I know what you’re thinking:
A book blog that doesn’t rate books. Sacrilege!
I know, it’s weird! I’m actually not sure if there are other bloggers out there who do this. I know there are a couple of BookTubers who have decided to not give star ratings on books they review. Regardless, it’s still weird!
I know people like ratings because it makes it easy to gauge how a book reviewer felt about a book. It is something that I rely on from book reviewers that I trust.
However, it is something that I’m looking to move away from as a blogger who talks about books.
The short answer is: it’s complicated. I feel conflicted.
There are two reasons that I don’t want to give books star ratings. The first, is the reason why many BookTubers (and bloggers if they’re out there) choose not to rate books. They are writers who want to publish books.
I am a writer who wants to publish books in the future. Yes, this a down the line thing. I also know transitioning out of doing book reviews and deleting bad ones is a thing that people do.
But the publishing industry is weird guys. I find the industry hard to navigate and I’m afraid of burning bridges. Also, this blog is something that I would like to build upon and I’d like to avoid deleting posts. I feel like doing so may compromise my readership (though this could just be me overthinking it).
The second reason why I’m against the star rating system is that I’m not sure how accurate of a representation it is on my opinions. I find that when I rate books on GoodReads, I usually rate them between three and four stars. However my thoughts on the books themselves vary significantly.
There are so many factors that go into a star rating. Personal enjoyment, the plot structure, the writing, the characters, etc. I know that it is a book reviewers job to take all of these things into consideration and figure out their personal rating system.
But what about the books that are fun reads, but the writing is terrible? Or the books that are technically perfect, but I personally didn’t connect with? Depending on who I’m talking to, I’m more likely to recommend the fun read with bad writing over the technically good one that I did not connect with, even though I gave the fun read a lower star rating.
Also, I’ve noticed that when I rate books I rarely give them five stars. I reserve that for “My Favorite Books.” However, I’ve found that there are books that I really enjoy, but find flaws with so I don’t give it the full five stars. Time passes, I keep reading, but that book with flaws sticks with me and later I realize it’s one of my favorite books of all time.Do I change the rating even though I stick by the flaws I found with it? Or do I keep it the same? I DON’T KNOW!
Reviewing books is hard guys. I know that those of you who review books on the reg get that. I think the honest truth is, I’m not sure how much I want to do it. Review books that is.
I certainly want to talk about books, share my opinions, and tell you about the books that I’m obsessed with. I just don’t want to do so in a typical reviewer fashion. I want to get more creative in how I talk about books and the kinds of posts I create. It makes this whole thing more fun for me.
That being said, I still plan on doing wrap ups, because I want to let you know what I’m reading. I won’t be giving star ratings on those wrap ups, but I will be letting you know my thoughts.
Don’t worry, it will be easy to tell whether I liked a book or hated it. It should also be easy to distinguish the books I LOVED verses the books I liked. I don’t want to accidentally steer you wrong with book recommendations. One of my worst nightmares is recommending someone a book that they end up hating.
I’m still figuring things out, so this is subject to change. For now though, I will not be doing dedicated reviews on books nor will I be giving star ratings. I promise we’ll still have fun here though.
P.S. Are there bloggers who don’t give star ratings? Let me know, cause I sorta feel like a unicorn🦄