I’ve been reading since my childhood but never rated any books until I signed up for a Goodreads account. I used to categorize them into
There is no definite right or wrong way in rating a book. But I realized that having a steady personal rating system for books help you convey your opinion about books to others in a consistent way. There are books you don’t like, books which you love, and books which you don’t like but you think others might like them.
The key point to rate a book
There is a key point I keep in my mind before I rate a book. I never compare the books. Try to give a book an independent rating. If you try to give some rating to a book based on its literary value in comparison to other, that will not be a fair rating. I look into writing into what that book is trying to do in itself, not in comparison to other books.
How to rate a book
I use a scale of 5 in the increments of 1. After finishing a book, I ask myself a question: “Do I want to recommend this book to someone?” If Yes, I start the rating from 3 and higher. If the answer is No, I start with 1 and 2. Here are my thoughts on every star rating.
1 Star – Complete waste of time: The book was problematic in terms of writing styles, inaccuracies or written without any strong base. I disliked the book so much that I did not really want to finish the book. I kept reading because I was mildly curious at some points which kept pushing me to finish this book.
2 Stars – Fine but not happy with it: It was more irritating than rewarding. It was problematic but it was less of a struggle to finish like 1-star books. It was overcomplicated and I was lost and the author had to come back to the main thread again and again. I read it just for the sake of reading but I nothing got out of it.
Recommendation begins at 3 stars
3 Stars – Satisfactory, not too bad: This was an average but satisfying read. It was a little rewarding, not too much. But it was not a total waste of time and I enjoyed reading it. The concept of the book was nothing new but the author did the work well in terms of writing style. I might recommend this book.
4 and 5 stars mean the book made an impact on my point of view about something
4 Stars – Loved reading it: It is a really good book. There could be very minor improvements but that is okay. I loved the writing style of the book. The author thoroughly researched the topic before writing. This book made a little bit of impact on my point of view. But It didn’t fundamentally change my point of view about anything so I don’t find myself thinking about this very often. I can read this again and definitely recommend this book. Examples of my 4 stars rated books are 1984 by George Orwell and The Girl on The Train
5 Stars – Impactful: This is a pretty flawless book and was an awesome read. This book made a major impact on my point of view about something. It fundamentally changed my point of view about something in a huge way. Here the author has done something which I continue to think about and talk about. I strongly recommend this book and I’ll look forward to other works of the author. Example of my 5 stars rated book is Wonder by R.J. Palacio
There are times when I find it difficult to rate a book on a whole number. They sort of lies between two ratings. So I give them a rating in increment of 0.5 like 3.5 or 4.5. For example, I rated India after Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha 4.5 stars. But on the platform like Goodreads, where I am forced to use a whole number rating. I choose the smaller number and mention my exact rating in comments. Most of my ratings are 3 stars and above. My 1 and
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I have been entering and judging Romance Novel book contests for three years.
85% of the contests prove that no one can rate some one else’s book. I have been given comments and ridiculously low scores on a book I didn’t even write, leaving me to believe the judge was just uninterested and didn’t care if she got the score to the right Author.
I believe there should be metrics than can be quantified 1-10.
Does the Author’s book blurb explain the book concisely?
If the 500-word blurb goes on like a Sunday Sermon, do I want to read the book?
Does the Author use vocabulary that fits the genre/era/setting/character?
Especially important in world-building Paranormal, Science Fiction worlds.
Does the pace keep you turning the pages?
Am I looking for a place to stop, or do I just close it?
Is the writing so slim that all you see is the trope?
Are the characters richly drawn?
Do you see the end or are you mystified?
These are a few of the things that come to me in fairly judging books in contests.
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