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How are you assigning stars?

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message 1: by Twickster (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:16PM) (new)

Twickster | 6 comments I'm seeing a lot of books that I read when I was 12 (22, 32...) and liked just fine -- but suspect I wouldn't care for at all today, or certainly wouldn't be as impressed by.

I'm just skipping these -- I don't want to give something five stars (and an at least implied endorsement) to something I don't think my current self would love; but I don't feel right giving a lower score to something that blew me away 20, 30, 40 years ago.

How are you guys handling this?

(BTW -- I'm giving 5 stars to stuff I read umpty-ump years ago if I don't think my opinion would have changed.)


message 2: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Julie I'm only adding books as I read them rather than going back past last August (when I started tracking). One of the reasons is just what you're talking about. I don't know how to rate something like The Black Stallion today. Loved it as a kid, but what about now?

And also, the reason I started tracking books was that I couldn't remember what I read, so I'm just building this from a set starting point.


message 3: by Pam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Pam | 87 comments I'm fudging a bit, especially with books that I know are "good" but that I didn't appreciate. I'm also giving high ratings to books that I loved as a teen, even though (like The Black Stallion), they might not hold up.

It does make the ratings untrustworthy, but I think if we take the time to add comments about why we liked or didn't like a book, we'll get more out of each other's ratings.

Like The Stand -- it's not great literature by anyone's measure, but I think it's a hell of a read, so it'll get a 5.


message 4: by Jodi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Jodi | 6 comments My half-assed system: I give five stars only to books that either really blew me away or that I come back to again and again. I give one star to books I thought were terrible. (Though maybe I should be giving those books NO stars.) Four stars is a book I thought was "good", two stars is a book I thought was "bad", three stars is a neutral opinion.


message 5: by Ryl (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Ryl (rylf) | 29 comments Books I love get five stars.
Books I love but have one little thing that bugs me (think the rape scene in "Mists of Avalon") get four. Also books that I love but aren't good enough for a five.
Books that are good to meh get three.
Books that are a solid meh get two.
Books that are thrown get a one.
Books that I can't remember get nothing.


message 6: by Emma (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Emma | 3 comments I wish the star rating was in the present tense. I struggle with rating some of my teen reads as a one or a two. Letters From the Inside, for example, by John Marsden, is melodramatic self-indulgent teen angst. Now, when I was thirteen I LOVED it; ten years later, it makes me cringe. I would have no problem starring it with 'it's rubbish' or even 'it's okay' but saying 'it WAS okay' seems... well, disloyal somehow, or dishonest. Because it WAS awesome. But now it's not. Am I making sense?


message 7: by Twickster (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Twickster | 6 comments Absolutely! That's pretty much what I was trying to ask in the OP.

Right now, I'm using the following:

5 stars: Great book that I have no problem recommending today.

4 stars: Damn good book.

3 stars: Pretty good -- more right with it than wrong. Probably worth reading.

2 stars: Not dreadful, but probably not worth reading.

1 star: Dreadful

Read it so long ago that what to do with it confuses me for the reasons Emma has articulated -- 0 stars.


message 8: by Jamie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:17PM) (new)

Jamie Collins (jamie_goodreads) | 76 comments I haven't given any 1-star reviews, because if I dislike the book that much I won't finish it. And if I don't finish it, I don't feel that it's fair to review it. The only book I can recall finishing in the last few years that I would assign 1 star is Phillipa Gregory's Wideacre. I'll have to add that one just so I can give a 1-star review.

5 stars means I loved it, I've probably read it more than once, and I will try to talk others into reading it.
4 stars means I really liked it and would recommend it to someone who enjoys the genre.
3 stars means I thought it was okay, or it's so obviously bad that even if I enjoyed it, I can't bring myself to rate it highly (e.g. Laurell K. Hamilton)
2 stars means I didn't really enjoy it and wouldn't recommend it.
1 star would mean I hated it

When I re-read books I loved as a child, I almost always enjoy them from pure nostalgia, so I end up giving it a high rating.


message 9: by Cillasi (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Cillasi | 1 comments I'm running into the same problem of how to rate books I read a long time ago, and even some I've read more recently. There are lots of fluff books I've read that I barely remember although I enjoyed them immensely at the time. I don't see any reason why those shouldn't get 5 stars for being "a rousing good read" or some such.

That's why there's a review section - so you can explain yourself. You simply cannot apply the same criteria to all genres of books.

Also, it doesn't seem you have to rate every book you add to your lists. Just don't click any stars. You can always go back and change things later if you choose. I might make a "read but not remembered/rated" shelf.


message 10: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:19PM) (new)

Julie Cillasi said: 'I might make a "read but not remembered/rated" shelf.'

I like that idea a lot.


message 11: by Pam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Pam | 87 comments I'm going through my shelves and deleting the books that I don't remember anything about, except that I read them.


message 12: by Tracey (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:25PM) (new)

Tracey | 20 comments Here's how my ratings go:

5 star: absolutely amazing, changed the way I look at life - must own. I probably have less 5% of my 800+ books rated at a 5.

4 star: very good book that I plan to re-read again. Want to own or plan to keep.

3 star: enjoyable at the time & may re-read at some point. Don't necessarily have to own, but probably will keep if I already had it.

2 star: mediocre & wouldn't bother reading again. If owned, getting/got rid of it.

1 star: probably didn't even finish & possibly threw against the wall. I don't think I have many of these (thank goodness!)

No stars - don't remember well enough to rate - am slowly deleting most of these from GoodReads.


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