Also, I know all readers are different, and just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean another reader won’t, either.
That’s why I really don’t mind if I get 1, 2, 3 star ratings on Amazon and BN.com, because I know my books aren’t going to appeal to all readers. I understand that and accept it as a necessary fact of the career I’ve chosen as an author.
However, I have to admit that rating books can be useful as a quick guide to how I felt about a book I read, especially when I go back to refresh my memory.
It’s also helpful to see the trends of how I liked certain authors. If all the books I’ve read by an author have good ratings, then the author goes on my auto-buy list.
I was thinking about my ratings the other day and thought it would be good for me (and my declining capacity to remember anything) to write down what my ratings mean.
So here’s what I figured out my book ratings to mean:
1-star: Didn’t finish the book because I either didn’t like several elements of it, had problems relating to/liking the characters, or had issues with the plot.
2-stars: Book had at least one positive thing about it that I liked, but later I wasn’t interested enough to finish the book.
3-stars: I finished the book, but there were elements of it I didn’t like, or at least one of the characters was hard to sympathize with, or there were parts of the plot that didn’t make logical sense to me.
4-stars: I finished the book and mostly enjoyed it, although there might have been things about the plot, characters, or writing style I didn’t particularly like.
5-stars: I finished the book and enjoyed it. There might have been one or two things I didn’t quite like, but on a whole the book was entertaining and I liked it.
There are some 5-star books that I absolutely loved, but rather than give a 6-star rating or reserving the 5-star rating for those “perfect” books, I simply rave about the book in the comments section of my book catalogue (I use Booxter, which has a virtual “card” of information about each book I’ve read or have, and there’s a comments section where I talk about what I thought of the book).
So how about you? How do you rate books?