Have you ever read a review, but have no idea what the ratings mean?
Yeah, me too and honestly, I am guilty of doing the same thing. Before starting my bookstagram account, rating books was not something I ever did. I could tell which books I liked and which I didn’t like by feel. If someone named a book and asked my opinion on it, I would say, “Yea, I liked it” or “No, I hated it.” It was as simple as that.
I quickly learned with my bookstagram that was not something you could really do. When I started in 2021, I figured I would give stars based on how I felt.
Is there anything wrong with this rating system? No, but I found that I could not explain what I liked or didn’t like about a book. If this is how you rate your books, then keep doing it that way! Whatever works for you is always best. For me, what I found was that my feeling it rating scale was subjective and not a great representation of a book.
If you looked at my Goodreads from 2021, this would have been how I rated things. Starting, this gave me perspective; however, I realized I needed more. How did I add more, you might ask, well, I fell in love with romance novels, so I figured I would add spice ratings and a little more detail to my star ratings.
Here I am starting a new book journal and a new year of books and this is what I came up with.
Were they much better than the above? Nope! But it gave me a starting point. I would like to add that as someone who wants to become a sexologist and research different relationships, the above spice rating scale is super disappointing on a personal level.
Again, if this is how you rate your books, there is nothing wrong with it. It is absolutely okay!
So, why am I sitting here writing about all the rating systems I have used? Did I finally figure out the perfect system? Is this going to change the book world forever? Haha no; but I have realized the importance of understanding different people’s ratings.
At the end of May, I was working on wrapping up my monthly book journal spread, when I looked at all my ratings and was shocked. Over half of my ratings were 5 star reads. I began questioning if they really were or if I was just being super generous. Honestly, it seemed like too many 5 star reviews. Naturally, I decided to look on bookstagram and see what other people were rating books. My conclusion after that investigation was that everything is subjective. Unless someone is explicitly giving you their rating system in detail then who knows what it really is. Sure, book reviews help put it into perspective, but it is not a perfect system.
After all that, I decided that I needed to re-evaluate my rating system one last time (at least for this year). I am not 100% happy with it, but at least I know how I am rating things and why.
Needless to say, I am glad I modified it. It is okay to make changes because they help us have a better gauge about not only our opinions but, our preferences too. For me, this is also a way that I can keep you informed about how I view different books and give you some insight into why I scored a book the way I did. I will likely change my rating system again next year, but in the meantime, this is what I am rolling with.
I would love to hear about what your rating systems look like.
Until next time!