Using Stars in Reviews

It seems that everyone uses the star review system differently. I’ve seen people who give 5 stars rarely, only to their favorites, and then there are others who rarely give less than a full, 5-star rating.

When I’m rating, I rarely give books 1 or 2 stars. If I really dislike it, it’s usually a 2. I save 1-star ratings for the most terrible books, the ones I just can’t stand – and I’ve never given a book 1 star for that reason. If I hate it so much, I don’t finish reading.

Although 3 stars tends to be my lowest rating, it doesn’t usually mean I’ve found the book to be bad. These are books I finish and think, “It was okay.” 4 stars means I enjoyed it and 5 stars means I loved the book (but doesn’t mean it’s without flaws).

It’s interesting to me that people use the ratings in completely different ways. I love rating with stars, especially on sites like Goodreads, if only for my own sake – I get to quickly see what I thought of the book. But I wonder if sometimes people pay more attention to these stars than the written reviews. For example, I’ve spoken to people who only read books above a certain average rating, and I wonder if that number actually says anything about the book.

How do you guys feel about star ratings? How much should they be depended on when deciding to read a book? What’s your system for the ratings you give?

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2 thoughts on “Using Stars in Reviews

  1. I mean, for me, I give five stars to the books I absolutely loved. Usually, I’d like to own those or read them again. Four stars is if I liked a book and thought it was good. Three stars is for “it was okay, I guess, but I’ve read better.” Two stars is if I didn’t particularly like it, and one star would be if it was horrendous, though I’ve never read anything that terrible. So I guess mine match up with yours, for the most part? But I understand what you mean. My mother’s book club only reads books with four stars or higher on goodreads – but I find that to be annoying, because that’s just the average rating. I don’t think the number of stars people give a book should determine whether or not it’s worth reading.

    • Yes that sounds pretty close to mine 🙂 And that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I understand it and it probably stops them from reading so many bad books, by will turn them away from amazing ones as well!

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