Jan 12, 2011

The Elusive 3 Rating and Ratings in General

“A three ain’t for me” – Jesse (the hubby)

"If it's a four, go on and send it to my door"- Jesse

When I first started Coffee, Books and Laundry I would rate the books I read on a 1 through 5 system, sometime in early 2010 I decided to eliminate ratings because it seemed too subjective. I came to that decision because my husband who is by no means a passionate book lover wouldn’t touch a book if a book was rated 3 or below (that’s if he touched one at all). I would try to tell him that a three is actually not a bad rating, but he wasn’t buying it. After debating book ratings with him I decided to eliminate them from my blog, but I recently started thinking about putting them back. I love looking at ratings when reading a review, in fact I usually skim a review and look for the rating.

For instance, my last review posted, In the Woods would have gotten a rating of 3 from me. I enjoyed it, but had some problems with it also. With my husband’s logic he would have read the review, and saw the rating and would have passed on reading it. WTF! I thought it was entertaining with some minor annoyances. Basically, it wasn’t a waste of my time.

Is a 3 rating equal a C grade, 5 an A, 4 a B and so on? In that case a 3 is still freaking passing!
What does a three rating mean to you? What do ya’ll think about ratings? Is the 1 through 5 system too plain? Most importantly though, do you debate whether you should give a book a try with a rating in the 3's on Goodreads or Amazon?


  1. I tend to take ratings with a grain of salt for that reason. If I saw a 3 I'd think, so it's just okay. For me 2 is not like, 1 is hate. 4 is really like and 5 is loved.

  2. I was going to get rid of my ratings but my husband said no, I shouldn't because a lot of readers might just skim the review and look to the rating and wrap up and go from there. I said, huh? well, then. I don't know what to do. I'm not in love with ratings. I have never given a 2 or a 1 and I think I've only given a 3 once. What does that say about me? I like every book I read or I'm a wuss for not telling it like it is. Hmm, who knows? I'm not afraid of seeing a 3 rating.

  3. I learned a long time ago that reviews are subjective. I first learned this with movie reviews when most of the movies I liked were given bad reviews. I then learned it with book reviews when I started blogging. There were several people that hated The Time Traveler's Wife and I loved it. Now what if I would have read their reviews before reading it and then not read it because of them? I would have missed out on a book I truly loved. So, while I read (some) reviews, I just keep them in mind. I do not let them influence what I read. I also do not give point ratings, except on Goodreads and on my Novel Glimpses (mini-reviews). Books just have so much to offer. There is often so much good along with the bad. I find it hard to put a number on it. And I find myself second guessing the ratings I have given on Goodreads a lot. A ratings system is just not for me.

    In answer to your question, a 3 rating would not dissuade me from reading a book. Even a bad review doesn't do that. If I planned on reading the book and I read a bad review of it, I still read the book anyway!

  4. I still use ratings, mostly because when I'm in a rush, I tend to skim reviews. I do try to reserve time to actually read reviews, but in times when I'm rushing around, a rating is nice.

    That said, I'm not afraid of a 3-star book. I kind of just follow along with Goodreads guidelines. A 3 to me, is a book that I liked, but didn't love. A 2 for me is a book that was pretty meh, so I tend to avoid 2-star books. However, I rarely assign a 2 to books.

  5. I read them but they don't influence my decision about a book. I have read ones with really horrible reviews from Amazon and loved them and visa versa. Perfect example of one with great rating that I didnt like, ROOM. But thats just me so while I like to see others ratings it really doesnt play into my decision.

  6. I am a total ratings girl and agree with Jenny :)


Thanks for commenting!