It’s Friday again and today I will be discussing one of the most controversial book topics I have ever come across – is it really fair or necessary to rate books giving stars? Let’s talk bookish is a weekly meme hosted by J.R. @ Eternity Books where each Friday, a bookish topic is discussed!
#1 It’s a quick analysis method
Let’s make one thing clear before I start stating my opinion: this system is far from being perfect. Now, whenever I browse for books on either Goodreads or my Reader list, I automatically look at the star ratings. And whenever a book has no more than three stars, I don’t do more than spare it a glance. And that is a sad but effective reality. Why waste time reading a book another person thought was terribly boring? – to my next point.
#2 However: books are more complex than 5 numbers
I don’t think it’s fair to reduce a book to either 1,2,3,4 or 5 stars. It’s a complex structure of writing, atmosphere, characters and its plot and I don’t think that numbers (and especially such a small selection) cover this complexity.
#3 People have different opinions
I have often come across bloggers who either loved a book I hated or vice versa. And isn’t that the best argument against a star rating system? What if I ignore a book because a blogger only gave it one star and I then miss out on one of my *potential* favorite books? That’s possible.
#4 There are no half-star ratings
Goodreads doesn’t leave it open for you to give 4.5 stars instead of 5. That is what is most annoying, at least in my opinion. I’ve read hundreds of books I really enjoyed except for one aspect – but that would be a 4.5 star read for me and not 5 stars. 5 stars is the elite of the elite, my all-time favorites. And because these small distinctions are not possible (also 3.5 or 4 stars, it’s a huge difference!), this system has its flaws…
This system is flawed – but it’s working for most people. I also rate my books on Goodreads, not always happily, but I do it. I don’t think it’s possible to get rid of this type of rating because it’s a comfortable and easy way to browse for books – and that’s a good thing. I will keep on browsing this way, but I believe it’s important to always read the attached review and really inform yourself why that blogger gave that certain rating!
That’s it for today – feel free to comment your opinion, I’ll look forward to it! Happy reading and have a relaxed weekend!