Today, blogglings, I come to you with a dilemma with great scope. Okay, not really.
Today I want to talk about book ratings and how, sometimes, they are grossly inadequate.
You may know that I rate books courtesy of my beautiful Birman cat, Angus. I give each book a rating out of 5 Wonderkitties.
He’s even more adorable in real life, seriously. He’s on my lap right now, making it very hard to type. Although he is excellent as a blanket.
But sometimes, even Wonderkitties aren’t enough to portray what I feel about a book. And here’s why.
1) I do not like numbers in general
I do not do maths at school – I dropped it as soon as I can. I like WORDS, people! I am a writer and a reader, of course I like words. I have so far writeen 17,000 of them for Camp NaNoWriMo (yes, you may bow to me). But yes. Words are good, not numbers.
Which leads on to 2) A number out of five seems extremely inadequate for a book that is many thousands of words long.
I cannot quantify my love/dislike/meh-ness (yes it’s a word) for a book just with five piddly numbers! Even with half stars, that’s…hang on let me do maths.
That’s only TEN possible ratings with half-stars to give a book. So if I read ten books and gave them each a different rating, I’d be out of ratings. And each book is different so it’s very difficult for me to compare books with the same amount of stars/Wonderkitties.
3) I FEEL REALLY BAD GIVING BOOKS A LOW RATING.
I mean, generally I spend a lot of time thinking about what I will rate a book.
Sometimes I’m not convinced I’ve rated it the right number. I’m worried if I give a book a low rating that the author will see it and be sad. I’m not under any delusions that my silly thoughts could ruin their day or anything, but still! Negative reviews can be hurtful. I try not to be too negative, but even so, it can be awkward.
4) If I’m rating a book, what does the review matter?
No. No no no. I LOVE writing reviews, and I love reading them, and at the end of the day, I think the review is worth more than the eventual rating. We’re coming back to the “maths sucks” part here. Damn. It’s cropping up quite often.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that you should listen to my review over my rating, because I don’t know what I’m doing with ratings. It’s my own subjective opinion. So is my review, but at least it contains information about the book that may be helpful in your decision of whether to read it or not.
I’ve picked up so many books based on negative reviews. On reading them I’ve gone…why don’t they like that? It sounds awesome! And I am to be as objective as possible in my negative reviews – I don’t want to be the one to turn someone off a book they might love. Sometimes it doesn’t work and I become a bit rant-y.
But try not to pay attention to those times.