Do I Rate 90% Of Books 4 Stars, Or What?? ...Do star ratings even mean anything, really?

So I know I read a lot of good books. I feel like I read a lot of good books. I’ve been having so much fun with it, and with one or two drab ones along the way, I’ve really been reading good stuff this year! (yay me, right!)

But it’s not about that. It just got me thinking.

Yes, I read loads of good books. I almost always am happy about them. But there’s this one little thing that keeps nagging at me… I mean, sure – there are bad books. I’ll rate one or two 2 stars along the way. Some of them, albeit very few, are mediocre, so I will reluctantly give it 3. Some are just explosively amazing!!! Those will get 5 stars, naturally. But…

The majority of the reviews I post are 4 stars. It seems?..

no yes I don't know

They are!!! D:

…And that’s when I began wondering how that is so. Does that still mean that my reviews are relevant? Or do I just rate everything 4 stars? Do I just LIKE everything..?


freaking out

So I started thinking. The rating used to mean a lot, when I was just your usual Goodreads user who never posted any reviews, only starred books and kept reading others. The stars helped me remember how I felt about a story I might have read years ago. And it is true that the good book category is simply vast. There are so many types of good books… Literary good, action good, emotional good, simply beautiful writing good. But can you put them all in one category? 4 stars..?

question ???

For me, the answer is no. I guess I’ve gone beyond star ratings? I’ll notice that I don’t know what star rating I left, when thinking of a book I read a while ago now. Yet I’ll still remember the main points I gave in the review, why I liked it more or liked it less. Bottom line, I guess, is that for me, star ratings stopped meaning so much, when I started writing actual reviews. In the end, you can’t really compare a light chick lit 4 star read with a literary 4 star read, can you? Because they aim for something very different. And at the same time, I can’t say that the chick lit book was better or worse than the literary one, which means, even if we were using 10 stars, I could hardly rate them any better comparatively. Do you know what I mean?

So for now, I just hang on to my 4 star convention, sprinkling half stars here and there on my blog, but finding it a little pointless cause no bookish social media really does half stars. And I hope that my readers will be able to discern the feel that I’m trying to convey through my actual words. After all, it doesn’t really matter if I liked it or not – my opinion is not absolute. The point of writing a review is to help you understand if you would like that book. So my stars are secondary. It’s about what my review makes you feel.

Those are my thoughts. Have you experienced this? I would love to hear your opinion.

Do you have the 4 star rating issue? Or do you rate all over the charts?