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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