Today’s discussion is about how I’ve stopped using star ratings on Goodreads. At some point last year, towards the end when I was reviewing books, I didn’t give them star ratings, and this was 100% unintentional at first. I could say that I kinda got lazy and didn’t want to think about how many stars I was going to rate a book. After not giving star ratings a few times, it’s just something that stuck. Along the way, I realized that I don’t need to give books star ratings when I review them, my review should speak for itself and convey how I feel about a book without attaching a star rating to it. I also came to the realization that a review says more a book than a star rating. The only time I give star ratings is on Barnes and Noble, and NetGalley, because you can’t leave a review about the book without giving a star rating. Will I give star ratings again on Goodreads? I don’t know.
I use star ratings on Goodreads, Amazon, & NetGalley, but not on my blog. And the star ratings for those sites all mean something a bit different. I don’t like star ratings because I read a wide variety of genres, and it’s hard to compare, say, a cozy mystery to literary fiction or a classic. Also, my star ratings will sometimes change over time – as more time goes by and I can’t remember anything about a book that I gave 5 stars to on Goodreads, then is it really a 5 star read? It’s why I don’t use star ratings on my blog.
I stopped using them on Goodreads, I still use them on Barnes and Noble and NetGalley. I don’t review books on Amazon because the only books I buy on Amazon are textbooks, I actually refuse to buy fiction/literature on Amazon and when I buy books, I only buy them from Barnes and Noble or library book sales when my library has them and I go to them. With Barnes and Noble, you can’t leave a review without giving a star rating first, the same thing with NetGalley. I stopped using them on my blog after eight months.
I don’t pay attention to stars except as a general indicator of “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it” because everyone’s star ratings are different. Plus they can be highly personal. I have a friend who will give poor star ratings if she reads three “boy turns into cat” books in a row because she’ll decide that’s unoriginal–even though that’s not really a trope (maybe she accidentally found the only three boy turns into cat books available) and her coincidental reading experience isn’t likely to reflect anyone else’s reading experience.
Plus people will give stars or not based on outside factors. Look at Amazon. People will rate a movie with one star if the packaging was damaged on arrival. That has nothing to do with whether the film is good or not.
I’d rather just read the review because I can’t interpret what anyone’s star ratings mean to them.
Exactly, just like books are subjective star ratings are subjective and it’s definitely not easy to interpret star ratings.
I agree with you that a review speaks way more than the star rating. Plus the star rating isn’t ideal since my 3 stars aren’t the same as someone else’s. However, star ratings really help me assess my thoughts on a book and define exactly how I feel about them, so they’re definitely useful to me, but I totally get why you eventually stopped using them. A very interesting discussion!
Thank you, and exactly, everyone’s star ratings are subjective just like books.
Good post girl, i still use the start rating system but in my own way…