Sunday, August 28, 2016

Book Ratings: Are They Necessary?

Over on Bookmyopia, Ishita recently wrote about three star reviews. While her post is about what giving a three star rating to a book means and whether or not it's a "bad" rating, her post got me thinking once again about how much I dislike rating books (and most other things).

I do rate books over on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble when I post book reviews on those sites. I do that largely because the sites are designed for reviews that use their rating system. It's impossible to even post a review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble without adding a rating, so I begrudgingly rate books because I know it's expected of me.

Over the years though, I have kept those ratings off of my blog. When I do my wrap-up videos over on Youtube, I do always mention the rating I gave that book on Goodreads. That's, once again, because I feel that it's expected of me, and since I've already rated it, it's not like it's difficult to mention it in the video. Yet I've consistently kept those ratings out of my reviews that I post on the blog and in my video reviews on Youtube.

When I write or film a review, the entire post or video is dedicated to talking about my feelings towards a book. They aren't like wrap-up videos where I have to keep what I say about each book brief in order to keep the video from being an hour long. I'd much rather everything I say about the book give you an idea of what I thought of it. Summing it up in a star rating seems both unnecessary and too simplistic.

As far as I can tell, the purpose of adding a star rating to a book review post is so people who don't want to read the entire post can still get an idea of what you thought of the book. After all, if they read the review, they shouldn't need the star rating. That's how I see it at least. Other people may view ratings differently, but I struggle to see why it would be necessary to have one if someone were reading the review.

And if someone doesn't want to read the review and is instead searching just for the rating, I feel that they would be better off checking the Goodreads or Amazon page for that book instead of looking at individual reviews from blogs. That's another reason why I feel better about giving in and rating a book on Goodreads than I do rating it on my blog.

Who knows what the future will bring, but for now, I'm keeping ratings out of my book reviews unless they're posted on Goodreads or another website. They're just not the type of information that I want on my blog. I hope that the nuance of my review itself provides are more accurate picture of what I thought of a book than a rating ever would.

What do you think? Do you think ratings on book reviews are a good idea? If so, please let me know why. Or are you like me and see them as unnecessary or even too simplistic to accurately assess a book?

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