7 October 2015

New Book Rating System

This kind of feels like a pointless post that I'm very excited to write. It's hella nerdy, but I want an official post as a starting point (and it makes it feel 110% official) because I've decided to organise the way I rate books. This isn't going to be my most viewed post, but I feel like I need it as a reference.

It's all about my Goodreads; the way I organise my shelves and the rating I give books. Sometimes I look at books I read years ago and I'm like 5 stars? Really? Even recent books I'm wondering how they managed 3 stars when they probably should have been 2. That's because, before now (or the 23rd of September when I decided to take action), all of my ratings have been purely a gut feeling. It was all, "This feels like a 4 star" but I didn't have a clear definition as to what a 4 star book means to me. I had no actual guide so all of the books I've rated in the past seem muddled up.


So I've scrapped my previous Goodreads bookshelves, which if you didn't know were just "read-20XX" because I was just organised by year. And now, I have a long term temporary measure of two shelves: "pre-organised-book-rating" and "post-organised-book-rating". It's long term because my next move is to reread everything on the "pre-organised-book-rating" list so that it can be given it's proper rating and moved in to the "post-organised-book-rating". There are 80 books on that list, so if I read 1 a month it will only take 6 years to get through. This seems like an unnecessary amount of work for a hobby such as reading, but the inaccuracy of the ratings are literally driving me mad.

What's the new rating going to be like? Glad you asked. It will be a 5 star scale and  a lot of it is still based on my feelings towards a book, but at least it will be a little more organised. It will hopefully look like so:


5 stars for books that I couldn't put down and make me feel actual human emotions (tightness of chest, tears of joy or heartbreak) and are just brilliantly superb books I cannot get enough of and would scream recommendations for it atop mountains etc. Genuinely in love. I feel like in the past I gave 5 stars out willy nilly so these are going to be reserved for the ones that deserve it.

4 stars are for books I loved but there was just that little something missing. I would still recommend, and it's still a pretty awesome book but it's not as intense as my 5 stars. I can see a lot of books getting this one.


3 stars are for my likes. I liked this book, it was good. On a smiley face scale it is the ':)' whereas 4 stars is ':D' and 5 stars is ':DDDDD'


2 stars is my neutral. This is my "this was okay" book, maybe I didn't get a lot out of it, maybe it wasn't quite right for me, but I semi-enjoyed reading it or the writing style. I suppose this is my, not for me but I can see why people like it option.


1 star are for books that I finished but weren't my favourite. Generally, these books received a 'ugh' from me. I never want to go as far and say I hate a book or an author, so this is generally my dislike rating, my I've tried it so I'm knocking it rating.


Even if Goodreads doesn't see 0 stars as a rating, I sure do. 0 stars is reserved for books I literally couldn't finish. It's not often that I dislike a book so much I don't finish it. Or it might be for the rare books that I do finish and literally despise. Hopefully this will be a rare rating.

I also plan to forever ignore my previous book reviews and ratings on the blog, there will be no more Little Book Reviews. Instead, every book I review will (hopefully) have an individual post, even if I don't have an essay of things to say about the book, I want them all separate so I can eventually create some kind of book index and add recommendations or a "you should read these next" sort of thing. So far I have started writing reviews soon after, if not immediately after, finishing a book so you can at least expect some reviews over the next couple of months. It truly is an exciting time to be alive.

How do you go about rating books? Do you organise your Goodreads in a specific way?

8 comments:

  1. This is an awesome post, Fiona! I loved the idea of the 0 star rating, it makes total sense. Goodreads needs to adapt their rating systems. I find it difficult to mark as DNF without having to label it as read. It's the only way to assign it and it infuriates me.

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    1. YES! I wish 0 stars was a thing because how else am I going to rate a book I didn't finish? I need a DNF shelf too

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  2. I love this! I just go with gut feeling too, I wish they would just start doing half stars already! I care more than I should about Goodreads lol

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    1. I feel like it's a really important record of all my reading, I care a lot about how it's organised and I just want it to be so accurate! Half stars would reall help, in the past I've wished for a half star so badly, and I think that's one of the reasons my ratings are confusing since sometimes I'll round up and other times I'll round down

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  3. Our rating systems are pretty similar! I'm glad you use 2 stars as a neutral rating instead of 3 stars. I do this too. I'm like, why would you need 2 or 3 different ways (zero stars if you use it, then one star and two stars) to describe how you didn't like a book? I'd rather have more ways to describe how I DID like a book. It always throws me off when someone gives three stars and means "it's just okay".

    And dang, that's a big commitment to re-read ALL of your read books! I don't think I could be that dedicated but since it's so important to you I hope it goes well!

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    1. That's what I thought, 3 stars for medium rating doesn't leave a lot of room for me to fangirl over a book! I hope it goes well too, I don't know if I'll actually reread them all but I'd like to think I'll get through a lot of those

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  4. Love this! I really, really need to go back and redo my shelves for the same reason. So many of the books I've read in the past were given ratings with no real thought put in (the gut feeling rating!). I'd like to change that. Now that I review books on my blog, I've found I think a lot more about the ratings I give and I like that! Love your system!

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    1. You should do it! It feels so good to be organised, I half wanted to purge all the books I've read but I'm just not brave enough! I'm happy to just plod along and rereview

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