Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Discussion: Star Reviews



Star Ratings. They're everywhere.  I've been seeing a lot of blogs talking about it, even seeing people say they won't follow a blog if there isn't a star rating!  At this time.. my blog doesn't use a star rating.  I wonder though... does that confuse people?  Do you always glance down first thing and see how many stars someone gave a book?  My ratings still correlate with stars... I have 5 crystal balls that go in order of 1-5 stars.  After seeing though that most people prefer stars I wonder if this even makes sense.  We as readers are just so used to the star ratings that our mind is programmed to see them.  And then of course there is the dreaded topic of half star.. yikes.  My ratings:


Ratings:
Look into the Crystal Ball to see how the book is rated:



Sun is shinning!!!  Great day to go outside and read this book.
Clouds are covering! A read that lets me down every now and then but peaks out of the clouds!



Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!


Rain is pouring...  Not sure if this was really worth my time, must get an umbrella.




Thunder is booming!! Run inside and don't bother reading!
I think that our minds are just used to star reviews.  There are reviews with stars for everything.  From games to movies to books.  We see these types of reviews on the major sites like goodreads and Amazon.  This post from Book Riot talks all about star ratings and why they matter.  I have even seen bloggers say that if a book is three stars or under they won't even take the time to read that book.  So it's like 5 stars... excellent... 4 stars... OK... 3 stars and under - no good.  I understand this notion but if it is a book I have been wanting to read I'll still give it a shot.  Especially if it's in a series I've been reading.

If you notice too, I write out sort of a meaning to each crystal ball.  I have seen people do this with stars as well though I am not sure an explanation is needed for a number of stars, for example:

1 star - Terrible books. Books that shouldn't have been written. Books I regret reading the first place. .

2 stars - Books I didn't really like. I wouldn't read again. Boring books, books that have no real worth for me. Books I wouldn't like to buy.

3 stars - Good books. I probably won't read again but might. Books I don't have to own, but might buy them from a discount.

4 stars - Good books I enjoyed a lot. Books I'll probably read again. Books I want to own. Books I recommend to some people.

5 stars - Pure gold. Books I'd consider my all time favorites. Books that have had a huge effect on me. Books I'd recommend to anybody. Books that somehow broadened my horizon. Books I NEED to own.

What do you think?  Do you prefer star reviews?  What do you use on your blog?  Do you try to go outside the box when it comes to the "stars".  Or when people use something different is that a turn off?



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47 comments:

  1. I don't rate books on my blog, because honestly, I get OCD about things like that, and I don't even want to get started. I discuss the books - rate on Goodreads.

    Tanya Patrice
    GIrlxoxo.com

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  2. I am the worst at star ratings. I only do them on Goodreads because you have to in order to log them in. My ratings are so arbitrary, everything from classics to trashy romance novels end up getting 3s from me, and then I feel wrong. WRONG, I tell you! I don't mind ratings on other people's blogs, but I pay very little attention to them. Why have a blog if nobody is going to read it and just go by star ratings? Ridiculous.

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  3. I prefer...something. I don't care what it is though. I use cats. Crystal balls, tea cups, stars, books, whatever. Doesn't matter to me what object is used but it's nice to have a guide on the page somewhere or have it spelled out on each review so you can really gauge where the review sits on the like/love/hate it scale since a 3 star review can be a lovely review and positive just as easy as a 4 star review, you know?

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  4. I do prefer some sort of rating system, but I don't have a preference between stars, crystal balls, flowers (what I use), etc. I just like having an idea of before I start reading the review on what that review thought of the book.
    But there are some blogs that I love that don't use any kind of rating.

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  5. I do have a star rating, but I tend not to put a ton of emphasis on it. It's mainly so my reviews are consistent between say Goodreads and my blog. Although I think people put too much emphasis on star ratings. Even Goodreads and Amazon don't really have the same rating system with their stars. Amazon has 3 stars for an "okay" book, where Goodreads uses 2 stars as an "okay" book. So really, I tend to not pay attention to star ratings much on blogs.

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  6. I do give star ratings (well, kitties actually), but I know that my ratings are harsher than most. I recently put a page on my blog that explains my ratings. I like your crystal balls, and they make sense to me. :) At the same time, I read reviews with no ratings too. I like to read people's reasons for their ratings more than the ratings themselves.

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  7. At first I didn't like giving out star ratings just because it seems so arbitrary sometimes, but I realized I do like seeing star ratings (or any rating) on a book just so I can get a feel for how the blogger liked the book. For some reason I like to know the tone of the review before reading it. I don't put too much stock into it though because sometimes it is really difficult to give ratings. Definitely reading the review is the best way to know exactly what the blogger thought about the book!


    BTW I'm planning a post on star ratings as well for my blog!

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  8. Using crystal balls is such a good idea! How smart! I have a star rating but funny, because I usually don't have a problem determining the rating. I almost never run into situations where I'm really caught between two ratings and have to give out a .5 so for me, the stars really work well. I always feel like they could be misconstrued though so I make sure I make it very clear what my final thoughts are so people don't think I totally dislike a book I gave two stars.

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  9. I definitely prefer some kind of rating... or at the very least, a quick wrap-up ("this is overall what I thought of this book") that stands apart from the rest of the review. As others have said, it helps to give the details of the review context. Also, I don't read reviews if I'm going to read the book soon, but I still like to see at a glance whether a blogger thought it was good, great, so-so, etc.



    I also really appreciate when bloggers do explain what their ratings mean. One person's 3-star might be another person's 2-star... and I don't mean based on differing opinions of the book itself... rather on what the stars mean to each reader.

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  10. Szever - The Dork PortalFebruary 12, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    I have no problem with obscure rating systems. Mind you this is coming from the person who uses a rating such as "Smoochy holding a "rocket ship"" or "Stan Lee and Kevin Smith web-slinging."

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  11. I am starting to think star ratings are just really a way for someone to skip a review. If you can scan down and see the star rating then you can just skim the review because basically you already know what they thought about the book.

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  12. I have been feeling the same. The star ratings can allow people to just really not read anything you wrote. 4 Stars.. you liked it.. 5 stars you loved it. I want people to read the review and figure out why I loved it or liked it. Not just glance at my stars and move on. I must admit.. if I go to a review with a star rating I always look at that first. I just can't help it.

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  13. I will say that when I get to a review.. I glance at the stars and then that gives me a feel for the review. I am thinking in my mind 3 stars... so this review is going to be about an average book. It's almost like stereotyping their book review! LOL!!!

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  14. I see a lot of blogs too that don't use the star rating. I will admit on those blogs I actually have to read the post to get a feel of what the review is thinking. I wonder... does a no star review get your review read more then skimmed??

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  15. I didn't even know that about Amazon and Goodreads. I don't put my reviews on Amazon but I can see that if you cross post that it would be kind of hard to figure out how many stars you want to give to a book.

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  16. That is the hard thing to me about star ratings. I feel like I can be harsh in my review because then I can explain myself. But if it stars how do people know what I am thinking??? That is why I do like blogs that have explanations for their stars. Everyone's stars do mean something different to them. I am such a pushover when it comes to stars.. I dislike giving out 1s and 2s.

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  17. How funny that you are planning on a star rating post. I was actually thinking about this post and typed it up and then saw a post about star ratings on parajunkie's blog. I realized it must be something a lot of reviewers think about often.

    After writing this post I thought about it.. and I do like to see ratings. BUT it does cause me to scan a review more then I would if there was no rating.

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  18. I just avoid .5 star ratings all together. I have seen people debating about it for YEARS on goodreads and goodreads has never given in and added them. I applaud them for this. I am like you... if I give a book 2 or 1 star I really explain myself. I don't like giving low ratings so I explain everything. I don't like to have mean negative reviews and always want to try to be constructive.

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  19. YES... that is true! I didn't think of that. I do mark spoilers in my reviews, but if I haven't read the book and stop by a review of a book I plan on reading then I do glance at the stars. Just to see what they thought without spoiling myself. Good point

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  20. I like your rating system because it's unique to you. I don't really mind how people rate books...or if they don't, because most of the time, I don't give books a star. If I really loved a book, I might say, this would be 5 stars so people understand I really loved it. Otherwise, I think rating books is difficult...and I hate how on Amazon, I have to give books a star when I cross-post (I don't always) because sometimes I'm just not sure.
    Plus, everyone seems to have varying thoughts on stars. Some blogs have 3 stars that means it's really not good...while others have 3 stars that means it's good, not great, so it's difficult to tell.
    Lauren from www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  21. I don't rate with stars on my blog. I do think the stars have value on places like Amazon/Goodreads just because there are often SO MANY reviews. It's nice to be able to click on 1- or 2-star reviews, see why someone didn't like a book, and also click on the more positive reviews. But on my blog? It would drive me nuts.

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  22. For years I've done a numerical rating (5) but lately I've just had a hard time putting a number on the books so I've been making up random type ratings that deal more with my feelings. We'll see--I might go back to the numbers. LOVE your forecast crystal balls, though!

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  23. It is too bad that you have to rate a book on both goodreads and Amazon. The worst when a book is a DNF and I have to put a star. I don't like to rate books that I DNF but then I am forced to give it one star. I feel bad that since I didn't finish I am giving it a star at all.

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  24. I think the stars on goodreads and Amazon also give you an idea of what a lot of people think of it so you can get an average by looking at that. I like that. To me if there are thousands of reviews and there are 4 stars as the average you can kind of get a good feel about the book.

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  25. You know who does funny reviews?? Conan. If you ever watch his video game reviews they are hilarious .. he'll say I give it a one million. Or something like that ! Hilarious!

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  26. Szever - The Dork PortalFebruary 15, 2014 at 6:54 AM

    I keep telling myself I'm going to use various comic / movie / book references to create an actual system that one could use to gauge one rating versus another, but I just haven't. I figure if you read the post, you know how I feel about something.

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  27. Hmmm... that's an interesting topic. I honestly don't mind when people have something different for ratings, I love seeing how creative everyone is. But sometimes people are not clear on what they thought about the book and it's easier to just find the star rating

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  28. I think that's true. I have read reviews where they aren't too critical or too praising so it can be confusing what they thought. I sometimes am not sure if people even get mine, and if they don't, do they know to click on the bar across the top of my blog???

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  29. I LOVE your review "stars" Angie! They are so pretty and unique. It seemed absolutely ridiculous to me to not follow a blog because they didn't have "stars" I mean, seriously? You are better off without followers like that, good ones will stick around for what you write, not some silly graphic.

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  30. I agree. I have seen bloggers be so picky over little things, but just ignore the content. People seem sometimes to just complain about any and everything. Instead of complaining just don't follow that blog. That is how I feel.

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  31. I love this discussion and WILL come back to it... but I just burned the poo out of my finger.

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  32. Yea... I match mine up to goodreads also. Though I wish goodreads would allow me to also give zero stars and still be able to add the book, so for example for a DNF book. I don't like to rate those one stars but I suppose I have to.

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  33. Ok, finger marginally better. :)

    I like ratings, whether you use stars, kittens, coffee cups, whatever - I generally tend to process them the same. Your crystal balls (probably because you remove the numerical value from them) are different - it's rather clever.


    For me, I use the stars more as a sorting tool in the tags so that people can see other books that I've felt about the same about.


    That being said, sometimes I rate a book five stars (Eat, Pray, Love) and then look at the rating and think 'WTF was I thinking?' So numerical ratings are more a knee jerk for how I felt, I really put more analysis into the review itself.


    Thanks for linking up at Spread the Love!

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  34. I love your crystal balls! I myself use a starsystem, but I'm not totally convinced of it; Sometimes the stars don't reflect how I really feel about a book, and I'm pretty sure that it changes according to my mood as well... Perhaps I should findmy own crystal balls to use!

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  35. LOL... I like the crystal balls too! Feel free to use them if you want. I don't always know if the stars reflect what I am thinking either. I have thought about going back to stars but it seems like people do understand the crystal balls so that is what is important.

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  36. :O! OMG, that is SO cool! It kind of puts my owls to shame, but I like owls and it fits my theme. :D Though a crystal ball would fit my theme as well - very "witchy and magical." I usually love it when someone doesn't use stars - it's getting pretty old and common. I think it's my reason why I didn't use stars in the first place. :3

    ~Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

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  37. Your rating system is unique!
    I don't even have any rating system. Most of the books that I reviewed on blog are the books that I would recommend people to read, though sometimes I explain when there are things that didn't work for me... So I don't think I really need a rating system. It's often difficult to describe what we really thought about a book, for example, if I have to rate Les Miserable and a Sarah Dessen book 3 stars (based on rating system) because 'I like it', do the books actually have the same 'placement' of 'likeness', in my opinion? I do not think so.... (Hope you understand what I mean! :D)

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  38. I like ratings, whether they're stars or crystal balls (cute idea!) or owls or whatever. I just like to see a rating. Sometimes I read the full review and sometimes I don't. It just depends on my mood, what else I'm doing, how interested I really am in the book, how many OTHER reviews of that book I've already, anything. Sometimes I come across blogs in languages I don't read, but if they have a rating, I can get a general idea idea of whether they liked it.


    I use stars myself because I couldn't find anything I liked better at the time I was looking. I may change in the future if I come across something.

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  39. I just thought of that number of reviews read the other day. I was going through my feed and saw a book where I would normally stop by the review and read it. But I thought... eh... I've read that enough. What's kind of sad about that though is if someone reads the book after everyone else people are probably tired of that book and it's reviews so the blogger loses views. This is probably one of the reasons everyone scrambles to review a book when it's first released.

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  40. Yes, it probably is, which is sad but understandable, I guess. I review a lot of older books and hardly anyone reads those reviews.

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  41. I actually might start using them! The only problem I'm seeing is how I would do the whole conversion to goodreads then? How do you do this? But your crystal balls really are a great method of saying what you mean without putting a number on every book. I think that not only do they give a great idea of what you thought of the book, but it's also easier to decide in which category every book falls. Because star ratings, for me it's just not easy to be consistent with them. I'm all over the place.

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  42. It is true... sometimes if you don't review what's new and modern you lose some readers. I tend to review what I want. Stephen King.. to Hunger Games... to Beauty books. LOL!

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  43. I have to re-think the stars for goodreads. So I actually kind of review them twice if I think about it.

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  44. I think I will be adopting your crystal balls. i'll also use stars on goodreads, but I think the crystal balls will suit me better!

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