Blogger, Please! The Goodreads star rating system. What does it mean? @ 01:00 pm
Current Mood: contemplative
Current Music: She's Gone ~ The Black Keys
When I first began using Goodreads, I used it for myself. It was a place for me to log my thoughts about things that I’ve read or that I want to read. It allowed for me to have quick access to names of authors and titles and to use as a reference for what to read in the future. I find that now that I am rating books, I’m in a minority of users with how I use the star system and I’m curious about how other boggers and writers look at/analyze the stars and what you expect from them.
I was at the Texas Library Association last week and an author said to me “Read my book! It has a 4.27 rating on Goodreads and it would be higher if that jerk (name withheld) hadn’t rated it a 3.” I’ve read the book. It’s sufficiently good and well tooled but nothing special. This by my definition IS a 3. Do writers want, even expect ratings of a 5 on stories that aren’t earth shattering? Many of my favorite books of the previous years I did not give a rating of 5.
I use the stars as such:
1- intolerable, length of time in my life that I’ve forever lost due to whatever monstrosity I just read
2- adequete but not worth the time that I spent reading it
3- above average, a bit better than adequete, not a waste of time
4- quite good, enjoyable, well crafted worth reading
5- absolute perfection, completely embodied the goal of the book, fully realized subject or story
This rating system is how I can justify giving a ground-breaking work of Children’s Literature, The Invention of Hugo Cabaret, the same rating as perfectly executed graphic novel, (ironically entitled) 5 is the perfect number. Therefore I also COULD NOT give several books that I greatly enjoyed but that had some weak or bulky spots the same rating, Selected Poems of Anne Sexton, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Going Bovine just to name a few. A book rated a 4 by me is a GREAT book. It is worth seeking out, special, excellent and worth your time. It just isn't quite perfect. It's obvious to me that we aren't all on the same rating scale in this way. Am I doing it wrong?
Here is a link to my goodreads account: http://www.goodreads.com/hipmamajen