[A Mini Discussion] Do I Rate Books Too Highly? Do I Just Love ALL Books? What Is The “Right” Way To Rate A Book? Ft. Incoherent & Confused Wailings.

So, it may have come to your attention that I love books. no wayyyy you have a book blog.

I got this post idea from Lily, and her post ‘I… hate books?’. I think that that WHOLE post opens up a lot about ratings and opinions that differ.

It’s not unheard of for people to not match exactly with their opinions. But I think that there’s a lot of conflicts when it comes to opinions in the community.

See here a post about the pros of negative reviews, and also here different opinions on the blogging community in general and who it’s “for” that both link in with this idea!

future me: god this post is taking me so long to write I have no idea what to say about this without just repeating myself all the time. Also, this is going to be a really short post considering that I still have no idea what to write.

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It may have also come to your attention, if you are interested in my highly uninteresting reading updates, that I don’t give a lot of ratings that are under 4 stars. *flicks to Goodreads*

My average rating on Goodreads is 4.17, and frankly, I thought that it would be higher but nonetheless, it helps my point. And, all but THREE of my reads this year have been 4 stars or more.

I like that fact. I really do. But, I still notice that my ratings are higher than other people’s??? And I understand that people’s opinions are different but when allllll my ratings are the same and all high and all my reviews are just me screaming about books, it really makes me question whether or not I’m doing this properly.  

me @ this

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Now, in the same way, if you were to give lower ratings, it makes me question whether I am not thinking about the book in the right way.

It makes me feel like I’m not critical enough, while someone else could worry that they are too critical.

or I just love most books.

I especially dwell on this when I maybe look back on books that I’ve previously read and I’ve thought, “did I actually like that?” because sometimes I do that and realise “yeah, that book wasn’t so great.”

BUT then I wonder if I’m making that mistake with all my books and just getting swept away with the hype?

But then I think some more.

And should we change ratings later on? Maybe no because you could forget all the good things that you liked about it. Maybe yes because your opinions on the events in the book can change.

Or, you realise (like me) that you kind of finished the book without any real opinion and that can change after like,,, months.

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rating systems

These differ from person to person. which!! leaves ratings up to a lot of interpretation.

For someone, a 3/5 star rating could be that they thought it was fun in areas I would recommend, whereas, for someone else, a 3/5 star rating is basically yeah it wasn’t great, wouldn’t recommend. this book is awful. 

For me, it differs from book to book which isn’t helpful in the slightest?? or maybe it is?? I don’t know. 

If I have small quibbles, I’d give 4/4.5 but someone else could give a 4-5/5 star rating for a book that they love (and only love-love) and just be really picky about reads getting 5-star ratings, whereas I give them quite freely.

And we all interpret people’s rating system not in the exact same way as another!! 


And there is no “right” way to review or rate a book!!

It’s our opinions, and there’s no wrong or right way to form an opinion/rate books/breathe/do anything. Screenshot 2017-09-29 18.15.41

So maybe I’m not critical enough. Maybe I don’t rate my books the right way. Maybe I give out too many 5-star reads. Maybe I don’t.

Who knows???

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Chat with me: How do you rate your books? Do you think you’re too critical? Do you think that you rate too highly? Do you think that there’s a ‘proper’ way?

45 thoughts on “[A Mini Discussion] Do I Rate Books Too Highly? Do I Just Love ALL Books? What Is The “Right” Way To Rate A Book? Ft. Incoherent & Confused Wailings.”

  1. Honestly, why would you compare the ratings you give to those others give?
    Maybe you simply know better what books you’re going to like and which ones you’ll think thrash even before reading them? Maybe others don’t know themselves that well? Or they simply don’t care and like writing ranty reviews or more negative reviews or meh reviews or whatever you want to call it.
    It doesn’t necessarily have to mean you’re not critical enough, Lu!

    As for changing ratings and thinking different about a book after a while: That’s normal. If only because reading other books makes us compare them – unconsciously. You’ll think how book X was definitely not as good as Y while you ended up giving them the same rating. But those books are different. Different subjects or writing styles or whatever. On top of that, you also change and grow as a person and reading a book can totally have an impact on your mood and vice versa – which in turn reflects in your rating of the book.

    Point is: DON’T DOUBT YOURSELF. ❤


  2. I always rate books pretty highly. At this point, I feel like I know what I like in a novel, so I usually pick out books I know I’ll like. Also, if I put in the time to read it, I want to feel positive coming away. Negative reviews are certainly important (And calling out offensive writing is always a must) but I personally try to enjoy what I read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah same here! I think that I can very easily tell whether or not I’ll like a book from the description, and recommendations from friends are always great reads since they know the kinds of books that I love. I think that it’s really important to say when things are offensive, but like you, I always try to see the great points in a book!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think this all the time! And I hate how it makes me doubt my own reading and thinking when I rate a book highly and someone else gives it a super low rating. I hate how I worry and doubt my own reading! It’s so frustrating, argh!
    But it is all subjective! And what you think, it’s what you think, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post is so relatable! I love so many books and I feel like I’m being too nice at times but really mean at other times?? It makes no sense.
    I like quite a lot of books but then I don’t want to give them 5 stars because. I think of my favourite favourite books of all time and they just don’t compare? I suppose each book and reviewer is just different but it is super confusing! Maybe we should have ratings out of 10! xx 🌮❤️😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such an interesting post. I’m all the way on the opposite side of the spectrum from you. My average rating on Goodreads is 2.67 which is insanely low. I love reading but I honestly dislike a majority of the books I read which is a really weird and conflicting thing to think about. But I love reviewing books I don’t like which makes up for the fact that I didn’t enjoy the actual book maybe? I feel like I’m a bad person for this (not really but you know what I’m saying I hope) because I love to pick apart books and find all their flaws and stuff. But it also makes me appreciate really amazing books even more. I’ve only ever given four books five stars and I’m even picky about four star reads. A majority of what I read gets three or two stars. Three, for me, means I liked it, it was good. Anyway, this was a long tangent. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, it’s super cool to see your perspective on ratings. I’m so glad you love reading and a majority of the books you read!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My favourite book is The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. It’s a collection of the most beautiful short stories ever told (in my opinion)! And the books that tend to consistently be rated highly by me are epic fantasy works like literally anything Brandon Sanderson writes, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and The Name of the Wind 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely feel like I’m overly critical. Most of the books I’ve rated 3 stars, I tend to reconsider and shift to 2 stars a few weeks later. I only have, I think…two 4 stars on my Goodreads list, and no 5 stars. It honestly makes me wonder where I’m going wrong because I do LOVE to read! I try to read a variety of things so I’m not constantly just picking up subjects that don’t interest me, and yet…I don’t know. Maybe I just have a sour, shriveled up heart that can’t feel all the feels.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow I am so honored and feel very flattered that my post inspired you to write this. :’) ❤️

    And I never go back and change ratings of books, except for when I re-read them, because they reflect my opinion of it at that time, so even though I know that I’d no longer give it the same rating, I just leave the original one. Also, it’d take forever to constantly re-rate books. 😅

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I RELATE SO MUCH. I’ve been thinking about that lately, too. I give such high ratings and honestly enjoy almost every book that I read…and I don’t know why? I’m still so confused about why I can’t seem to be a critical reader, but your post helped me to see that it’s okay to be confused. XD

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my gosh, yes! I rate almost everything 4-5 stars. *sometimes* I rate things higher than they deserved, and I am aware of this, and if that’s the case, I usually go back and change it later on. (after all, if I can only remember the bad, that probably says something about the book…).
    But a lot of the time, I can look back and genuinely feel like that was the right rating.

    I think it’s just that I genuinely really enjoy most books. (I enjoyed some of my two star reads to some degree even for goodness sakes!) And so since I rate them based (mostly) on how much I enjoyed them, I rate most books highly.

    And I sort of feel like I’m not being critical enough…? And yet why should I be. I’m enjoying the books I’m reading, and that should really be a good thing… But I still feel weirdly guilty, and it’s a pain.

    Anyways, this was a great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m probably too nice when I rate (I have a 3.98 average rating) but I also rarely rate anything below 3 stars. If it’s that bad, I just leave it without a rating (unless it’s a bestseller with like a million ratings and then I go ahead and give it that 1 it deserves). I guess I hope that if I were an author and someone hated my book, they wouldn’t tell me. haha.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This was a really interesting post! I always feel as though I’m too quick to rate books highly? Even when they’re problematic? I don’t know, it’s always been easy for me to ignore parts of the books that were terrible if there’s an aspect of it that I really loved. Great post! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Omg I get what you mean, I do a similar thing, but then I disclose in my review the bits that I didn’t like (hence why it wouldn’t get 5 stars) and rant about that. Idk i just feel bad giving low ratings and just focus on the positives????????

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who questions their rating system haha. I’ve been thinking about how I rate books very often lately. I feel like my ratings are inconsistent and I want to define a more concrete meaning for each star value. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I probably rate too highly tbh because I usually give things five stars when they’re not AMAZING but then I feel like if I changed it I’d have to re-rate EVERYTHING to fix my rating system?? And that’s too much work for me??

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I CANNOT AGREE MORE WITH THIS POST. Like you, I feel like I rate all my books 4 or above? It’s rare for me to not like a book, so when I see other people reviewing the same book and giving it three stars when I gave it like 4.5, I think that my reviewing skills just aren’t up there yet, and I’m not being critical.

    But absolutely, opinions on books are really subjective, and just because it was a three star for someone else doesn’t mean it’s the same for you!

    Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I tend to rate “high” too, but I think that can be a symptom of being good at choosing books you know you’ll like. Often my lower rated books are ones I decided to “take a chance” on, even if I wasn’t sure I’d like it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True yes!! Ahhh it’s the worst when you “take a chance” [ (on me) (ABBA is stuck in my head sorry I had to) ] on a book and then it lets you down!! That’s the literal worst!


    2. That’s a good point. Often the books I’m meh about are the impulse buys I make at the bookstore and not the ones referred to me by friends/others who know my preferences.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. I so relate to this! I often wonder if I am not thinking critically enough about the books I read because I end up giving the majority 4 stars! For me a 3 star book means it was just okay, but most of the books I read I really like. I think part of the reason is that since I starting blogging I have a better understanding of what books I will like and which ones I won’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here!! 4/5 all the way!!! Yes, me too! I just really like what I’m reading?????? Definitely! I think that my favourite genres are mainly fantasy and contemporary stuff but like??? Not much else ahaha


  17. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too generous when it comes to my ratings. A lot of the books that I rate on Goodreads are four or five stars, and for me three stars is a ‘this was a good book, and I would potentially recommend it but I would push it to the top of anyone’s TBR lists’. I kind of wish Goodreads had half star ratings, because there are so many books that I can’t decide between four and five stars.
    I guess on the other hand you could just say we’re good at picking out books we know we’ll love. 😀
    Great post. 🙂 ❤


      Yeah i think so??? I mean, I usually can tell by the blurb/synopsis if i’d hate the book or find it cliche, so I think that we just know which books we like??
      thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I think about this a lot with movies and books. Because if something, no matter how superficial, entertains me, then I review it highly. Because that’s what it was meant to do. Only once I sit down and deep dive into something do I start to feel that perhaps most reviewers are being very critical. Because as I sat and watched/read I wasn’t miserable, I laughed, I had a good time, what about that could be bad and deserving of low ratings?
    But then on the other side, just because I laughed at something doesn’t mean it’s a message I agree with and is without problems. Sometimes I just laugh because the sentiment was presented in a funny way. So then I go back to thinking I should be more critical.

    Also I find the star rating set up is just not enough to go on, because like you said it’s very subjective. Even though when it was created I think it was meant to be objective. Set a standard representation of quality. But we humans just threw that out the window.


  19. So as you know, I’m not a book blogger but I love READING books and also love reading book blogs. I think, like you said, the rating system is so subjective that there is no “right way” of rating a book. When I read reviews, I don’t always look at the ratings because people can have such varied opinions on a book and rate it exactly the same as another person. From reading your reviews, I love the positivity you approach books with – it can be refreshing to have a different take on things (obviously not saying that negative reviews aren’t important because they 100% are). Thank you for this post – you summed up my, and probably a lot of others, thoughts exactly.


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