Guest Post with Clo. Reviewing Books 101: #2 How Important Are Star Ratings?

Guest Post with Clo. Reviewing Books 101: #2 How Important Are Star Ratings?

Clo from Book Dragons is back today on the blog, discussing the second portion of her three-part-series on reviewing books. Take it from here, Clo!

We’re not all going to love the same books. We may end up disliking a book the vast majority loved, which is totally ok, you’re entitled to your opinion. Should this affect whether you post that review though?

One thing which has never bothered me, is posting negative or DNF reviews, I enjoy sharing my thoughts and opinions with whoever wants to read them. I also believe in highlighting the flaws in a book, along with the elements which worked well. As a book blogger and I guess an influencer, I write honest reviews and if I didn’t like a book for some reason. I’ll say so in my review, I ensure though I remind the reader that just because it didn’t work out for me. Doesn’t automatically mean, it’s not something they could enjoy. This isn’t a discussion focused on DNF and negative reviews (click to read my discussion post on that!)

We’re going to discuss if star ratings actually matter, as well as how we all have varying systems, to rate the books we read. If you want to know how I break down my star ratings and what I consider for each rating, then knock yourself out and read this post! But after reading this one first, ok?Generally how we rate our books varies from reader to reader and book blogger to book blogger. Generally though 3+ is an indication it’s ok/really good/amazing, of course that number may change if we rate out of 10 and not 5.

I know when I first started book blogging, and thought about posting reviews, I thought a lot about my rating system. I rate books from DNF through to 5 stars, including half stars where applicable. Personally I just couldn’t rate my books without half stars because I feel like there’s a difference between 4.5 and 5 stars. Whereas for others they may not see the need for half stars…which begs the question. If we all rate our books differently, how does this rating which is personal to us, help others?

A rating system will differ from blogger to blogger, generally though we all give 5 stars to books we loved; 3 stars to books which had more problem or fell short somehow. For publishers, authors, bookstores and other readers a star rating is invaluable. We all have out own methods for rating a book, a certain checklist for some of us whilst others may do it more on content. Our ratings all add together though on websites, to give an average rating, which is why they’re so important.

On our own, we’re just a book blogger who rates this book a 5 because we loved it, related to it and want to live in the world. On a website, our rating is lumped with everyone else’s, to give readers and the general public (who may not permanently live in the book world) an idea of how good the book is. A higher average rating, would indicate a better book, not always the case but that’s the idea.

What do we think then? Do we think ratings are important even though we may all have different systems? How do you rate your reads?

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I am the author behind Foals, Fiction & Filigree. An all-encompassing blog about horses, books, and my art.

4 thoughts on “Guest Post with Clo. Reviewing Books 101: #2 How Important Are Star Ratings?

  1. Another fun guest post! I would say the ratings are important and I REALLY REALLY wish places like goodreads would let us use a half star. I tend to round up on GR if there’s a book with a half rating (unless I just hated it) because I’d like to give other readers the benefit of the doubt since they might have a different view of the book than me. So I use a scale of 1-5 with half ratings and try best to explain what made it fall in the little half ratings. Generally, if a book isn’t horribly written but just isn’t my cup of tea I’ll just give it a 3. 2 means it’s just in my trash lol and 1 means I might personally hate that author lol.

  2. Star ratings on their own aren’t as important as star ratings with the context of the review, but I agree with you about the half stars. It’s part of the reason why Goodreads’ star rating system isn’t great for me because one, there’s no way to give 0 stars without just forgoing a rating altogether. And two, no half stars. 🙁

  3. I’ve recently seen a few posts from bloggers who are moving away from star ratings because they think it’s reductionist – they’ll assign a rating for Goodreads/Netgalley since it’s embedded in how those sites work, but on their blog they’ll use more general categories like “would recommend to everyone,” “not for me but would recommend for most people,” “would not recommend to anyone,” etc. – which I think is a great idea, and also one that would never work for me since I honestly can’t ever predict whether I’ll like a book based on what everyone else thinks or vice versa 😅 so I’m sticking with star ratings for now, even though I feel like I’m inconsistent compared to myself (let alone everyone else). hm.
    Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites recently posted…REVIEW: Saga of the Forgotten Warrior #1 & #2 by Larry CorreiaMy Profile

  4. I also approach reviews the same way and really appreciate reading critical reviews. I really think star ratings hold less value than the content of the reviews, which is why mine are the the bottom of my reviews, because it is subjective to the blogger. My rating is mostly based on how much the book resonated with me, if the characters felt real and had development, and if the worldbuilding is good. I also rate fantasy/sci-fi differently than contemporary because different things matter across genres. Great post, Clo!
    Kaleena @ Reader Voracious recently posted…How I Stay on Top of New Releases // Edelweiss Guide 2.0My Profile

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