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books, books, and more books! > Stars: How Do You Rate

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message 1: by Julia (new)

Julia (bambbles) | 43 comments I was talking to my sister about Catching Fire the other day and said something along the lines of "I think I am going to demote it a star" and she got all indignant about it saying that once it was rated it was rated.

So it got me wondering. How do other people use the star rating? Is it one time or does it change with a reread? How strict are you with the ratings?

For me, I rate it as soon as I can after I finish the book. If I happen to stumble across the book at a later date and time has either soften or hardened me to the book, I'll change the rating.

What about you guys?


message 2: by Tami (last edited Jan 03, 2011 07:43AM) (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
I rate it right after I finish reading it, and like you, I have been known to change ratings. Mostly it is because when I have just finished I really liked the book so I rate it high, then later after a few months, I find I can't really remember parts of it, or all of it, so I feel like I shouldn't have rated it that high. Usually for demotions, I don't think I have ever rated one higher.

I feel that Goodreads really needs to allow half stars though. I use one star as really disliked, two as sortof disliked, three as okay read, four as good read, and five as great read.


message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) | 696 comments I also rate a book as soon as I can after reading it. It's rare that I change my rating though. I usually change my star rating if I read a book that was between stars and can't decide to rate it higher or lower. It would be nice if we had a half star option because (to me) sometimes a book is better than a 3 star rating but not quite a up to 4 stars.


message 4: by Julia (new)

Julia (bambbles) | 43 comments Tami, I have the same mental rating system for what the stars mean. Lately though I've been having a few DNF books that I feel like I shouldn't rate since I didn't get the whole book experience but at the same time, I disliked it so much that I want to let other people know my distaste!

Oh the woes of rating!

I've never really thought about half stars before. I am sure that if it was an option I would use it.


message 5: by Nathan (new)

Nathan So I joined just so I could post in this topic...

As soon as I finish a book I get on here and rate it, but I don't feel that it's my actual rating for about a month. I think I've demoted a book as much as 2 stars after I've given it time to digest. Usually it's with a book that was very emotional. I loved the book because it hit close to home, but realize after stepping away that the writing wasn't as good as I expect out of 4 or 5 star books.

Something I've been wondering though is what does it take for a book to get 5, 4 or 1 star? What do you look for in books to decide how many stars to give? What determines if the 3 and a half star (or any half) gets the higher 4 or the lower 3?


message 6: by Julia (new)

Julia (bambbles) | 43 comments For me 5 star books have to be pretty amazing and resonate with me, on an emotional level as well as a intellectual one. Look at the 4 books out of 309 that I've rated 5s, I see one common thread: the resonated with me in such a way that I re-examined something about myself. I concede that there may be flaws in the books, but to me there wasn't, hence the 5 star "I really enjoyed it" rating.

Most of my ratings are 3s because I enjoyed it but didn't feel I wasted my time, but it wasn't something to write home about. If it was but didnt have that resonance from the 5s, I rate it 4.

My ones have that same sense of resonance that a 5 would, except it's negative. I only have five 1 stars, and actually two of them are emotional based because I couldn't click with the book (Of Mice and Men). And then there are three that I think are horridly written and/or give off negative messages.

And since I've covered the rest, my 2s are I didn't hate it enough for a one star, but I didn't really enjoy it.


message 7: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I rate right after I finish, but when I write my review later, I might change the star rating.

I feel like I need to come up with a better system of rating because the feeling I got when I first read Gone With the Wind (my absolute favorite) is different from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but I gave them both 5 stars.


message 8: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (jenna_marie58) I also rate right after reading, and I will sometimes change it later (almost always a demotion). I follow the goodreads meanings for the stars: 1- didn't like it, 2- it was okay, 3- liked it, 4- really liked it, 5- loved it. My ratings tend to be pretty high though; I guess I'm easily impressed. That being said, I do wish there were half stars because I have a lot of variation between all the books I've rated 3 or 4. Mostly, if I feel like it's between too, I give it the higher rating.


message 9: by Kelly A. (new)

Kelly A. | 499 comments Sometimes when I find books I read several years ago, I don't give them a rating because I don't think I accurately remember them enough to give it a fair rating.

As for rating itself, I use the same ratings as I do on my blog: 5 stars - One of the best books I've ever read, 4 stars - An enjoyable read, 3 stars - Good, but missing something, 2 stars - A drag, felt like assigned reading, 1 stars - Probably didn't even finish this book.

I am all for half stars! Sometimes it makes a real difference.


message 10: by Nikki (new)

Nikki I rate and review a book immediately after I finish it. I demote books sometimes too, but I try to avoid it. Ratings can seem strange to me a year later, but I usually stick to my original thoughts.

I give 1 star is it's really terrible, 2 if I didn't like it that much but didn't hate it, 3 if it's average, 4 if I really like it and 5 if it's amazing. I would like to give half stars too, especally 3.5 and 4.5.


message 11: by Julia (new)

Julia (bambbles) | 43 comments Another thing to throw out there, I've been known to reread a book and feel like it should be up or down a star. Then I get to the conundrum of do I take my first read thoughts or my second reads thoughts?


message 12: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I update my stars and then make a note of it in the review.


message 13: by Samantha (last edited Jan 06, 2011 10:04AM) (new)

Samantha (samhanson) | 179 comments I have this same conflict with rating movies on Netflix. Sometimes I'll rate something right after I read/watch it and then see it later and realize I change my mind. But then I wonder if my initial rating is more truthful because that's closer to how I felt right after finishing, or if my opinion after some reflection is the one I should trust.


message 14: by Ashley (last edited Jan 06, 2011 02:29PM) (new)

Ashley Lauren (ashleyllauren) I would definitely consider myself a pretty liberal rater. I think I rate higher than normal, mostly because I give the book the benefit of the doubt; especially if it's one that most people liked and I hated. I try to be as objective as I can about books that I didn't like. I assume that, unless I think the writing itself is terrible, that maybe I just missed a part or didn't have the experiences needed to really *get* the book. I also tend to rate immediately after I read - to me that's the feeling I want to capture. The first few moments after a book is done, if I close it and say "wow," I want it to be a 5. Even if later on I think maybe it didn't deserve it (especially when, like Lori was saying, I don't think it was as great as other 5 stars in my list) I tend to keep it the same rating because I want to rate it when my emotions are high. That being said, I've definitely changed stars before, though usually with some pretty serious thought.


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) I always rate a book right after reading it. The only time I usually change my rating is if I re-read the book at a later date.

I REALLY wish we could do half stars! How has Goodreads not incorporated that yet?


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