Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Reasons for Giving 1-5 Star Ratings

I recently began this blog as a means to talk about all bookish things. The main bookish thing on here I want to do is review books. It has become a trend to rate books according to a 5 star system. But what does this really mean? Why would one book get 5 stars and another book get 3? I went looking on the goodreads and found a similar Q&A on this very topic, but when I browsed the answers, I came no closer to an answer. The answers were all opinion based (which makes sense to a degree) and with no clear cut definition. There were similarities, such as if people give our 5 stars, it is because they either loved the book or would read it again. But rereading a book, while a good indicator, doesn't necessarily mean that the book should be 5 stars.

What I really need, and maybe this is the teacher in me, is a rubric for what defines those 5 stars. When I grade my student's papers... sometimes I don't like the topic of the paper... but that doesn't mean the paper is going to get a bad grade. Rubrics really helped me take the bias out of my grading. So for reviewing a person's piece of literature, I want to take my bias out of the 5 stars (as much as I can) and let my review give my opinion. 

So here are my thoughts:

5 Stars

This book was absolutely terrific!
I will recommend it obsessively 
It's a candidate for re-reading

4 Stars

This book was very good
I liked it a lot
You should read this book 
3 Stars

This book was good
The story was good but could have been better
Try it, you may like it
2 Stars
This book was... so-so
I wouldn't recommend, but it may be up your alley

1 Star
I didn't enjoy it at all
Not well written at all
You should stay away from this one!

I will not be giving zero stars out. I think that is because when on audible and goodreads, that is just not an option. 

I am also going to give half stars on rare occasions. So I might have a 4.5 rating for a book that I love, but feel something (will explain in said post) is missing. Or a 3.5 may mean I liked the book enough to want to recommend it but there were things that could have been better. 

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