Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I've been thinking about book ratings recently and I'm interested in finding out what everyone thinks about them. Right now I rate books on a five star system. Do other people use a rating system? Do you like when reviews have a rating? Are there other things reviewers should include when coming up with a rating?

I know I look at Amazon ratings, but even if a book has a low rating, I'm still going to read it if I'm interested in. I also like to see what the people who have given a book I really liked a low rating have to say about it. I don't know that a rating really helps in my decision of a book over a general review. I don't really look at other ratings on other sites, even though I can rate books on LibraryThing, Visual Bookshelf, etc. I think I just get too lazy to go through and rate everything.

Should I keep rating books or just write a review? I'd love to hear what others have to say.


  1. I blogged about Amazon rating yesterday and how numbers can change from 700,000 to 150,00o with the purchase of 2 books.
    I think ratings on reviews and bloggers ratings mean much more. And as an author, the comments that are fed back really help.


  2. I personally like ratings ONLY when it is an average of many reviewers - like on amazon or on librarything/goodreads.
    I don't really tend to pay too much attention to ONE bloggers "rating" of a book - I pay more attention to what they say: likes and dislikes.
    I think rating systems work if they have an explanation with it - like yours, because as with any semantic differential/lickert scale (ha! I'm a dork, I know) each person has a different rationalization for their "5s"... that's my 2 cents.

  3. Personally I like to look at ratings; they just give me a general sense of how that particular reviewer felt about the book. A quick snapshot, per se. Of course, then every once in a while you'll find some reviewers who have similar tastes as you, and then you'll take their opinions more seriously... so I say keep the rating, and continue to write good reviews!

  4. I use school-grades: A, B, C since August....the worst I've given is a B-. I know, I'd be a terrible teacher. But I really liked seeing ratings because they give a quick impression of the book. I like your star system because it's simple.

  5. I'm more interested in what the reviewer says than the rating. Ratings seem so subjective somehow - I know mine are. Which is also why I don't post ratings on my blog (though you can always find my ratings on LibraryThing if you make the effort to find them!)

  6. I use ratings for myself on LibraryThing and GoodReads so that when I need to quickly get a list of books to recommend I can sort the list and remember what I really loved.

    The problem with ratings, for me, is differentiating between rating the actual quality of the book and rating how I liked it. On my LT and GR, I rate how much I enjoyed the book. But it's entirely possible for me to love a book that's not particularly well-written and to dislike a book that's very well-written and might appeal to many others. Some reviewers give a rating for the quality of a book, but then also assign a heart or a star or something for books that they especially loved.

    ANYhoo. I guess all that was to say that I generally keep ratings off my blog. I'll trust a rating from someone whose reviews I know, but I take LT, GR, Amazon ratings with a big ol' grain of salt. (Someone gave THE TROUBLE BEGINS AT 8 a one-star rating on Amazon because they expected it to be an adult book and it's not. That's ridiculous!)

  7. I have a rating system, but I really rely on what I blog to get my point across. I guess that bloggers don't really need to rate.

  8. Thanks for all the comments! It seems like most of us like ratings, but really don't look at them as much as the review. I'll keep my ratings they way they are for now and make sure I write a lot of stuff in my reviews.

  9. I like ratings too. I also like to explain how and why I chose the rating I did choose.


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