Lately I’ve been thinking about my current rating system for books and I’ve realized that it’s time for a bit of a change. I’ve always used the five stars (or rather, five smileys, because who doesn’t love smileys?) because it is what I feel most familiar with, and that basic set-up isn’t going to change. What I will be updating is what each of the smileys means to me personally.
Recently I’ve noticed that I rate a lot of books 5 out of 5. There’s nothing wrong with this, but the problem is that many of these books are not my ultimate favorites. most of them are books I have simply really enjoyed, but they haven’t left any sort of lasting impression on me. I would like a rating system that allows me to distinguish between excellent books and ones that make the list of My Favorite Books Ever (I don’t actually have this list written down, but how cool would that be?) In other words, I am trying to make my rating system more accurately reflect how I feel about the books I read.
My solution to this problem is to adjust what each smiley means to me, as follows:
- 5 smileys: Amazing. Breathtaking. Memorable. Beautiful. Fascinating. Thought-provoking. Possibly life-changing. Loved it!!
- 4 smileys: I really, really, really enjoyed this book, but it didn’t wow me or make a lasting impression. Definitely better than the “average” book.
- 3 smileys: My new “normal” or “average” rating. I enjoyed reading it, but there were also quite a few things I didn’t like about it. It was simply a good book.
- 2 smileys: This rating can be summed up in a single word: meh. I didn’t absolutely hate it, but I probably wouldn’t read it again or recommend it. It was an okay book.
- 1 smiley: Disliked it, maybe even hated it. Nope nope nope.
- 0 smileys: Did not finish (will abbreviate to DNF).
The result of this rating system will most likely be that my ratings overall will be much lower, however I think they’ll correspond more closely with how I actually feel about the books I read. As always, I want to emphasize that my rating is only my personal opinion and that to me the most valuable part of a book review is the commentary or discussion aspect. There is always a “why” behind the numerical rating, and that’s what is most important.
I will be updating the ratings page of this blog with the contents of this post, so feel free to refer back to it if you ever want to.
How do you rate books or content in general? Let me know in the comments section below!