Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Let's Discuss: Book Reviews & Ratings

photo via Instagram

This might come as a shock to you, but ... I always skip book reviews in my blog feed. (But I will skim your monthly recaps and check out your ratings! Just not your reviews.) That might seem weird, considering I love reading and blogging about books, but I don't particularly love book reviews for a few reasons:
  1. I'm terrified of spoilers.
  2. Lately, I've been picking up books that look interesting or have gotten a lot of buzz without necessarily knowing what the story is about. A book review would give me more information than I want to know.
  3. If I want to read reviews, I just go to Goodreads. (Are we friends yet?? Check out my reading history here!)

That being said, I've rated every book I've read on Goodreads since I joined the site in 2011, typically within a day of finishing the book. However, I was joking with a friend the other day that I need to give myself a "cooling off" period before rating books. Often, when I'm talking about a book later, I realize I loved it way more (or less) than I did when I first finished it. Sometimes things just need to sink in, you know? For example, when I finished Sharp Objects, I said it was my favorite Flynn book. But when I look back on her three books I've read, Dark Places is definitely the one that struck me the most! I just needed a little time to realize my true feelings.

And then, there's the issue of how to rate books in the first place! I tried using Goodreads' recommended system, but technically "This book was OK" is supposed to be 2 stars, and to me, 2 stars means I didn't like something. So here's how I'm thinking of rating books from now on:
(I recommend this book to everyone!)
4 stars: I really enjoyed this book!
(I recommend this book to people who like this genre/author/etc.)
3 stars: I enjoyed this book.
(I would encourage you to read this book if you brought it up first.)
2 stars: This book was meh. Don't feel bad skipping it.
(I wouldn't actively encourage or discourage reading this book.)
1 star: Put. This. Book. Down. And run away.
(I actively do not recommend this book!)

What do you think? How do you rate/review books? Do you like reading book reviews?

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