Submitted by pensieve64 t3_11zey0z in books

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since a good friend and I have started tracking our reads in Goodreads. When I rate my books, I go roughly by:

5 stars - absolutely loved it, wonderfully written, will likely reread in the future, would definitely recommend to others

4 stars - very enjoyable, well written, probably wouldn’t read it again, would recommend to others if I thought it was their kind of book

3 stars - an okay book, somewhat engaging, possible minor formatting/grammatical/factual errors, definitely wouldn’t read again, might recommend it to people but with the caveat that it wasn’t my favourite book

2 stars - I finished it and I was glad. Tolerable as I finished it. Likely many errors.

1 star - Hasn’t happened yet. I wonder what would rank here.

My friend is much more likely to rate lower than me- she rates purely on how much she enjoyed it. I don’t do this because I recognise that not all books are to my taste and that isn’t the books fault. How do you guys rate books?



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Fantastic-Ad7752 t1_jdc5ugo wrote

I always tend to rate books higher right after finishing them, then sometimes i get back and downgrade them later on haha.

5* is I am obsessed, I love everything about that book. Love how it makes me feel, love the message, the characters, the writing style, will probably reread some day.

4* when I really enjoyed the book but there was something missing, maybe it had some boring parts in it or was dragging on for too long

3* often means I’m not quite sure what to think about the book. I liked parts and at the same time I disliked other parts a lot. It was okay. Not more, not less.

2* is usually when I was glad when I finally got through a book. Books I didn’t like at all but pushed through and sometimes was even close to give up on reading it.

1* - I think it happened only once but was a DNF at like 50% that i hated and literally made me mad.


Ecstatic_Duck8704 t1_jdcmjs4 wrote

Omg! Thought I was was the only one to do this 😂 I feel sometimes if I don’t like the ending I emotionally rate the book lower than it deserves. Then I go back to change it.


ondinemonsters t1_jdcn0qh wrote

This is why I don't like to rate books on public forums. My emotions and personal preference always intertwine in my rating. And I'm afraid someone else who the books style is more their cuppa won't read it and enjoy it, because it wasn't my personal taste.


arsbar t1_jdd6n4h wrote

I only rate about half the books I read for this reason — that and many books take effort to assess quality. Reviews are much more valuable to a reader IMO, I try to explain what did and didn't work for me, so someone with different tastes can get an understanding of if those things will be an issue for them.


dreamsofaninsomniac t1_jddvvi7 wrote

It's usually the ending that makes me downgrade my rating too. I also factor in re-readability. Most books fall in the "3" category for me, a few might make it into the "4" category, but "5"s are the rarest for me.


Fast-Chest-3976 t1_jdecz2h wrote

Yeah I’m with you on the 3 star rating, I definitely wouldn’t recommend someone a 3* book


F4RCE t1_jdd0qtq wrote

Basically how I look at it too. I think the only books I've rated 1 star were books I was forced to read for schoolwork and hated. There are some others I dislike so much I couldn't finish them but I feel like I shouldn't give a rating for a book when I haven't read the whole thing


dreamsofaninsomniac t1_jddw3rz wrote

I hesitate to rate any book a 1 since I think you can usually find some redeeming quality in any book, even if you might not like it.


thebooksqueen t1_jdfb7o3 wrote

Read nine lives by Peter swanson, that is the definition of a one star book lol


dreamsofaninsomniac t1_jdfdqt8 wrote

The synopsis seems like a standard thriller. What's so bad about it compared to other books in that genre?


thebooksqueen t1_jdgseu8 wrote

The plot didn't make sense, the characters were very basic, racist slurs, constant references to and then there were none by Agatha Christie (I'm talking blatant and every other page) and the whole reason behind the plot was, frankly, astounding levels of ridiculous.

It's been a long time since I've hated a book that much lol


Clint_Barton_ t1_jdddi92 wrote

I actually do the opposite. I sometimes won’t love something as I finish, but then six months to a year later will look back on it more favorably (possibly because of some short term nostalgia).


ExtraGravy- t1_jdcln10 wrote

5 stars = Worth reading multiple times

4 stars = Worth recommending

3 stars = Worth reading once

2 stars = Would discourage others from reading

1 stars = Waste of time


cdnspoonfed t1_jde5vic wrote

This is how I tend to rate books - I was giving a lot of 4-5 then as a big re-reader that most of the books I should probably be only rating a 3. I did go back and change some. I only have a few series that I would consider 5 stars.


Plumbing6 t1_jddnosy wrote

I use this type of rating, and I write a review as well, since I read others reviews to see what they liked or disliked about a book.


Ollivete t1_jdc3ub6 wrote

i use what goodreads themselves use

1 star – didn’t like it

2 stars – it was OK

3 stars – liked it

4 stars – really liked it

 5 stars – it was amazing


pensieve64 OP t1_jdc42d8 wrote

I didn’t know Goodreads had set out recommendations. What do you do for books that are well written but not your taste? It feels weird for me to give it a low response if I just don’t like it for some reason


glootech t1_jdc4pl8 wrote

Not the person who commented first, but I use the same system. If I didn't like a book that was well written, I use 1 star because, well, I didn't like it. It doesn't mean that this was the worst book in world, it just wasn't for my taste.


dreamsofaninsomniac t1_jddwd68 wrote

I find it hard to rate any book a 1, even if I hated it, since I can usually find some redeeming quality about it. Either that or it's so bland that it doesn't seem like it warrants the vitriol that a 1 seems to imply.


Ollivete t1_jdc4ivd wrote

i just checked and apparently after the redesign it doesn't appear anymore when you hover the stars. i have changed to storygraph about a year ago.

i just rate it for myself. if it's a revolutionary book at the time of publishing i'll throw in an extra star or two for their contribution to literature even if i hated it


Juanicee_Maikooku t1_jdf1ypl wrote

The hover text still appears on user pages, review pages, edition pages, etc., just not on book pages


kelppforrest t1_jdfjqup wrote

I don't feel bad giving 2's and 1's because I know the average score, composed of thousands of ratings, will not weigh heavily into my low score. Most books are read by people who like them and who can appreciate them.


Uppnorth t1_jddeigb wrote

If it was well written but I didn’t like it, I usually give it 2*-3* as a middle-ground, and make a short review/comment pointing this out to be clear. I might also skip rating it entirely. It depends a bit on how much I didn’t enjoy it, and for what reasons!


InejandKaz t1_jdc3mrn wrote

5 stars: I loved it and will reread it.

4 stars: Great book but i would not read again / loved it overall but had some boring parts.

3 stars: It was ok but nothing stood out in a good or bad way / good book but bad ending / good but forgetable.

2 stars: Had some good parts or beginning but was bad overall / boring but good written / good story but dragging and badly written.

1 star: dnf book / badly written / whole book was boring / nothing was good about it


WalidfromMorocco t1_jdc3x21 wrote

1 star - It was so bad that I didn't finish it.

2 - I didn't like it that much but still finished it.

3 - It was okay, but not something I might recommend to people.

4 - Liked it a lot and would recommend.

5 - I will swear by it.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdc45sm wrote

I don’t rate DNFs as I don’t feel it’s fair if I haven’t read most of the book to give it a rating. Do you have to read a certain amount before you rate it a 1?


WalidfromMorocco t1_jdc4u50 wrote

I only give it 1 star if the reason I didn't finish it was because it's bad. But if I stop reading it because I realize the story is not for me or it's not my preferred genre, then I just don't rate it at all.


kelppforrest t1_jdfkj4n wrote

If the pacing was so bad that I stopped reading before the part where "it got interesting," or "those problems were addressed in a plot twist" then I'm calling it out. And I don't want to waste my time checking out a book a lot of people with similar taste to me have DNF'd due to it being lackluster.


plauderi t1_jdc3yod wrote

I would actually appreciate it if it were possible to give half stars, many five star reviews of mine would probably be more like 4.5.

5 - loved it, could not stop reading/listening to it, would recommend it without doubts

4 - liked it, enjoyed it a lot, but not quite as thrilling / absorbing

3 - just ok

2 - part of it was enjoyable, but generally did not like it, probably took me longer to finish when I am reading multiple books at once

1 - absolutely hated it, considered stopping reading (I try not to DNF)

My average rating is 4.08, but I tend to do a lot of research before picking up a book, that keeps disappointments to a minimum.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdc5ik1 wrote

I agree, half or quarter stars like on StoryGraph would definitely give more leeway. When you say you do research, does this include other Goodreads reviews?


plauderi t1_jdc5puu wrote

Yes, I look mainly at Goodreads reviews (or Audible if it's an audio book). I feel like anything with a avg rating above 4 is worth reading (if you are into the genre of course).


dnmonack t1_jdcbs73 wrote

My simple system:

5 stars: a friend wrote this book

No rating: everything else


Maximusnz44 t1_jdc89mj wrote

Why give it a rating when you can write an extremely long review?


pensieve64 OP t1_jdcaba7 wrote

I can read a book every couple of days OR I could write my personal memoirs through Goodreads reviews


mooimafish33 t1_jdhn450 wrote

You gotta do it in Goodreads format where you fill it with gifs and refer to the author like they are your friend like

"Steve, Steve, Steve... You've done it again ya brilliant bastard

Random gif

The Shining may have been your best one yet buddy. "


Gusenica_koja_pushi t1_jdfk8z9 wrote

It's faster and easier. Most of the time I don't have to say much about the book other than "I liked it" or "it was boring af". Also, when I search for a book on Goodreads, I want to see rating, and I read 3-4 reviews. If some book already has 450 reviews, writing one more seems like a waste of time. I wrote a few short reviews, and all of them are for the books which had a very few reviews.


Maximusnz44 t1_jdfqu34 wrote

Couldn't agree more, I'm tired of finding dissertation after dissertation when I just want to know if it's worth a read.


brightdark t1_jdclpc2 wrote

⭐ Hated it

⭐⭐ Didn't like it.

⭐⭐⭐ Wouldn't recommend it

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Pretty good

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Loved it!


iwasjusttwittering t1_jdc5yn3 wrote

I read mostly non-fiction, and I don't really read for "fun" (though it may get bonus points) but out of interest. My rating scale is a range from "incoherent garbage or actively harmful to society" to "sound seminal work, you should know about this".

Even when I read fiction, I apply similar criteria to an extent. For instance when I read Laurent Binet's Civilizations, I enjoyed about 3/4 of the story and I'd give it 4/5 rating, if it weren't for the alternative history based off fundamentally flawed premises; thus, it ends up 3/5 and I explain the problem with its pop "big history" framing and how the world building leaves out for example crucial trade relations with the other part of the world.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdc7k5d wrote

I’m curious; how many actively harmful to society books have you read?


iwasjusttwittering t1_jdc8zyq wrote

Quite a few.

As I was finishing high school, I was gifted a book by a prominent politician in my country that promoted climate-change denial. I actually believed it for a while.

However, as I got out of that, my late stepfather went down an esoteric and far-right rabbit hole. I looked into what he read to be able to critically engage with him. There was fake-historian punditry, edgy eugenics, Russian mysticism and for example trash fantasy that has a cult around it (a bit like scientology).


MrMcManstick t1_jdc6cxw wrote

1 star- hated it, no redeeming qualities 2 star- it was meh 3 star- liked it fine 4 star- loved it 5 star- blew me away


Objective-Switch-823 t1_jdc285y wrote

Mine is maybe a bit more harsh than your way, though I do utilize half stars in my reviews.

5 - as good/loved it as much as my favourite ever book/series 4 - very good/enjoyed it tremendously 3 - it was alright. Don't necessarily regret the experience but will not remember the plot/book itself in a few months 2 - not that enjoyable honestly. Maybe a few good scenes/chapters 1 - there is nothing I enjoyed/appreciated about this book. I might remember it solely because of the lack of enjoyment I had while reading

0 stars(unrated) - giving it a rating felt inappropriate. Usually reserved for very touchy/sensitive memoirs or extremely long short story collections where a single score is just not viable.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdc2hge wrote

This is closer to the way my friend ranks things. The unrated is interesting; I can see why you’d take that approach for books on sensitive topics. I don’t rate DNFs as I don’t feel it’s fair, b it everything else I generally rate


blue_bayou_blue t1_jdc3z4n wrote

To be honest my rating criteria isn't consistent, and I've gone back to change ratings a few times. I also use Storygraph which allows half and quarter stars, which makes the decision more complicated. That said, here's my general method:

5 stars - my absolute favourites, books that I both really enjoyed reading and are objectively well written.

4.5 stars - books I loved but had some flaw that keeps it from being a 5. Usually, books I had a blast reading but some part of plot or worldbuilding fell apart once I thought about it some more.

4 stars - books that are fairly enjoyable and engaging. Most books I finish are here.

3.5 stars - books I loved parts of. eg an excellent book with a disappointing ending, or one that has an amazing character or plot twist but is otherwise meh.

3 stars - OK books, that I liked but didn't make much of an impression. Also, books that I recognise are well written, but aren't for me.

2 stars - books I struggled to get though. Interesting enough characters or subject matter that I wanted to finish the book, but boring / repetitive / actively frustrating.

1 star - books that are objectively bad, that I did not enjoy. Has only happened a few times - a local history book that was plain inaccurate, an obnoxious celebrity memoir.


minimalist_coach t1_jddg4xg wrote

I rate by how much I enjoyed it and how likely I am to pick up the next in the series or try other books by the same author. Although I'm aware that the ratings are public, I rate for my own information.

3* and 4* are my most common ratings, it has to be pretty bad for me to want to rate it lower and it has to make a big impression for me to give it 5*


SoylentGreen-YumYum t1_jdfz64z wrote

I am fairly similar. For a book to be a 5 star to me, it has to have some X factor (usually that I can’t explain) that puts it in a league of its own. I have to undoubtedly know the second I finish the book whether it’s a 5. I might have two of these a year if I’m lucky (not including rereads) out of a yearly average of 50ish books. I really wish there were half stars because there are some that are so close to a 5 but I find myself making an argument for the 5 and that means it’s a 4, though it’d be a 4.5 if given the option.

4 is a pretty big like and a definite future reread. 3 is a mild to moderate like and possible reread. 2 is mild to moderate dislike but usually with an aspect that I liked. 1 is loathe entirely.


minimalist_coach t1_jdg1niu wrote

I recently switched from GoodReads to StoryGraph and love that we have the option of 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, or full stars.


purringlion t1_jdcnpp0 wrote

Edit: I wish Goodreads had a bigger range because just 5 options seems too limiting. (Storygraph is better, yes, it's just that most people haven't made the switch yet.)

I rate based on how good a book I think it is, not how much I enjoyed it. I can enjoy a book and know it's not redefining the genre. Sort of like "yes, I enjoyed this trilogy about superpowered magical werewolves and devoured it in a week but is it actually as good as Pride and Prejudice? Should I really be putting it on the same shelf?"

5*: It's a masterpiece in its own way. The themes are on point, the prose is amazing, the plotlines are all superb.

4*: Wow. This book did something so well that I keep coming back to it. Will/have reread. Not quite a masterpiece but wow.

3*: It's a good book. The plotlines tie up nicely, the pacing is good. It's a well-crafted book. (Most books I read end up in this category)

2*: It's an alright book. Some of the plotlines didn't quite get resolved well, the pacing felt off, the characters are mostly cardboard cutouts. It was just interesting enough to keep reading. I'll most likely give the book away but won't encourage people to read it.

1*: DNF, not even planning to get back to it. Or I managed to finish (hoping it'd get better with the ending) but I wish I hadn't. What a waste of time.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdcocx3 wrote

I think enjoyment vs good writing is the main difference between peoples ratings in this thread. You can’t tell on Goodreads whether people think the book is well written even if it’s not their kind of book or if the book is their favourite but not necessarily high quality.


purringlion t1_jdcprcp wrote

I fully agree. I came up with my way after I looked back at my earlier ratings and they sort of felt wrong. I think it's easy to rate a book higher when I've just finished it and I'm riding the emotional high from it.

Boiling a whole book down to a star rating is simplifying so much. Maybe too much. But star ratings in general are a whole another topic.


ShakespearesSister12 t1_jdc6eru wrote

5 stars: all my love and I will make everyone I know read this book.

4 stars: loved it but few minor things took away from the experience such as predictability and writing style. Would recommend.

3 stars: meh. Good read, liked it well enough. Would probably not read again but will continue the series if part of one. Would probably recommend.

2 stars: finished it. Didn’t like it. Would ‘t recommend. Usually some redeeming factor but not enough.

1 star: hated it. Rated exactly one book this badly and it was for school so not very common rating. Usually some combination of bad plot, writing, and characters. W


Tigger2oo t1_jdcg8ep wrote

I rate 1 through 5 stars.


mainlyokay t1_jdcjonq wrote

I use Storygraph because you can rate books in increments of .25 stars. I treat it like a grade out of 100%, so 5 stars = 100% perfect book 4.75 stars = 95% Etc.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdcncp7 wrote

I use StoryGraph as well because I like the data side of things. Do you change the grade based on how much you liked it vs how good a book it is? For example, a book that was well written but not your thing vs a book that you loved that had some issues?


JoyousTab t1_jdcs8cm wrote

I give my 4 stars 5 stars and the rest I like 4 stars or I don’t review them


Ayjayyyx t1_jdcwsgp wrote

I don't rate books and have never used Goodreads


sleepiestgf t1_jdczn84 wrote

i use storygraph which allows .25, .5, and .75 as well, but for simplicity i'll stick mostly with whole numbers:

5 - one of my favorites of all time. the last time i read something that reached this was fall 2021

4 - very good book, either is just incredibly well written or would recommend to anyone

3 - good book, happy to recommend to some

2.5 - total middle of the road, as would be implied by it's position in the middle of the scale. books here are okay. i liked or appreciated everything above this and did not like anything below

2 - bad book that maybe had some good elements, could have been good if executed better

1 - really bad (this would be where dnfs go)

< 1 - dogshit, i could talk about how much i hate it for hours. i finish these out of morbid curiosity (coincidentally, the last time i read one down here was also fall 2021, a week or so after reading the 5 star one lol)


kelppforrest t1_jdfl0tr wrote

Interesting how many people I see put all their DNFs in 1. Ever since starting goodreads, I've DNF'd two books and one of them had a lot of good qualities, I just couldn't bear to go through its flaws any longer. I can't imagine giving that a 1 star.


sleepiestgf t1_jdflmm2 wrote

you make a good point. i dnf'd alseep in a sea of stars last year. it wasn't bad it was just so long and so cliche that i couldn't handle 400 more pages of it.

honestly i don't feel super good about giving a dnf a rating at all in a way. beyond what it being a dnf implies. i didn't read the whole thing, after all


Randomwhitelady2 t1_jddd1vs wrote

1 star: abysmal

2 stars: didn’t like it but it wasn’t a disaster.

3 stars: liked it and would recommend to fans of the genre

4 stars: Excellent

5 stars: A classic


2023Goals2023 t1_jdfs1ih wrote

I mostly rate based on how much I enjoyed it. Most books are about 4 stars on goodreads. The ratings are mainly useful as a way to find someone with similar taste and read the books they like.


sandy_80 t1_jdc7iqq wrote

i rate a good portion = 1 stars...its books i hated or couldn't get into

some might be even considered great but i just couldn't get into them

5 is exclusive for absolute fav books or masterpieces or just very well written or very enjoyable

i am not usually generous with scores .. cause I am more like an amature critic 3 stars is my most given i think

however I do find a problem in deciding many i don't


Cenitchar t1_jdccuzd wrote

5 stars - the best books I've ever read. Only 20 spots available (although I think I need to update the number to 5% of all read books).

4 stars - very good books, enjoyed them, will probably read them again sometime.

3 stars - ok books. Nothing that particularly marks them as good or bad.

2 stars - finished it. There are some problems with it, but nothing that completely breaks them.

1 star - didn't finish, or finished out of spite. Hate it, important problems that break the book.


it_is_Karo t1_jdcdxgm wrote

I wish they have half stars. Story graph lets you rate books with .25 increments and I find it better. For instance 3 is a very average book to me and 4 Mena's that I enjoyed it but it wasn't amazing or I'm not likely to read it again. Sometimes I really want to do 3.5 stars because it's not quite 4/5 yet


Purple1829 t1_jdcg7vb wrote

5 stars - An all time favorite

4 stars - A book I thoroughly enjoyed, may read again, and will likely share.

3 stars - I read it, I thought it was ok.

2 stars - It just didn’t work for me.

1 stars - I probably stopped reading at some point because I disliked it so much.

I tend to be more apt to rate something I like than something I don’t like though.


SakalliBob t1_jdci642 wrote

5 stars - It has become a part of my personality and I think about it all the time, I would recommend it everytime I could, cause personally they are must reads!

4 stars - I loved it and I think about it regularly I would recommend it if it suits the person's interests

3 stars - I liked the writing and the story but there wasnt a lot I gained from the book and I dont think about it too often, I wouldnt feel bad recommending these books but I would recommend something that matters more for me personally if I have the chance

2 stars - I didnt enjoy the writing style or the substence and it made me feel like I have wasted my time.

1 star - I hated the book and I would rather eat hot magma than read it again. (this one only has one book for now and its "The Box Man" by Kobo Abe, who also coincidentally has one of the best books I have ever read which is "The Woman In The Dunes")


hank_ t1_jdck4pc wrote

5 is I absolutely loved it and want to reread (if I find time).

4 is great book, really enjoyed it, and would probably reread but only if I was really in the mood/it's part of a series/I have nothing else I'm clamoring to start.

3 is I liked it but it may not have stood out in any way as really good.

  1. I really did not like it and it was a struggle to finish.

1 is I DNF. Since starting a Goodreads (4-5 years ago) I have never DNFed, but I came close a few times.

Goodreads ratings are not holy to me and my baseline rating is like a 3.5 (jesus christ i wish half stars were possible). But what i mean is I give nearly everything a 3 or a 4 (and honestly probably more 4s than 3s). I give a healthy amount of 5s. All of my ratings are (obviously) subjective, and a book that maybe is a 4 can become a 5 merely by me being pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. Similarly a 4 could become a 3 if I had higher hopes.

Because of the good people here on /r/books and /r/fantasy I generally find that by and large I really do enjoy the things that I start. People give good recommendations. And there are a lot of excellent books to read. Too many.


Anzieizna t1_jdck9m0 wrote

Yeah, I think I'd say similar.

5 stars - absolutely adored it. Was interesting, fascinating and educational. Would re-read and recommend to others.

4 stars - loved it. Was interesting or educational. Wouldn't re-read but would recommend to others.

3 stars - relatively enjoyed it. A decent, pleasurable read but nothing that stood out. Wouldn't re-read and probably wouldn't recommend to others.

2 stars - didn't enjoy it. Was boring, too flawed or unmemorable. Barely had any redeemable qualities and I'm glad to finish it. Wouldn't re-read or recommend to others.

1 stars - hated it. A book that I not only didn't enjoy, but actively hated and the reading experience was ruined for me.

I tend to not have too many 1s as I'll just quit while I'm ahead but sometimes required reading for my uni course ends up in this category. Additionally, hating a book doesn't necessarily mean it has no value - I really didn't enjoy Paradise Lost because I thought it was way too long, hard to understand and I didn't enjoy the subject material, but my seminar had some interesting discussions about religious doctrine, the sexism against Eve and whether Satan was a villain or a hero.


LilJourney t1_jdckhmt wrote

I rate them like your friend. I don't go by a book's rating on goodreads to determine if I want to read it / will like it or not.

I only use the rating to remind MYSELF what I liked or didn't like - and I suspect quite a large number of other goodreads users do the same.

Personally I don't give a 1 ever because that would be a DNF - and you're right, if it's that bad, then it's probably on me selecting a book that's not my taste. Those I simply shelve as DNF, don't rate and move on.


skauing t1_jdcnlm7 wrote

I mostly rate books based on personal enjoyment but I try to be a little technical too. 1 and 5 stars are ratings I only give if I have some sort of bias, it's hard to be objective because I either found the book personally offensive or emotionally validating. I rate with my feelings anyway but in the middle of the scale I often manage to put some of them aside.

1 star - I actively hated it, and I wish I'd DNFed it or DNFed sooner (I rate books and write a review if I drop a book past the halfway point, because I think "this book was so bad I couldn't finish it" is still valuable information). (examples: Light From Uncommon Stars, The Midnight Library)

2 stars - I didn't like it but it wasn't necessarily bad. To me it was boring, forgettable. (examples: Bonds of Brass, She Who Became the Sun)

3 stars - I liked it but it was just okay. I may have a couple of major complaints or the book wasn't "for me" for whatever reason. (examples: Dune, They Both Die at the End)

4 stars - I liked it a lot and have no real complaints, might reread one day, but it lacked that little extra "something" that would make me love it and feel emotionally attached. (examples: The Blade Itself, Mort, 11.22.63)

5 stars - I loved it and really connected with it, it was the right book at the right time, I'll be talking about it for weeks and years to come and almost definitely reread it at least once. (examples: The Martian, Assassin's Apprentice, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, Nimona)

I usually write at least a small review to explain my feelings, so that if anyone is looking to ratings/reviews for guidance they can get a sense of whether or not they should take my rating seriously. While I agree that it sometimes feels unfair to rate a book low based on gut feeling alone (like you said, it's hardly the book's fault if it doesn't connect), it's also how I and many others read. A lot of books that for me were 1-3 star books are very highly rated on goodreads and some of my favourites have received bad reviews, so at least for me ratings are just not a good guide.


lingenfr t1_jdcpgce wrote

My ratings are generally like yours, but you seem a bit more focused on the editing. I certainly consider that if it reaches a point of distraction. I agree that poor proofing/editing tends to be the norm these days. It is also pretty common to find a book converted to digital with a lot of errors remaining. I read quite a lot of non-fiction and I also consider the accuracy, objectivity, and level of research. I am sure that not all of my Amazon ratings are on GR, but on GR I only have one 1-star.


pensieve64 OP t1_jdcr7du wrote

Editing is certainly a part of it, but errors can also refer to continuity issues, or more commonly, historical inaccuracy. For a recent example, I was reading a book that was started by the author and finished by one of her friends after she had died. The original author was extremely attentive to historical details, with very minor changes as the plot necessitated. The new author didn’t have the same attention to detail; I remember her saying a character drank Jäegermeister as a small detail, in a historical setting a full twenty years before Jäger was invented. I don’t mind one or two of these errors, but the more they rack up the more I’m pulled away from the story. The more attentive an author is to accuracy and detail, the more likely I am to be impressed, even if the story isn’t necessarily something I would choose to read again 🙂


Competitive_Depth_96 t1_jdcs6wo wrote

For me, a 1 is racism, sexism (a focus on the way women characters look while the men are just a name, all the women in the novel are stupid/shallow/careless, descriptions of breasts), or terrible grammatical or factual errors (one author confused the Civil War with the American Revolution... just HOW????). Most of my 1s have been self-published works from Kindle Unlimited.


WackyWriter1976 t1_jdcsuo2 wrote

1 - Not worth the energy, time, or money. Please use those three items to seek another book. I will use this rating if the book's pretty bad in terms of plot, characters, grammar, and editing. I tend not to use it often as I will "DNF", or read with thorns on my side to hate review later.

  1. Okay book. Just not worth the re-read. Did I waste my time, money, and energy reading this book? Yes.

  2. Good book. However, I'm not doing cartwheels. It's entertaining, but not memorable, and probably would end up on the auction block to make room for 4's and 5's.

  3. Great book. Memorable. Highly recommended. More likely to show on my end-of-year list. Great plot, characters, and writing.

  4. Amazing. I will shout from rooftops, singing the book's praises. However, I strive not to use it often as many 5-star ratings make me nervous about taking it seriously.


RaymondFosca t1_jdcu09c wrote

5* All time favorites. 4* Enjoyed it a lot! 3* Fun, but not great.

I usually don't give 2* or 1* ratings because I rarely finish books I don't like. I shelf them as read, but without rating and with DNF tag.


marla-M t1_jdcu3hg wrote

Your rating system is similar to mine. But based on other ratings I probably lower the score of decent books sadly. If it’s a decent average book, worth reading but not spectacular it gets a 3


LupeDyCazari t1_jdcubiz wrote

I'm very giving with my ratings.

If I enjoy a book, I always give it 5 stars.

I also don't care about writing reviews or any of that stuff. But I do find it hilarious when the dudes go on to write a bible-sized essay on their book reviews.

It's a book, brah.

Read it or not, enjoy it or not. No need to write about it like that review of yours is the formula to achieve eternal life.


casualroadtrip t1_jdculdw wrote

Depends on the type of book. I’ve got different expectations for a literary fiction vs a murder/mysterie.

Enjoyment is always the most important factor when reading a book though.

And I did stop rating most non-fiction books. Especially memoires.


EddieXXI t1_jdcx0ns wrote

I don't think I've actually ever rated anything below 3 stars because I'm good at picking books for myself or gave up on any that would be but here's mine:

1-Awful, mostly likely didn't finish but still feel the need to warn others. Truly nothing redeeming. Potentially hateful content etc.

2- Disliked the book, I don't recommend it but wasn't truly awful

3- An ok book that I wouldn't rush to recommend to anyone but still enjoyed it to some extent

4 - A great book that a loved but has a few flaws/points I didn't like. Didnt wow me from start to finish.

5 - Near perfect, almost life changing. Hard to find any negatives.

And then I have a further tier - favourites shelf which are books that changed my life/ I really want to highlight/ mean something to me.


davewashere t1_jdcx4lj wrote

I rate them the same way as everyone else: every book gets a 4 unless I really liked it (5), or really hated it (3).


smallblackrabbit t1_jdcxfdz wrote

5--love this, would pre-order the author's next one, possibly in hardover

4--really good, highly recommended

3--Okay--reasonably well-crafted, but there were things I disliked

2--Not for me, but may have redeeming qualities

1--Probably didn't finish and I don't think anyone should bother.


PunkandCannonballer t1_jdczg71 wrote

5: perfect

4: almost perfect

3: pretty good, but has some flaws that really dragged it down.

2: mostly bad, but there's like 1 or 2 good things in here being drowned by the bad stuff

1: these books are either all-around just an insult to literature, or there are a couple flaws in them that are so awful the book isn't worth reading for any reason.


aidin_1805 t1_jdd03sc wrote

⭐️ : what the hell did I read ? ⭐️⭐️ : did not like. Could’ve been better ⭐️⭐️⭐️ : it was ok ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: I liked it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️: I loved it , give me more


MarcusQuintus t1_jdd1dym wrote

I frequently read things I don't think I'll like, so that rating system wouldn't be fair for the books.
4 - Made me think and sticks with me for a while. This is the highest initial score I'll give. If I'm still thinking about it six months later, I'll give it a 5.
3 - It was okay, but lacked weight or quality of writing.
2 - I didn't like the message nor the presentation, nor do I think it is a useful way to spend my time.
1 - Badly written, bad ideas, not thought provoking. But I have to think, is that because I didn't like it, or it's not what I like. Am I being fair?


be_Alice t1_jdd1uub wrote

I use the same system


Fool_of_a_Brandybuck t1_jdd3bln wrote

My rating system is similar to yours. I noticed I started comparing my own ratings when deciding on a new rating. For example, I recently downgraded a book from a 4 to a 3 because I realized I simply didn't enjoy it as much as my other 4's and the flaws bothered me more later on


caligari87 t1_jdd3h8c wrote

Most of the people on here have pretty similar answers, so I won't spell out star ratings individually. But I do have a subtle variance in my approach.

I'll usually go sort of in tiers of evaluation.

  1. Personal enjoyment for me (pure opinion).
  2. Innate quality of the work within its sphere.
  3. Technical competency.

If a book is less than 3 or 4 stars on a given tier, I try to switch to evaluating on a lower tier instead. I want to clarify this isn't necessarily an average, but rather a way to hopefully give books a "fair" rating even if I didn't personally like them, or even if they arguably failed at what they set out to do.

For example, I recently finished two YA fantasy books: Lightlark by Alex Aster, and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas.

  • Lightlark Is the first book in (presumably) a gestating fantasy series. ultimately I gave 3 stars. For personal enjoyment it was down in the 1-2 stars area, so I started evaluating on whether it was a good YA fantasy book in general or a good book to launch a series. That ended up being like 2-3 stars. Dipping into the technical competency level, I rounded that up to 3 because the writing was functionally okay, if uninspired.

  • Kingdom of Ash was the culmination of a long YA fantasy series. Going by personal enjoyment, I would have given it maybe a 3. I didn't not enjoy it, but this isn't really my genre and I was reading it for my wife. So I switched to evaluating on the innate quality of what the work is trying to be, and ended up giving it 5 stars because it's a fitting and powerful end to the series and a great example of broad appeal YA fantasy. As that ended up being an acceptable rating for me, I didn't weigh in basic technical competency to my score.


PeteRosesBookie t1_jdd4kbr wrote

5 - Loved 4 - Liked 3 - Ok 2 - Didn’t Like 1 - Awful


Unsteady_Tempo t1_jdd4yed wrote

It depends on what you hope to get out of the rating system. Are you doing it for more accurate personal recommendations or for being a reliable recommender of books to others? Or, for weighing in on what books are truly great and truly bad whether you or even most people would personally enjoyed them or not.

As for me, I use it for accurate personal recommendations. I have no problem giving low ratings to books even if I recognize they're well written or of some importance. Also, there's a "not interested" option in Good Reads' recommendation feature for books that I already know aren't my cup of tea.


Euphoric_Echo_2395 t1_jdd58qe wrote

About the same as you. I have given 1 stars though very rarely. It usually means the book had major problems. I was probably skimming it at some point just to find out the basic plot of the rest of the book because I couldn't force myself to actually read it anymore.


-threems- t1_jdd7mbs wrote

5* - One of the best books I've ever read.

4* - A book I thought was incredible

3* - A book I enjoyed reading

2* - Didn't really enjoy this book

1* - I wish I could go back in time and warn myself not to read this


ByTheSea1015 t1_jdd7xwr wrote

5 - Quite possibly perfect. I adored it. I wouldn’t change a thing.

4 - I really enjoyed it, but there’s a few things I would change.

3 - I equally liked and disliked things

2 - I disliked the majority of it, but there’s were some redeeming qualities

1 - I literally did not like a single thing about this. Terrible.

I’ve never read anything that’s a 1 and only a couple things that were 2s. The majority of stuff I’ve read falls into 4!


WondrousDavid_ t1_jdd8lvq wrote

5* Exceptional,

4* Really great stuff.

3* Yeah it was pretty OK?

2* Bad

1* Probably did not finish.


LiliWenFach t1_jdd8syl wrote

My rating system is similar to yours, OP. I very, very rarely give 1 or 2 stars. If I DNF I don't feel qualified to judge the book, but if I finished a book and really disliked it then my rule is that I have to explain why. I rarely review, but I think it might be useful in extreme cases to explain why it provoked the reaction it did. I think I've made done this once on Goodreads where there was zero character growth, zero plot development and none of the characters were remotely likeable.


jack_pow t1_jdd8t5z wrote

5 - Perfect 4 - Great 3 - Good/Okay 2 - Not Good 1 - Awful/DNF


NurplePain t1_jdd94lo wrote

Personally, a 5 star is reserved for the best books I will ever read. There should be no question in your mind "is this a 4 star or a 5 star?". You KNOW it's a 5 star. You would give it 6 if you could.

So 4 stars for me are still incredible books, just not in the best books of all time category. I've read 18 books this year so far and only have one 5 star. But lots of fantastic 4 stars.


acldesmo t1_jdd95c5 wrote

I rank in a similar manner. Never done a one because I would never bother finishing a one and I don’t feel comfortable eating a book I haven’t finished! 🤷🏻‍♀️


doodle02 t1_jdd98qr wrote

5 - transcendent, genre defining or defying. i used to give more 5s but i’m down to 2-4/year (out of 40-50 books read). Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake, Tinkers by Paul Harding, Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Books i will reread multiple times. Will recommend to anyone. 4 - amazing books, worth a reread. Seriously enjoyed but not as unique or masterful as 5. Will recommend frequently. 3 - enjoyed it. probably won’t reread. Will recommend if matches a prompt well. 2 - meh. probably won’t recommend. 1 - DNF.


jenjen828 t1_jdd9be3 wrote

5 stars - Amazing. Will think about a lot and possibly read multiple times. Would recommend to anyone.

4 stars - Enjoyed greatly. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys that genre of book.

3 stars - It was fine. Would only recommend to other people with caveats.

2 stars - Not good.

1 star - Let's never speak of this again.


RHNewfield t1_jdd9occ wrote

5* - Books that I not only loved, but I actively remember for a while after reading it. The stories not only stick, but also influence what I look for going forward. If there are any flaws in the book, I don't find them impactful at all. I only have a handful of these.

4* - Books that I thoroughly enjoyed. The only difference between 4* and 5* is that I find some of the flaws harder to overlook. Maybe I was bored with a certain section, or think passages could have been reworked a bit. But I still would very much recommend these books and think they are well worth the time.

3* - Books that I liked, but felt were just about average. The flaws are significantly harder to overlook, but despite that, I still enjoyed the read. Still, they aren't bad books by a long shot, and I would still recommend them, however they most likely aren't the first thought that pops into my head as I believe there are better books out there.

2* - Books that I did not like. Perhaps the concepts were cool, but the execution left me wanting. Usually, I'll finish a 2* book and think it wasn't worth my time. I wouldn't recommend these books to anyone.

1* - Books that I not only hated, but felt that they actively wasted my time. Everything about them felt awful and I often regret reading them. Sometimes, I'll even refund these if I realize I won't DNF. Not only would I never recommend these books, I'll actively express how I felt about them if it comes up in conversation.

I don't actually rate anything lower than a 3*. I've read that authors shouldn't do that because it kind of creates a stigma around that author and people might be hesitant to work with them. As an author who already has a hard enough time networking, I didn't want to dig my own grave. Instead, I just don't rate them. Plausible deniability at its finest.

But I know what book gets what rating.

Also, I really wish Goodreads was out of 10 instead of 5. Or maybe gave half stars. No matter how much I love a book, I don't think I've ever read something that was absolutely perfect. But, to me, 5* sort of implies perfection. I'd give those books 9/10 or 4.5/5. But I don't feel like, with the current system, that they should get a 4* because they are markedly better from my perspective.


thegooddoktorjones t1_jdda07f wrote

One thing I have learned from Yelp and other online review sites is there are two kinds of people: Those who consider expected mediocrity as 5 stars and those who use the entire rating system. The former rate a greasy spoon 5 stars if their hot slop was not thrown in their face. The latter are the only people who actually leave useful reviews.

Corporate types want everyone to the the former. If they don't have a 4.5 star+ rating on a product or service, it is utter garbage because they are only concerned with marketing their junk by any means necessary. So they punish their workers and unsubtly tell users that they must rate 5 stars or they are assholes.

I use the whole rating system, because I am not leaving reviews for marketing wanks, I am leaving them for other readers so they can find the best stuff easily.

As a side note, a friend is a struggling author (is there any other kind?) and he has noted that high ratings are great, but it is the number of ratings that matters on places like Amazon. If you don't hit a certain threshold in reviews, your book will never make it onto suggested lists, and you will never be read. So if you like something mildly obscure, throw it a review on amazon, google, as many services as you can find. They need it. If it is a major release by an author with a publishing deal, fuck it they are fine.


mootschrute t1_jddbfp4 wrote

Slightly off-topic, and not aimed at OP, but I'm always a little suspicious when a user's ratings don't follow a bell curve.


pensieve64 OP t1_jddguq3 wrote

A few others on here have mentioned that they screen for books so that they rarely come across books they don’t like. For me, I’m always suspicious of reviewers who only score highly; that is improbable scoring!


jlevski t1_jddchb2 wrote

I didn’t mean to do this but my ratings tend to be: everything gets a 3 except books that are so bad they make me angry (1) and books that are so good I don’t stop talking about them (5).


anderoogigwhore t1_jddcj98 wrote

I do rate them on a more emotional level. I don't really care if it was competently put together or had 'errors'. I read for pleasure I'm not doing an academic report or proofreading.

If something is good but I recognise it's not for me I'd probably rate it a 3. Middle-of-the-road, overall meh. 2 and below are things I hated, 4 and above I really liked/loved.


themightykites0322 t1_jddcs2x wrote

5 - A perfect book from start to finish. Can’t think of a single time I struggled to get through a section or felt anything was unclear. This is a book I think will resonate with me for a long time and I’ll constantly think about. This book made me feel a lot emotionally. Very few books I feel will fall in this category. Example for me: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay or Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

4 - This book was great. Very few if any complaints about the quality or the structure of the book. There will have been parts of this book that felt like a struggle to get through or felt a bit forced. Things will happen to the characters that are just to convenient that it’ll pull me out of the story. For a bit, but overall it was a great story with a good ending. Example for me: Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica or Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

3 - This book was okay. Nothing ground breaking or something I’d revisit, but was satisfied when I finished it. The book has some bits that were a struggle to get through, but was interesting enough to keep me going. Example for me: The Coward by Stephen Aryan or Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

2 - A book I finished, but wasn’t really happy about it. I either finished it because I felt it could get better (but never did). Characters were either boring or the writing was nonsensical, but not so off putting or boring I opted to not finish. Chances are this book started decent, but had an awful ending. Example for me: Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk or A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

1 - Could not finish. Book was just so off putting to me for one reason or the other. I struggled to even get half way through. Whether the writing style was boring or the characters uninteresting or the plot became nonsensical, I just couldn’t do it. Example for me: I am not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells or Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson


LeoIsMyName09 t1_jddda7x wrote

Here is how I rate books:

5 stars - A new favourite, I'm obsessed with it, it's likely to stay on my mind for a very long time. I loved it, it's well-written, and I don't have any negative criticism of it.

4 - I really liked it, I found it thoroughly enjoyable, but it's not necessarily a favourite. This might mean I have some slight criticism of it, or that it it didn't leave a strong enough impression on me to rate it 5 stars. But still, really good book.

3 stars - This can mean a variety of things for me. It can mean that it was an average, generic reading experience for me. I didn't hate it, maybe I even liked it, but I didn't find anything that interesting about the book either. Or it can mean that I enjoyed a book and found it interesting but I have a lot of criticism. Thus, I have "mixed opinions". Or maybe I thought the story was interesting but didn't like the writing style, or something about the book didn't quite connect with me. In that case, I would say that it's still a good book and it's worth a read, but it didn't click with me that much, and so I only somewhat enjoyed my reading experience.

2 stars - This one is a very rare rating for me. It usually means I disliked a book but not due to it being problematic. Perhaps I thought it wasn't a very well-written book, but I don't have any beef with the book or the author. It means "I disliked it and I'd like to move on and not talk about it".

1 star - I reserve this for books I despise, especially if the book is problematic, for example by reinforcing misogyny or homophobia. The books I rate 1 star are books that use harmful tropes or normalise unacceptable things.


pensieve64 OP t1_jddjh48 wrote

Out of interest with regards to the one star rating, would you ever read books knowing in advance they were heavily problematic, and if so what effect would this have on your rating of the book?


LeoIsMyName09 t1_jddkrwo wrote

I have never intentionally read a book with the knowledge that it was problematic and don't see myself doing that in the future. I don't read books I think I won't enjoy.


LeoIsMyName09 t1_jddlrcr wrote

But what's interesting is that, as I said, it's rare for me to give 2 stars to a book. That is because I've noticed that often enough, if I don't enjoy a book but can imagine other people enjoying it, I'm likely to up the rating to 3 stars out of kindness, even if, objectively, it would be more of a 2 star for me. If it's not something I passionately hate, I often feel like rating something 2 stars is too mean. On the other hand, if I hate a book, then it's a one star (and usually, if I completely hate a book, it is because it's problematic in some way). That means that I rate very few books 2 stars.


KoeiNL t1_jdde71b wrote

  1. Loved it, still think about it months or years later. I never read books a second time, so for me that's not a qualifier for 5 stars.

  2. Just an excellent book, but with minor flaws. Usually related to pacing.

  3. Just decent, was worth my time.

  4. Obvious issues with the plot, writing, characters etc. For example if your characters are cardboard cutouts you end up here.

  5. Never rated a book a 1. I don't rate DNFs, and apart from that I'm pretty strict in my book selection.


PolityAgent t1_jddet5n wrote

I used to do it like you stated. But I track a lot of books in spreadsheets to construct my reading lists, and one of the things that I've noticed is that the range of ratings on Goodreads is quite narrow. For instance, of the 381 books I'm tracking that were published in 2022, the Goodreads ratings range from a minimum of 3.14 to a maximum of 4.81. So there are only a range of 1.7 stars between the "very worst" book and the "very best" book. I think most people are giving books a 4, unless it was really good, and they bump it to 5, or it is meh, and they drop it to 3. This seems like a pretty lazy approach to rating books.

So now I have a rating system from 1 to 10 (which I divide by 2 to get a Goodreads rating), and multiple categories that I rate. For instance, I might really like the world building in a book, but think the dialog is crappy, or that the first two thirds of the book is excellent, but it fell short in the last third. People have a tendency to rate a book according to its worst attribute -"The book was excellent, but it had a weak ending, so the book is weak." Or, "the book was excellent, but the dialog was crap, so the book is crap". So I currently have seven categories that I rate, and average them to make a final rating. I have an overall informal rating as well, and if the numbers don't match the overall rating, I have to ask myself why the metrics don't match. Either I'm not being honest about it, or I'm missing a category.

In the end it doesn't matter, since most books add up to a 4 rating (out of 14 books read so far this year, one was rated 3, eleven were rated 4, and one was rated 5) . But at least I can explain my rating to myself.


heat_11 t1_jddev52 wrote

This is an interesting question! I feel very unstandardized at times so a lot of the books I read wind up as 3 stars as a result. I think my biggest criteria when I am between ratings is the writing quality. Generally:

5 stars: Very exclusive. I only use this rating for my favorite books of all time. Subjectively, I absolutely loved something about it (characters, plot, world, tone). Can’t stop thinking about it. Has to have high quality writing or creative writing.

4 stars: Usually books that I really enjoyed, read through quickly as a result, but maybe not perfect in terms of writing or plot. Minor flaws.

3 stars: Anything in between good and bad. I am glad I read it, but there’s nothing super special about it either. Some good aspects and some parts I didn’t like.

2 stars: has to have both bad writing + really bad story to be in this section.

1 star: unbearable to read or DNF. I am a completionist so I have literally only a couple DNFs before, read them most of the way through, and feel justified in rating the book even if only partially completed.


Jigglejagglez t1_jddgqei wrote

It's complicated I think because even though I have a follower audience of only 4, I really want to be fair to the authors. I often go back and edit my ratings down on average by 1 star a few months later.

5: It could be life changing for me. At the very least it was profound in its artistry and I have read nothing like it. There were no problems with the characters, prose, or plot. It left me thinking and enriched my intellectual or spiritual life. It's an important book for someone to read because they might finish a better person.

4: Really incredible in just about every way. No character development bromides. Unique in some way (I really appreciate novelty). I derived value from this book intellectually or spiritually even if it didn't introduce any necessarily new concept.

3: It was good. There were some things that didn't quite work for me. The most common culprit is a repetitive word or phrase or a character that doesn't really feel totally genuine. I enjoyed reading it almost every step of the way, even if some parts may have been overly contrived.

2: It has something that really irked me but I was ble to finish and appreciate it in some way. This may be that a character is just unrealistic (most common), for example a child said to have an enormous IQ and that somehow means she uses adult idioms that, despite her intelligence, wouldn't have the life experience yet to really speak that way. Or an the same deal but an overly matured child. I really really dislike when an author (Stephen King and John Grisham do this a lot) fixate on sexual aspects of women. I really hate whenever a male main character encounters a women, I must read a paragraph about his thoughts on her boobs and ass, which is sometimes the very first thing to come up when her character is introduced. Brandon Sanderson flirts with this in Way of Kings between Dalinar and Navani but he doesn't take it far enough to be annoying - I just feel like I don't need to read 50 times over how hot he finds her. To digress though, there was something about the book that redeemed it such that finishing didn't take years off my life span.

1: A rare rating for me. Always a DNF. These books are trash and make me think that if THIS got published, maybe I have a chance to be an author too. All of the issues in the 2 star but also the plot and characters are entirely inane. This is like the book equivalent of watching a slapstick cartoon. Maybe it's for adults but it's just so puerile, boring, and even annoying. First book that comes to mind is Gerald's Game. Closed that one after 10 pages and donated it to the café bookshelf


pensieve64 OP t1_jddittv wrote

It’s interesting that you review your ratings after a period of time- how many ratings stay the same after a few months?


Jigglejagglez t1_jddug10 wrote

Just to make a guess of it, I might feel less warm to about 60-70% of the books after a while. I'll recognize that they weren't really special enough to stay with me or make me want to recommend them as much as when I first finished them


Shack70 t1_jddhqmf wrote

I stopped rating my books at all on Goodreads. The rating system is broken. It's just a way for me to keep track of what I've read and to find more books I'd like to read.


pensieve64 OP t1_jddikjf wrote

What would you do instead of star reviews?


Shack70 t1_jddpub5 wrote

Stars aren't the issue, there are people reviewing books they haven't read. Books that are not even out yet with multiple 5 star reviews. Goodreads reviews and ratings are fundamentally broken. I choose not to contribute to it. The only thing you could do is verified reviews but since Amazon bought Goodreads that means people would be locked into the Amazon ecosystem and that still doesn't stop the bogus reviews and ratings. It just means they bought the book through Amazon.


jaronbraide t1_jddhsq4 wrote

The fact that everyone has a different way of rating is argument enough not to give a star rating or to pay attention to them. If you gave 5 stars each to Beloved or TKaM and a solid piece of genre fiction, for example, how is that helpful, since so much of good genre is still ephemeral and won't stand the test of time? I also find genres to be self selecting. So someone into Manga will give 5 stars to many things Manga, which isn't really helpful to someone who generally reads another genre and wants to try the best of Manga.


KTeacherWhat t1_jddi2kx wrote

5 stars is only for books that are my favorites, things that had enough of an impact I'm still recommending it months later. I rarely use it

4 stars, kept me engaged the whole time, solid writing

3 stars is for a middle of the road book, it was fine.

2 stars is for a book I didn't like. Usually has grammatical issues or repetitive language, or for fiction, characters who don't seem distinct from one another.

1 star is a book I hated, or had serious issues with grammar, or blatant sexism, racism, or homophobia. Rarely use it.

I also add or remove stars for some things. Like if it wasn't my type of book but seems valuable for others to read it, like it gives an important perspective that I otherwise wouldn't be exposed to, I add a star. I recently gave one star for animal abuse. Like, the writing was good, but the asshole abuses animals and still gets to be a NYTimes bestseller? One star for you.


fourtwentyy__ t1_jddiccl wrote

I give purley subjective ratings. There are usually thousands of ratings for a novel on Goodreads, so I don’t see the point of being dishonest with my own feelings toward a book


Linnatic t1_jddix8k wrote

I don't rate books on Goodreads. I feel like ratings can be so subjective that I don't want to put mine out without context. And I can't be bothered to write a review. I just have my personal thoughts on wether I liked, loved or disliked a book.


DafnissM t1_jddjtrk wrote

I recently downgraded two books to one star because I tried to recall something I liked about them and nothing came to mind


Toezap t1_jddkbpd wrote

Most things get 3 star. Adjust from there.


RooneytheWaster t1_jddl391 wrote


5 stars - Loved it. Will definitely re-read at some point, and will probably recommend it to anyone and everyone. (not rated many books this highly)

4 stars - Enjoyed it, will likely re-read at some point. Will recommend to people if it seems their thing. (My most used rating, as these days I pre-filter books before I read 'em because I know what I like!)

3 stars - Was readable, but was lacking something, there were large sections which were un-enjoyable, or it was just not what I was hoping for/not the quality I expected. Not getting re-read unless I have to for some reason. Also for books that were "not my thing".

2 stars - Readable, but just not good. Poorly written/formatted/edited, or just really not for me.

1 stars - Bad. Either almost unreadable, or the dreaded DNF. For books that I will not only not recommend, but will tell people to actively avoid (such as deliberately misleading or offensive books).


ComicsNBigBooks t1_jddn43g wrote

5 stars- one of the best books I've ever read/one of my favorites of all-time.

4 stars- very enjoyable; would probably read again

3 stars- decent enough one-time read

2 stars- didn't hate it but don't like it either

1 star- avoid at all costs


akira2bee t1_jddnar6 wrote

So I use storygraph so I get the quarter stars as well but for me it goes

1: why does this book exist?

2: very bad book, not enjoyable nor well-written

3: average, ok, forgettable/unmemorable

4: pretty good, had some flaws

5: absolutely perfect in every way, reread for sure, 10/10 will recommend every chance I get


paperseedsun t1_jddo2ew wrote

i use storygraph and the rating is 0-5 and is quite specific as you can add 25 / .5 / .75 to your rating so i do

5 stars - very rare for me to give basically means i think it’s extremely well written with no flaws (a masterpiece) 4 stars - not without flaws but still amazing (some of my favourite books are even 4 stars because an imperfect book can often still hold a huge place in your heart) then i use the more specific ones for 3 star ratings so 3.25 stars for an average book and 3.75 for one which was great but not enough for a full 4 because it didn’t excite me enough to rank higher (basically not a new personal favourite) and 2 stars for books i liked the plot of but hated the execution (books that are inconsistent with the quality of writing can also fall into this category) 1 star is rare, usually reserved for modern books which i just found deeply offensive, that can’t be explained away by the time they were written in i don’t really give 0 star ratings because i got so used to using 1-5 on goodreads before i switched


Bumblebree1903 t1_jddocw0 wrote

5 Stars: I loved it AND it was well written, I would recommend the book and will look into more of the author’s work. A lot of re-read value.

4 Stars: I enjoyed it, fairly well written with only a few flaws to smack it down from 5 stars. I would still recommend the book, but it’s a 50/50 shot if I’ll re-read or look more into the author.

3 Stars: It’s not bad, but it’s not good. Several things put me off or there was one big glaring issue. 50/50 shot if I recommend it and I won’t look more into the author without a lot of persuading. Will only reread if part of a better series.

2 Stars: It’s not the worst thing in the world, but I wouldn’t recommend it or would discourage people from reading it.

1 Star: Either a DNF or a book I hated with a passion. Typically means I finished the book angry, but for the wrong reasons. Typically if I feel like my time has been wasted I’ll rate a book 1 star.


Accomplished_Trip_ t1_jddpa71 wrote

It’s very rare for me to give less than a five, because I love stories. So it goes like this:

5- Yeah! Excellent, excellent, very good, well done, solid story. 2-4- all right, it’s a book, but I’m wrestling with something. 1- ….I don’t like you.


Adelaide_Farmington t1_jddplmb wrote

I really wish they had a 1/2 star option too. I feel like, for me, there is too much variation between 3-4 and 4-5 stars.


blueberry_pancakes14 t1_jddrkfx wrote

I'm line line with your friend- I rate based on how I feel, because it's my rating. That said, if I recognize something was well done I just wasn't into it, I'm nicer to it, because it's part of the whole picture. I love classics, but a classic does not get a good or higher rating from me just because it's a classic, for example. For example I understand and appreciate the impact and relevance of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, but man do I despise that book, thus it's a one star rating for me on Goodreads. When the differences come in as to "I understand and respect it, but I hate it" are seen and known in actual conversation with me, not in my Goodreads reviews, as those are just stars with no explanation.

Also obligatory we need half stars on Goodreads.

5 Stars - Loved it, adored it, will read it again multiple times (with rare exceptions and are unrelated to the original enjoyment or quality; some books I just can't read again even if great, for many reasons. i.e., I don't think I'll be able to read Call of the Wild again, because I've grown incredibly sensitive to treatment of animals and there's several scenes that I just can't read again). Will recommend to everyone. I could probably talk for hours about it.

4 Stars - Really, really liked it, very good, just didn't make that perfect rating for whatever reason. Strong candidate for re-reads later, but not a given. Will recommend to a lot of people but be a little more in tune to their particular likes and dislikes. I could talk for a long time about it.

3 Stars - It was solidly okay. Not offensive, but not great, lacking overall. Will not re-read, will only recommend if I know a particular person and know it totally aligns with their tastes. Mixed bag of if I'll remember I read it or not, and details will be slightly fuzzy, but I could probably hold a very basic conversation about it.

2 Stars - Well it wasn't terrible. I didn't like it, but I didn't hate it. I will likely forget all details of these and only remember based on reviewing my Goodreads rating and some key details of why will pop in, but not much. I might randomly remember I read it and was meh if it comes up, but details will be fuzzy.

1 Star - Hated it, would never read again, would never recommend, only marked this because didn't become a DNF but probably should have become one. Awful. Sometimes I wish I could give zero, but in absence of that it's a mix of zero, 1/2 star and one star. I will likely forget most of these except when reminded the pieces I truly hated and why, but only when reminded. Does not remain in my head otherwise and is gone shortly after explaining why after being reminded.


Illthorn t1_jddu3m2 wrote

5 star for all books that I didn't hate 2 for books I hated

It's an unfortunate truth that the star rating is used by Amazon(Goodreads owners) to hide and shadowban authors.

So, star ratings that reflect your actual thoughts can cause the author whose book you liked to disappear and those authors to give up.


X0AN t1_jddun3x wrote

1 Star - Absolute chore to finish, usually had to read for school or uni.
2 Star - Average. Pretty much a neutral rating.
3 Star - Was ok, but wouldn't read again.
4 Star - Decent book, that if only it had a few tweaks would have been solid. Might read again.
5 Start - Excellent/Masterpiece, will definitely read again and highly recommend to others. Only ever given 15 books this rating.


flashcapulet t1_jddv22j wrote

5 - loved it, finished it in a ridiculous amount of time because i couldn't put it down and i need an adaptation immediately even though i know it will disappoint me.

4 - loved it, and i need a sequel or two as i'm not quite ready to leave the world/character.

3 - i had a good time.

2 - my time was mostly wasted.

1 - DNF


archwaykitten t1_jddw5j5 wrote

I try to use the entire 5 star scale rather than just the top end. The worst book I've ever read deserves my 1 star rating, even if I enjoyed parts of it. I don't need to save that 1 star for "the worst book I can imagine" because that is a book that I'll never read. By the same logic, I'm happy to give books I love 5 stars even if they have noticeable flaws.

My average rating on Goodreads is 3.41 stars.


Liz_not_Bennet2 t1_jddxcv0 wrote

I mostly rate on how much I enjoyed the book. To me it is clear that every rating on Goodreads is influenced by the reader's individual taste. That's why I always read more than one review.

I'd say my rating system is similar to yours. 1 star would be - I finished it but I regret it. I'd actively discourage someone from buying it.


londonmyst t1_jddz82e wrote

I rate fiction works based on a variety of elements.

Probably in order of: 1) strong or fascinating plotline, 2) fantastic storytelling, 3) powerful & very memorable main characters or themes, 4) how much I enjoyed the book and 5) pacing.


DiscountSensitive818 t1_jddzbat wrote

I rate my experience with the book rather than the book itself (since I don’t believe there is an objective / meaningful rating I can give). I try to mostly reads books that result in 4 or 5 star reviews


jd_5344 t1_jde2bc6 wrote

I rank books with a 1 star when they have a trope that goes way out of left field and was not mentioned in the blurb. It could also be a book that just made me so mad and upset at the same time. I did this recently for a Jewel Ann book (If This Is Love).


BadassSasquatch t1_jde2iga wrote

My system is fairly close to yours. I have a lot of 5 stars. Some people think that's weird but if I got lost in your story and thought about it when I wasn't reading it, you get a 5 spot from me.


achaoticbard t1_jde4t31 wrote

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - A new favourite. Would strongly recommend and will absolutely reread.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ - I really loved this, there's just something off about it that makes it less than a favorite. I'd still highly recommend it and would likely reread it.

⭐⭐⭐ - It's fine, inoffensive but nothing special. I didn't actively dislike it, but I'll probably never think about it again. I might recommend it to the right audience.

⭐⭐ - I did not like this, but I was at least able to get through it. It has some redeeming quality that kept me going.

⭐ - I probably didn't even finish this, and if I did it was blatantly a hate-read.

I should also note that despite having an English degree, my ratings are almost purely based on feelings/vibes and not the objective quality of the book.


-Rizhiy- t1_jde9tj1 wrote

5* - Couldn't stop reading it/Good quality novel information, which changed my perspective on the world

4* - Good, but wasn't completely obsessed

3* - Average, was bored in a few places

2* - Boring, most of them I didn't finish

1* - Hasn't happened yet, but probably for utter trash. I usually check the score on Goodreads before starting a book, so probably won't happen.


AKookieForYou t1_jdech2k wrote

Sort of similar to the way you do it, but with exceptions. I rate my books a little harshly at times, so I rarely have 5 star reads. I don't rate them objectively, it's irrelevant how well written a book is if I hated it. My ratings are purely my enjoyment of it

5 = all time new fave, really affected me emotionally

4 = quality book, will definitely reread, just not in the top 10%

3 = I liked it, but not as memorable or interesting as I'd have wanted

2 = kinda bad, but there was something redeemable that kept it from being a 1

1 = I literally despise this book and enjoyed nothing


pgcd t1_jdemasr wrote

Either five stars or nothing, and I tend to give five stars to less well-known authors, to try and support them somewhat. I find other ratings problematic, because I'm never going to finish a sub-4 book, and I suspect that my four stars would be more a reflection of my own biases than an actual, "objective" rating. Five stars, on the other hand, are a straightforward recommendation, so I'm good with that.


harrisonisdead t1_jdeoppr wrote

I have a pretty good grasp on what books I'll like, which is part of the reason why every book I've read in the past couple years is somewhere in the 2.5 to 5 star range. The rating process is very abstract and vibe-based and I don't put much thought into it, but I'll try to retroactively describe what each rating means based on the books in each group. I don't actually have any of this in mind when I'm going to rate a book.

The books I've given 2.5 stars (which are very few) or 3 stars were enjoyable to read in some way or another but felt very surface level or contrived. E.g In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. It's a pageturner, but in a "watching a car accident" kinda way. The vibes are terrible and I'm not sure whether to respect or abhor it for that.

3.5 seems to usually be for books that are thematically affecting to me but fall short of fulfilling their potential. E.g. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I'm not always on Haig's wavelength throughout, but there are moments where it does really click.

4 stars are very well-written, enjoyable books that I'd be hard-pressed to find flaws in but may have felt the tiniest bit slight or didn't emotionally resonate with me quite enough to get a higher rating. These books do what they aim to do really well, they just may not be as precisely geared towards me. E.g. The Thing in the Snow by Sean Adams. I don't usually read books of this genre (kinda dry comedy, although in a slightly abstract/surrealist sci-fi world which *is* up my alley), but this one was really fun to read and I liked the writing style.

4.5 stars are mostly books that swing for the fences and/or surprised me with how much I liked them. It's generally hard to say what little bit of abstract judgment differentiates these from 5 stars. Maybe it's a small hiccup in pacing, or a bit of triteness in some of the lines, but everything thematically and vibes-wise works for me. E.g. My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Alpert Florin. My love of this book is mostly coasting on the quality of its vibes, I can't lie.

5 stars tend to be the ones that hit me emotionally the hardest, the ones that stick with me the most and I can't stop thinking about. They explore topics that fit right in with my own brain and its sensibilities and anxieties. Often beautiful prose, subtly devastating themes, and usually a nice mixing of genres. E.g. Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield; The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez.


RandomUsername600 t1_jdeqdss wrote

I don't rate them, I only use Goodreads for logging, categorising, and looking up books I want to read


Goren_Nestroy t1_jdesn7z wrote

5* Must read for everybody

4* Liked it

3* Meh

2* Nope

1* BURN IT! KILL THE AUTHOR! -> The Trial - Kafaka


TigerFew3808 t1_jdetjwf wrote

I have a complicated ratings system.

0 to 2 points for plot and character development.

0 to 2 points for writing quality i.e. vocabulary, symbolism, etc.

0 to 2 points for how much I enjoyed it.

So, in theory that's 0 to 6 stars but of course I have to round to 1 to 5.

However, since I wouldn't normally finish a book which I rated 0 in any category almost all books are rated 3 to 5


Oathkeeper27 t1_jdetodx wrote

I'm harsh on Goodreads but my metrics are:


5 stars: perfect book, even if I didn't love everything about it if I feel the creative decisions were justified I give it full marks (recent example: Young Hugo)

4 stars: excellent book, any criticisms I have need to be more tangible than simple creative differences, such as trimming the length or redundant word choice (recent example: Babel)

3 stars: average book with good content but was a slog at some stretch. Books that are enjoyable but I find lacking in creativity or other elements go here (recent example: Our Wives Under the Sea)

2 stars: bad book saved by some element of creativity or interesting plot. Usually books that are poorly written but have a good plot go here (recent example: If We Were Villains)

1 star: flat out awful book with few if any redeeming qualities. The longer the book the less forgiving I am of strong segments that would bring it up to a 2 (recent example: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)

Perhaps unpopular opinion, but I think DNF's should be their own category of scoring. There are so many novels that fluctuate in scores based on whether or not they stick the landing, so I don't think it's fair for someone to judge a book without the full picture.


GrudaAplam t1_jdetp3k wrote

I don't rate so much on enjoyment as on perceived quality.

5 = great

4 = good

3 = okay

2 = poor

1 = terrible


HazelMotes1 t1_jdf04o6 wrote

1 & 2 star - I don't use these ratings, I just stop reading a book if I don't like it, and I wouldn't rate a book that I'd read only a small part of

3 stars - good book but probably wouldn't reread and would only recommend it if it perfectly fit the request

4 stars - very good book that I can see myself rereading and would readily recommend

5 stars - great book, will recommend, will purchase if I don't already own it

I rate purely on enjoyment, my enjoyment is mostly based on how good the writing is, how it affects my mental state (including negatively), and how much of a page-turner it is.


FaliedSalve t1_jdf2sg9 wrote

I can't bring myself to give 5 stars. Maybe Shakespeare or something. But that seems too high a bar for mere mortals.

4- top tier

3- pretty good, but had some dull moments

2 -- couldn't finish it

1 -- couldn't even make it through the first few pages.


laurenalex03 t1_jdf4i3i wrote

5- all time faves, rarely used

4- liked it, gr8 read

3- okay, meh

2- dislike, kinda feels like time wasted

1- hate, delete this book from existence pls


[deleted] t1_jdf4zfz wrote

5 excellent

4-very good



1-worse shit

-10-The most worst shit ive ever seen

-1- i wanna die


levenspiel_s t1_jdf6g7k wrote

4 stars: meh, but a nice friend recommended it so much that I can't rate it 2


this_works_now t1_jdf7h70 wrote

  1. Terrible, total waste of time/money, probably DNF
  2. I didn't like it and will never recommend it to anyone.
  3. Fine enough as a time filler but forgettable.
  4. I liked it. Entertaining. Engaging. Was worth the read, would recommend.
  5. Life changing. Changed my worldview. Utter love. I'll keep this on my shelf forever and sing its praises to anyone who will listen.

Patient_Version7246 t1_jdff8e2 wrote

5- It’s overall amazing. Plot, writing, not corny at all, good pacing, good ending, sticks with me after I’ve finished reading it. Only top favorites ever get this rating for me.

4- Most good books I read get a 4. I like it a lot but there are one or two things that bring it down, maybe it’s a little slow at first, maybe the ending is ok but not perfect, maybe it’s very entertaining/ a page turner but has an element of cheesiness.

3- Good enough to not give up halfway through but I still feel a bit disappointed at the end. Sometimes I will think I love a book the whole time I’m reading and then the ending falls very flat- this is when I rate it a 3.

2- Not that enjoyable or interesting to read, poorly written, bad ending, etc. If a book is feeling like a 2 I probably won’t finish it.

1- A book would have to be so terrible that I stop reading it for me to rate it a 1.


kelppforrest t1_jdfjfg7 wrote

5 stars - Amazing book, I feel like a better person having read it, I'll gladly reread it. Moved me in many ways, not too short or too long, no major flaws.

4 stars - The flaws did not affect how much I enjoyed the book but I recognize them, or most of the book was amazing except for some grating flaws that detracted from my experience; the book was fun/interesting but I wasn't going crazy for it

3 stars - An okay reading experience but there were several issues/things I dislike in books. Other people with different writing style, trope, and genre preferences probably appreciate it more than I did. Still I'm glad to have read it.

2 stars - Book was so bad I didn't finish, but still had some merit. I was able to read a lot of it before giving up due to the amount of good parts.

1 star - Everything the author tried to convey was not reaching me. I didn't enjoy any part of the reading experience.


kskgkatz t1_jdfqff2 wrote

Same - except 1 is I can't believe I wasted my time and energy reading that book, I absolutely hated everything about it. And yes, that happens to me (my boyfriend is like - why do you make yourself finish them)?. I'm a glutton, I guess.


Elivenya t1_jdfqhbj wrote

I am trying to rate them as good as possible based on their quality. Readers who are looking for books are not interested if i loved them. They want to know if the books fit them.


BJntheRV t1_jdfu3ig wrote

5 stars loved it and will seek out others by the author.

4 stars loved it but not enough to seek out the author. But, I'd read another of their books if it landed in my path.

3 it was OK. But, I probably would not read another by the author.

2 my most rarely used rating. Meh.

  1. I'm pissed that I even finished this book. I feel slighted. Or, I didn't finish because the poor writing pissed me off.

If I just can't get into a book I don't rate it. I've had more than one book criss my path a second time and turn into a 5. Sometimes it's just a mateer of timing.


Maximus361 t1_jdfuplb wrote

I guess I’m old and outdated. I don’t rate any books online. I keep my opinions to myself. Actually I don’t leave reviews of anything, not restaurants, not movies, not hotels, etc…


Dalton387 t1_jdfz9cx wrote

The star system, as well as the number system is not really helpful. I’ll try to give it 5-stars if I really liked it, 4-stars if it was good, but not great, 3-stars if it was okay, but I’ll probably never read it again.

I don’t really go lower than that and I’ve only ever 1-starred one series. Usually, I’m pretty good at picking books I’ll like and I’m not super picky.

The reason I say the star/number system is bad is because of how it works. It’s only a valid measure if you’re aware of the other person’s reviews and how your feeling about books mesh with their previous reviews.Kinda like how a random stranger might tell you a pizza place sucked. You probably won’t care, because you don’t know what they didn’t like and don’t know their preferences. However, if your friend tells you it sucked because they put onions on the pizza, you’ll know you might like it, because their only complaint was about onions, which you like.

Same with reviews. I could tell you a book is 5-stars and you may hate it. We care about different things and the only way to judge it based purely off a rating is if you know what I like and what I don’t like, and you know we generally like the same things. Then the rating maters.

That’s almost never the case, though, so I generally use stars to just say “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it”. What’s important is “this is why I feel that way”. That’s everything. The reasons I liked it or didn’t.

Even that’s it’s own thing as I feel a review should be spoiler free. I think someone should go somewhere else to discuss specifics. People just use reviews to see if they’re interested in starting it.


Spirited_Leave4052 t1_jdg08l7 wrote

5 ⭐️: Amazing read 10/10 would recommend. Excellent writing/characters/world building/plot etc.

4 ⭐️: Great read! A 4 star will normally have one big issue for me or a few small problems that are easily overlooked. Ex: ending issues (I.e. rushed), character issues, writing style. It honestly depends book to book.

3 ⭐️: Decent/good read but has multiple issues (a mix of big and small problems).

2 ⭐️: Disappointing. Problems with pacing and characters. I find myself asking “what was the point?” Repetitive, etc., etc.

1 ⭐️ “WAITTTTT…. People like this?”


Bittersweetfeline t1_jdg0dsk wrote

5 - really liked it! LOVED it even

4 - really enjoyed it, maybe some very minor irks

3 - some significant irks, maybe some writing/editing issues, plot issues, character issues

2 - many many issues, difficult to continue or enjoy

1 - this was NOT for me/it was absolutely terrible/I struggle to fathom how others make it through this drivel


Zephyrkittycat t1_jdg2utx wrote

I suppose I do a mix of both?

5*: books that get a 5* I enjoyed and the characters/plot/writing style/world building is all well done. A 5* read has nothing I would want to change about it and would happily read again

4*: books that I really enjoyed but would change a minor thing. Would read again.

3*: it was a sufficient story, I probably wouldn't read it again but didn't feel like I wasted my time reading it.

2*: I finished it but had major criticisms. Wouldn't recommend to others

1*: I haven't given put any of these actually but I imagine would be a DNF.


trishyco t1_jdg33s1 wrote

5- perfection, wouldn’t change a word

4- liked it a lot

3- it was okay/just average

2- not good

1- a scourge on the face of the earth


JamJamsAndBeddyBye t1_jdg8gqa wrote

5 stars - I will gush about this book to every person I know and several that I don’t until they either read it or swear they’ll never read it because I can’t shut up about it. I liked the ending. Maybe one or two of these a year, if I’m lucky.

4 stars - I liked it a lot. Good story, good writing, good pacing. I probably hated the ending but I’m not holding it against the book in its entirety.

3 stars - it was okay. It wasn’t a complete waste of time to read it but I’ll probably forget that I did until I review my reading list at the end of the year. And I hated the ending.

2 stars - bad story, bad writing, bad pacing, typos, ridiculous premises. I will roll my eyes every time I remember I read this book and will probably never touch anything from the author again. Goes without saying, I hated the fucking ending.

1 star - basically my DNF rating since they don’t have an option for that. So bad that I don’t care to confirm that I will hate the ending (although it’s definitely assumed)

I also only trust 2-4 star ratings from other people when I’m looking for a book. 1 & 5 star reviewers are too dramatic, hyperbolic, or fanatical to be taken seriously.


liltimmytim78 t1_jdgcq4s wrote

4 stars: if i had overall positive feelings about it.

3 stars: i has neutral feelings

2 stars: had overall negative feelings


Novazazz t1_jdgmxb3 wrote

This is almost exactly how I rate books on goodreads! Only difference is, I don’t really factor in grammar or formatting.

And I have given a book 1 star before! It was an ARC book and it was absolutely dreadful. Not engaging at all, just a complete chore to read. It was a sci-fi book written by a computer programmer with no background or experience in creative writing. Very interesting concept and premise just horribly executed.

I haven’t read another ARC book since.

(I only finished so I could write a review to possibly help the writer, and to not hurt my NetGalley rating.)


LJpzYv01YMuu-GO t1_jdgyp2c wrote

I would just like an added option of “did not finish”. With the current system, it looks like I’ve finished a book even if I had to quit early on.

(At least how I understand the system)


Mighty_joosh t1_jdgz087 wrote

Very polar; basically 1* , 5* and nothing in between😂


scurryrunging t1_jdhau1j wrote

I tend to use the Goodreads ratings system. Most of my books are 3 stars, occasionally 4 stars. I have rated a couple of books 1 star but I also leave a review on those ones to explain why.

I wish Goodreads did half stars because I reckon quite a few of my 3 star reviews would lean towards 3.5 stars.


Beautiful-Cat-1519 t1_jdi2v4e wrote

5 stars: It caused some kind of emotional response. E.g. I cried, or I just loved it so much I hugged it at the end.

4 stars: It was good, I enjoyed it.

3 stars: It was okay. I got through it.

I never rate anything below 3 stars because if a book is that bad I'll put it down before finishing it.


Riridontlie t1_jdj2ccj wrote

Hi! Great question - I typically don’t re-read books but I do post reviews on Goodreads, bookstagram and booktok. Before I get into this further, I want to mention that no book is perfect. Some people may love a book, that you may not. For example, the Colleen Hoover books are loved by so many and hated by so many. Also, indie authors cannot afford to have low ratings. If you have any suggestions for them, please reach out to them personally and let them know your feedback. I will still give them a decent review on Goodreads/Amazon/Booksta,etc as long as the book was not unbearable. I always like to give feedback in a positive way. No reason to bulldoze someone’s dream to be an author. Sorry if I’m coming off strong regarding this topic, but I have many author friends and read their books and read the reviews on their books.

Here are my thoughts on rating a book:

5 stars - I LOVED the reading experience, the plot and the character growth was perfect, writing style was amazing, and may or may not read the book again many years later as there are too many books in this world I still want to read. I also give 5 stars to books that gave me a great overall reading experience. Sometimes I may not love the book but there is nothing wrong with it and also if it is an indie author I give them 5 stars if there is nothing particularly wrong with it. One more thing - if I HATE a bad guy in your book, you are an awesome author!

4 stars - the reading experience was good or I loved it, but there was something missing or there was more potential. It also means I appreciate the author’s work on the book. Or the plot was good but character growth was not or vice versa.

3 stars - it was not anything extraordinary but I did enjoy reading the book, it was entertaining or the characters were fun to read about. It is not a book that I would have picked up if I knew all this beforehand. However some days I find myself wanting to read a simple book, not an extraordinary one so I am on the fence.

2 stars - I did not enjoy the book. Nothing is good about it. I just finished reading it because I don’t like to DNF books and I am working on myself for that. I rarely give 2 stars.

1 star - I am speechless that this book exists. I rarely give just one star to a book. It shouldn’t exist. Only super popular books can afford to get a 1 star but I refrain from giving it to most books that I feel that way about.

All that being said, I respect anyone who has the courage and creativity to write a book so my ratings are always generous. The whole point of me reading a book is to have an enjoyable experience, and if I enjoy a book enough to want to find out what happened in the end or to keep reading till the end that book is good enough for me. I read a lot of indie author books which are basically self published books. I know that it can be annoying for people to see grammar or spelling errors when you’re reading but writing a book is not easy so I respect that. I do not account for them in my ratings. I am more generous towards self publishing authors.

Also, I want to mention that I have seen many books written by famous authors with spelling mistakes or grammar errors or something that would catch my eye. As long as it doesn’t take away from the story, it shouldn’t affect the ratings. I learnt this from an author friend. We are humans. Let’s appreciate the efforts and spread love 💕😊


TheSesxyDyslexic t1_jdm20cz wrote

5 Stars - Books that absolutely bowl me over that I'll definitely reread.

4 Star - Enjoyed it a heckuva lot.

3 Stars - Just okay, still good enough to finish.

2 Stars - Struggled to finish.

1 Star - Actively disliked.


ChompingCucumber4 t1_jdqffth wrote

5- I loved it so much, couldn’t put it down, can’t stop thinking about it

4- I really liked it but doesn’t have the same punch as 5 stars

3- overall I liked it more than not but I have issues with it

2- didn’t like it but no particular detest towards it

1- I want to burn this book


gilmatic t1_jdcsa31 wrote

As of last year, I refuse to rate any art.

In this algorithm obsessed society, doing so can keep great art from people it will connect w it the most. Every book, even the truly awful ones, are more complex and deserve more respect than a 1-5 star rating systems


bucket_brigade t1_jdc5kkg wrote

5 if there really is no competition, 4 if it was really good, 1 otherwise