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Monday, July 9, 2012

Reader Poll

Today we have a poll so I can get your feedback on how I review books.

In my book reviews, I have not included a rating system because what people like is subjective.  Within the first six months of starting this blog (I am approaching the blog's three year anniversary) I read a book that I thought was poorly done overall, "what was the editor thinking?" sort of book.  I wrote a mediocre review without open criticism, but not by any stretch recommending it.  I had a few people leave comments of how they loved the book.  One reader specifically mentioned loving a scene that I thought was terrible.  This reinforced in my mind that I should just present what I saw in a book and let each reader decide if it resonates with them.  So I have shied away from a rating system.

However, I seem to be one of the few in the blogosphere that does not provide a rating system for book reviews.  So, today I am offering the subject up for your input.  Do you prefer to have a rating system on book reviews?  Please take this quick "yes" or "no" poll.  I welcome comments to discuss this.  Thank you sharing!

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M. Louisa Locke said...

Dear Ariel,

As both an author whose books you have reviewed, and a mystery reader who reads your reviews to consider what to read next, I appreciate that you do not "grade" the books.

Anyone who follows you knows your taste, can make informed decisions about whether the books you describe and give your reaction to would be their own cup of tea.

The very fact that there seems to be a difference between how many stars the same reviewer will give a book on amazon versus Goodreades, and the incidents of nasty 1 and 2 star reviews by reviewers who feel the need to humiliate the author and any reader who happened to like the book, suggest the problems you can get into if you are forced to "grade" a book.

After more then 30 years of "grading" student's historical essays I can testify to hoe subjective giving points to an essay is, and how little is conveyed versus a polite description of what works and what doesn't in a piece of writing.

So my vote is continue to swim against the tide, keep doing what you are doing!

M. Louisa Locke
Maids of Misfortune and Uneasy Spirits

Dalene @ A Date with a Book said...

I didn't vote, but thought I would leave you with some of my thoughts. I do use a rating system, without any "definition" on my blog. However, I realized the other day I give a lot of 4s. What does this mean? I'm not sure. I guess it is some guidance to how I felt about the book, but I'm not sure it's necessary. And sometimes it doesn't really help unless you're a reader who just wants a quick numbers.

Heidi said...

I don't think you need to provide a rating system. Your justification in not providing one seems fine. But, if you are feeling like your reviews are missing something, you could just provide a recommend/don't recommend rating and state your reasons why. Or state who you would and wouldn't recommend the book for.

adlin said...

I actually like ratings (I post reviews on Goodreads so it's already there for me when it goes to my blog). Having said that, reviews, with or without ratings, are subjective no matter how you look at it. The ratings help to know if you like a book or not.

If no ratings, which is fine, then I definitely go with a recommend or not recommend.

Marce said...

I quite like ratings or at least a recommend or not BUT I appreciate your reasoning behind why you do not.

After time the consistent follower will get to know you better with or without the rating.

Jill said...

I like to have a rating system in addition to a well-considered review.

Who says a rating system needs to be 1-5 stars?

You may try 1-3 or 1-10. Whatever you do, make sure you have a clear description of what a 2 star or a 5 star is and what the rating means.

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Jo said...

Ratings don't mean that much to me. When I read a review, I'm looking for what actual points, issues, likes, and dislikes are brought up. I'd rather know that you thought the characters were great and the plot so-so than that you thought a book was an overall 3 1/2.

A.F. Heart said...

Thank you all for your comments.
I appreciate your input!

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