This week's question:
Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?
This is something I have thought a lot about and have considered it several times. However, the teacher in me sees attaching a number/grade to anything as rather subjective. What makes a book 3 stars instead of 2.5? Or 4 instead of 5? I still like seeing how others rate books, but it doesn't seem like there is any real way that the points awarded can be justified - it's just based on your own feelings about a book. With reading for pleasure that is fine, but I recall the one time I filled out report cards for my first grade class (before I was a teacher librarian I spent seven years in the classroom). I ended up re-doing one of the report cards because I couldn't find it even though I had filled it out. Eventually it resurfaced and I had the two report cards to compare. While many of the "grades" (in first grade there are no letter grades, just E, S, N and I) were the same, there were some that were different. It made me realize how arbitrary grades like this can be. Much like rating a book. Part of it depends on your mood, the time you had to think about it before writing a review, if you were in a rush, if it is about a topic you are interested in, etc. There are certainly books that I didn't love, but that I knew were very well written, or that I thought about a lot after finishing and grew to appreciate more and more as time went on. The point value I give a book may or may not influence someone else to read a book or not, and I would just rather give my thoughts on what I think are a book's strengths/weaknesses than attach an arbitrary number to it. I also think that as a person who reads many, many reviews on books, I don't usually pick books that are awful. By the time I have done some research about a book I generally have some idea about this book and whether or not I will like it. I don't read many books that I would attach a "1" or "2" rating to - those books would probably be ones I abandon long before I finish them.
Who knows? Someday I may rethink my feelings on rating books, and I do look at other bloggers ratings, but right now I won't be jumping on starting a rating system on my blog.
Check back later today! I still need to link some of the new blogs I have found via the Hop and add them to my blog roll. I will also be writing a review of The Water Seeker by Kimberly Willis Holt later tonight- a book I started this summer and couldn't really get into, and then started again yesterday and just can't put down. Not sure what changed for me in that time, but I am loving this one!