The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games question

Rating Books with Stars
John Butziger John Aug 01, 2014 09:37AM
OK, shame on me for using a popular book to start a discussion about rating books, but the star rating is so simple that it's complicated. I get wrapped up in wondering if the stars are supposed to represent pure enjoyment or gravity or writing or...? I guess I can rate Hunger Games a '5' because I enjoyed the story, but I can also rate The Diary of Anne Frank a '5' because of the context, and I can rate The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards a '5' because although there isn't much story, the writing is amazing. So do you guys just pick one angle and rate them all that way, or just put the overall experience in a blender and rate it based on what spews out? What do you guys all do? And do you think the star rating is better than, say, a ranking or voting system within specific book categories?

Alex (last edited Aug 14, 2014 12:41AM ) Aug 14, 2014 12:38AM   0 votes
That's what writing a review is for - to let people know why you gave it the rating that you did. I personally haven't gotten around to writing any, but it seems to be the only decent way to get into specifics.

Also, I think the star system unfairly discriminates against circles.

I like the star system, John, but agree that it is extremely subjective. Once I have some experience with a reviewer I can tell if their ratings match my interests.

When I give stars, I am making a subjective evaluation of my overall satisfaction with the book.

As for ranking books within specific catagories, I'd look at that. However, in the past, I've never been impressed with ranked best books lists.

I blend too. I allocate a star for each factor. Its sad that I have to aggregate some factors into one star. I would love if stars can be increased to 10.
I totally agree that its unfair to regard different books by the same standard.

I do the blender thing and then usually explain in the comments as much as I can. I find myself questioning my stars later on, too. If I rate something high because it was a fun to read page turner, but overall wasn't really well written, should I remove a star? Maybe it's not great literature, but I sure had fun reading it. On the other hand, it feels wrong to have those kinds of books get the same ratings as classics.

John Butziger Ya - I agree. I second guess my ratings and it does feel weird having the same rating for a book I simply enjoyed a lot vs. a classic. So I guess I'm ...more
Aug 05, 2014 06:27AM · flag

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