UPDATE: WOW! Thanks for the comments everyone! I know the rating discussion gets talked about every now and then, but I wanted to post about it because I love posts that generate discussion. I also love hearing that a lot of people really like ratings-makes me feel better!:) I think I'm going to work on a larger rating system (plot, characters, etc) so that will be in the works. And thanks again-you guys made my day! This is one of the reasosn I love blogging-I love reading everyone's thoughts!:)
There's been some discussion about book ratings recently which has gotten me thinking about book ratings on my blog. Currently I rate books on a 1-5 star scale and I put this information at the top of my reviews. I like to be able to give people a snapshot look at what I thought of the book, and if they're interested, then they can read the entire review.
But maybe this just encourages my readers to be lazy. They don't have to read a review, instead they can just look at the rating and move on. I would like to think that people would still be interested if they're interested in the book and read the review as well, but I know that's not always the case. That's not always the case for me. Sometimes I'm just too busy to read everything and my feed reader is too full and there's just no way I can read every review I have listed.
For me, a rating system helps me see what the general census of a book is, even if I can't read the reviews. Honestly, most of the time I do end up reading the reviews-via blogs, Goodreads, Amazon, etc. But I like having that snapshot view of the reviewers thoughts. And any book review site such as Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing, etc. you are going to end up rating books anyway, even if you don't rate them on your blog.
It's really, really hard to rate books though. I've often given half stars and even
.75 stars because it's hard to get just the right rating. I've seen comments that ratings are dependant on the reviewers mood, but I have to argue that reviews are the same way. If the book wasn't the right fit for me, or I wasn't in the right mood when I read it, won't that play into my review, rating or no rating? To me, a rating reflects my overall review of the book. At the same time, I can see how ratings might turn off readers. What if they see I gave two stars to a book they loved? Yet, if they read my review and discover I didn't like the book when they loved it, wouldn't that turn them off as well, with or without a rating attached?
So I'm stuck. Do I join the no ratings club and start reviewing books without my star ratings attached? Or do I stick with it and continue to rate my reviews as is? What do you think of book ratings on blogs? Stay or Go Away?