Star Rating System: Keep it or Abandon it Altogether?

Off the back of a vlog I watched recently, I started to think about the star rating system, and whether or not it is still a valuable insight into a book.

As you’ve seen in monthly wrap ups and reviews, I have used my own personal star rating system to round off my comments and discussion about a book. I think I’ve been using it for as long as I’ve been a part of the online book community (about 9 years or so), but as my reading tastes have changed and I now think quite differently about each book I read, I find that a number of stars doesn’t encompass and finalise all current and future feelings I have about a book.

The star rating system is as follows:

★ I hate this book. It is certainly not for me.
★★ I don’t like it.
★★★ I like it enough to read it cover to cover but I’ll only ever read it once.
★★★★ I really like it.
★★★★★ I love it. It’s a new favourite book.

Of course, it is very subjective. It is how I’ve personally interpreted the system when reviewing books on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Waterstones etc because a lot of the promotion and talk about a book, especially a debut, hinges on the number of reviews and star ratings, which has always made me feel inclined to leave a rating. However, I’ve never used a rating below three stars because if I’m hating or not liking a book I’m reading, I won’t finish it, and for me, a rating is for the entire book not just a small section of it.

Also there is a huge difference within the ratings themselves, particularly the five stars where most of that can be attributed to enjoyment and how a book makes you feel at that moment. Before I started thinking about all of this, the only book I’ve rated five stars so far this year is Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree, which hit the cosy, light-hearted and fun spot that I needed at the time. Right now, I’m very close to finishing A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon, which for the sake of everything a rating provides as well as my own enjoyment, will be the second five star book, but the make up of those five stars is vastly different.

Secondly, there are some books I’ve found impossible to rate due to their content. Those like Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo, Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas….books that have specific messages, themes to explore and lives to understand that are way beyond those of my own. I honestly can’t put a rating on those books and as my reading tastes continue to grow and change, it’s happening more and more.

I think what all this ramble says is that I’m ready to move away from the star rating system and no longer rely on it as a reader. Thinking about this and some of the other bookish discussions I’ve had with myself about my reading habits, it’s all connected to rebecoming the type of reader and bookworm I used to be before the influence of the online community.

I know it has been a big topic of conversation, but what are your thoughts about the star-rating system? Do you find it worthwhile to use?

As always, thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!

Published by Emma @ Turn Another Page

Hello, I’m Emma aka pageturner92, and welcome to my little corner of the online book world. When I don’t have my head in a book, I’m either working on an endless pile of crochet or knitting projects, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, listening to Disney music, or watching my favourite shows on repeat.

7 thoughts on “Star Rating System: Keep it or Abandon it Altogether?

    1. I think I’ve seen that system used on book reviews. It’s a good one though as there is more flexibility to rate certain aspects of the book and I suppose this is where the CAWPILE rating system I’ve seen used works


  1. I still use the star system on goodreads and all and in my own bullet journal. But I don’t add them into my review anymore. It didnt seem like it added a whole lot there anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: