Friday, 1 January 2016

Why I Don't Provide a 'Star' Rating

stars cuteYou may or may not have noticed, if you've read any of my reviews previously, that I don't provide star ratings, or a rating system of any kind.

I know a lot of people do provide some sort of numerical rating. And good on them, if that's the way they like to review them I'm not going to argue.

So what's the point of this post then? Well, just to give you a little insight into why I choose not to provide ratings.

I'm a hard-ass

When I'm using sites or systems where I have to provide some sort of star rating, I absolutely hate it. Because I feel like the way that I rate things using a number value doesn't actually give a fair judgement on a book.

Putting it plainly, I'm a hard-ass; I will give the vast majority of books 3/5, just because I think that pretty much everything is average. (That's what makes it average, isn't it? The fact that it's on a par with the majority of other things? ...See? I'm a hard-ass.)

I'm hesitant to give pretty much anything four or five stars. And I probably give a lot of things four stars which, to most reviewers, would be given an automatic five.

One reviewer's trash...

We're all different. What I get out of a book and what you get may be two completely different entities.

How is anybody then supposed to provide a useful review? Well, I try to point out the good points, and the bad points, and leave it up to you whether to give that book a chance.

If I gave a book only 1 star, I may put you off something you would really enjoy, whereas if I point out the things I thought were good and not-so-good, you're more likely to come to an informed decision.
rose book

Couldn't I do both? Well, yes, but that rating would still be there, in the back of your head, influencing your perceptions. And I don't want to dictate what you're allowed to enjoy.

Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey things

Maybe it's just me and my inconsistency, but my view of books tends to change as time goes on.

Sometimes this is because of re-reading something and getting a different experience from it, and sometimes it's just me being fickle; but I may one day find myself in the position of disagreeing with my own rating assessment of a book. And that would just make me feel guilty for no reason. (Which is bad... just saying.)

Every book has an audience somewhere

If I didn't like something, it doesn't mean it was bad - just that it wasn't my thing.

Read what you want, and don't let the shamers get you down!


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