Bookish Thoughts #002: ‘Goodreads Ratings? Pfft.’

bookish thoughts


Welcome to Book-ish thoughts! A weekly post here on Her Book Thoughts where we ask for a little of your time to share a thought about useless and nonsense things. YAY! Don’t worry, it will ALWAYS have something to do with a book or anything bookish!

“If you aren’t on Goodreads, you should be. I’ve said it before, it’s like Facebook for readers on crack.”

And no one, ladies and gents, could have said it better than CoHo.

Today, as my first post on Her Book Thoughts, I’ve chosen to talk about Goodreads and it’s highly pathetic Rating Policy.

“Rating, schmating.”

No matter how long you’ve been part of the book blogging/reading/writing community, Goodreads is an undeniable and irreplaceable part of your life. And with good reason, too. It’s got everything that can accurately sum up the life of a reader: Books, Giveaways, Drama.

All three in abundance.

And before writing this post, I was talking to a few of my reader friends about how the site seems to be growing up before our eyes and how everything about the site seems to be changing.

“Except that Goddamned rating system,” they complained.

A lot of readers—hell, most of them—seem to hate the Goodreads rating system because of its inability to allow half star ratings. So you can rate a book from 1 to 5 but you can’t give, say, a 3 and a half. And here’s the funny part; Goodreads itself calculates the average rating of a book by adding 2 numbers after the decimal point. Like say, 4.45, 3.82, 1.06, etc. They’re all “our way or the highway” when it comes to ratings but readers have learnt to put up with it.

The problem is simple: There is a big difference between a 3 and a 4 star rating. For me, a 3 star rating is an average read, nothing out of the ordinary. But a 4 star rated book is very, very close to perfection. So when I find a book that’s smack in between the two, I have not other choice but choose either one.

I’ve seen some readers write in reviews that since their actual rating is 2 and a half stars, they’re going to “round it up” to 3 stars. Again, this makes no sense to me, because the entire point of a half star rating is that you want to rate a book between two full stars.

And Goodreads, seemingly, does not look like they’re going to give up anytime soon. A lot of people have tried setting up polls, talking about it on the Goodreads forums, even going as far as shifting out of Goodreads into Shelfari and LibraryThing because of this. Inspite of this, there doesn’t seem to be much happening on the ratings front.

So. Is it only me who seems to be having an issue with the rating scale Goodreads uses? Are you guys okay with it? Or have you gotten used to it? Have you shifted out of Goodreads because of it? Let’s talk!




16 thoughts on “Bookish Thoughts #002: ‘Goodreads Ratings? Pfft.’

  1. Oh…how it annoys me that I can’t give a book a 1/2 star! I’ve read many 3 1/2 star books that I’ve that used the 4 stars for and I’m like you, 4 stars are for near perfection. I’m used to it, but I don’t like it and I feel it should be changed so those who review can give books their proper ratings.
    Marni J recently posted…January Flash Sale ~ Boxed Sets ~ November Blue by Andrea Randall and Thompson Sisters Volumes 1 & 2 by Charles Sheehan-MilesMy Profile

  2. Ugh yes I HATE when that happens. Lately I’ve been rating lots of favorites of mine 4/stars, so when I have a 3.5 star book I don’t actually want to give it 4 as well… because it’s not the same. I tend to just give it the lower rating (1 star if it’s 1.5, 2 stars if it’s 2.5, etc) just because I don’t like mixing the books up.

    Goodreads once commented on this issue and said that they didn’t implement that rating for users because apparently it was much more “difficult” to decide for readers so they wouldn’t rate at all. I think that’s stupid.
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce + Fashion by the Book!My Profile

  3. I honestly don’t mind it….because I put 3.5 for example in my review, if that’s how I feel about the book. The thing is, I THINK that if people were to able to give .5 ratings, many will give more instead of less, if you know what I mean. Hell! I would surely give 1.5 instead of 1 star too because I don’t truly think every book I gave 1 stars too deserves it. So, if you follow me, I think maybe books will have too of a high rating…but I might be wrong. We can’t know until we try. 😛
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…Review: Amour Amour by Krista Ritchie & Becca RitchieMy Profile

  4. I’ve been able to put up with it so far, but it’s messing up my average rating now (I give out a lot of half stars), and therefore starting to tick me off. I don’t see how it could be that hard to fix! Considering all the other things they’ve been changing on the site, it doesn’t seem like half stars would be that difficult. :/ Well, maybe someday it will change *looks longingly into the distance*
    Gabs recently posted…Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. SalterMy Profile

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