Why I don’t rate the books I read

Once again I have decided to start anew, remove my old posts and start with a fresh plate.

To start off – I thought I might tell you about why I don’t rate books. One of my many reading goals for 2015 consisted of “stop rating books”. Why? Well. For some time last year there was a discussion going on especially on Booktube about the star rating system, and even before that I had my concerns about the systems efficiency. Simply put, I asked myself if the star rating did me any good. When I looked back at the books I’d rated 3 stars, there was a mixture of quality and types of books – some which I’d been expecting more of but where still good, some that were actually pretty good but surprisingly so – I obviously had different feelings towards these books but they still ended up in the same category. Often I found myself just putting any book I read in a 3 or 4 star rating, not making full use of the entire range. And again, what was the point of that? What did that number really tell me when all kinds of books, different in quality, different in genre, different lengths, different expectations, mixed together?

And then there were the books that were hard to rate. Like poetry – how do one rate poetry? It’s a very personal experience. If you relate to a poem or not. Of course it’s possible to discuss the use of language, the smart use of words, the technical aspects. But isn’t poetry first and foremost about feelings, about capturing emotions, abstract things, how can one truly rate such a thing? Or a memoir, how can one truly rate someone else’s life, sure – again, based on the language, the way it is written, everything like that. But to put a number to represent someone else’s life, it seems a bit simplistic, no?

I found myself questioning the usefulness of the system, and so I decided to try this year to throw it out the window. So far it’s been going well. Since I don’t have the option of lazily putting a number on a book and leave it like that, I always write reviews for the books that I read so that I will remember my feelings of it. It pushes me to write reviews as clear as possible, or rather to really include everything I found important so that I can remember for my own sake whether it was a book that I liked or not, affected me or not, but also that other people planning to read the book can make their own conclusions about the book. If one is interested in a book, I find reading reviews where the points are discussed rather than having a rating is more useful to decide upon a book since there will be things that puts other people off that won’t bother me, and the other way around.

To sum it up, one of my goals this year was to try out not using the star rating system for the entire year and instead focus on reviewing every book that I read. I will be re-evaluating at the end of the year, and decide then if it’s something I will continue doing or not.

Hope you are all having a lovely day!



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