After my Pachinko review, Leggy made a comment to me that she was surprised I gave it 3 stars considering I gave it a glowing review. It made me sit back and think a bit if I felt that it deserved more than 3 stars.
Now, I know I am not one to give out the 5 stars so generously. I absolutely loved Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and Frederick Backman’s “Us Against You” and yet I did not give them 5 stars. Till today I still fret and wonder whether I should change that and this, my friends is why the thought of rating a book, completely stresses me out.
Majority of the books I read, get a 3 star rating. But within that rating are layers. A 3 star rating to me means that I liked it enough to make it to the end and actually had an enjoyment and appreciation for what it was. For example, The Proposal got 3 stars. So did Pachinko. Both very different books, The Proposal was very cutesy and Pachinko was serious historical stuff. I am not one to think a work of art is better because it is more prestigious, so to speak. My thought process is based on what the book offered, within its space and how it made me feel.
There are some people who constantly give books 5 stars and I am always taken aback like wow, they really love everything they read! It takes a lot to get me revved up and gingered for a book and I think that’s why I am stingy with my 5 stars. The few books I have given the full five to, I remember how giddy they made me feel and I almost feel like a sellout giving it, if I don’t have that feeling.
Leggy once asked if you can rate a book if you never finished it and my answer to that is yes, I think you can. The fact that you couldn’t even get through it is indicative of something. Even though I acknowledge that some books do take a turn for the better. Most recently, I started Sophie Kinsella’s “I Owe You One” and had to stop for my sanity. It was awful. I gladly gave it a one star (sue me).
While writing, plot progression and engagement levels factor in, I think a huge part of my ratings process rests on how a book resonated with me and how it made me feel. I love the idea of Goodreads for a book reader but man, the ratings part stresses me out. Just the question, “What would you rate it?” breaks me out in internal hives.
How about you? What is your ratings process? Are you a generous rater?