a book right after I read it and then sometimes (not often, but occasionally) changing that rating when I write the review. Ratings are subject to change, they are fluid and they are subjective. What I love now, I may not love later. Or I loved it when I was reading it, but when I’m writing the review I realize there are some things that bugged me. And then there’s the whole ratings system. I wish Goodreads had half stars like BookLikes does. I have no idea where I’m going with this. I need more tea. Or sleep. lol In the end, we just do the best we can with the options given to us. And if we end up with a ton of pleasurable 3 star reads then it’s better than having a long list of 1 stars.

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