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text 2015-07-23 19:05
Alright, Alright ...

... I give up.  And I blame HfK for making me do this.  (Well, her and everybody who jumped onto the bandwagon that she set in motion.)


I've always said I'm not going to publish my rating system because frankly ...



That's what it boils down to. (* Waves to HfK. *) Because:



That said, if I at least try to rationalize what I'm doing with my star ratings, it probably comes down to something along these lines:


DNF or refuse to read as a matter of principle -- e.g., something that others already have exposed as plagiarism, or by a BBA who's made a public spectacle of themselves.  ("No star rating" is actually the only rating policy by which I abide without any variance.)


Vile.  Avoid at all costs.  If you don't, I won't be held responsible for the consequences -- just don't say I didn't warn you. 


Insubstantially varying degrees of awfulness, for any number of reasons (plot, characters, writing, you name it): books that make me wonder almost as much as the half-star and BBA filth how they ever got published at all. Highly unlikely ratings for me, though: While I don't read any ebooks, at the same time I also prefer to actually own the books I read, so I tend to be careful about the way in which I spend my money, and I know my own literary tastes well enough to have a fairly sound sense of what is going to work for me (and what isn't).  It takes a very strong recommendation from someone I trust for me to spend any money on a book about which I already have substantial misgivings going in. -- Also, if I feel I'm headed for a 1-star or 1 1/2-star read, I'm much more likely going to DNF than torture myself all the way to the finish line.  Life's just too short for that sort of experience.


Readable (just about), but seriously "meh."  I made it to the end, but the book never engaged me, nor did it make me want to read anything else by the same author.  Very likely, also riddled with flaws and / or transgressing into major pet peeve territory without too many redeeming factors.


Below average, with still a fairly substantial "meh" factor (see above) and / or flaws / pet peeve offenses way too big to overlook. Possibly also a book by a writer who (without necessarily being Lit Nobel / Pulitzer / Booker material) I feel could do better, but for whatever reasons fell short of what they seem to have in them.


Average.  Neither completely unreadable nor knock-me-off-my-socks spectacular.  The good and bad parts more or less offset each other, or if it's running afoul of one or more pet peeves of mine, other readers might view things differently and enjoy the book more than I did.  Possibly also a book by an author whom I consider Lit Nobel / Pulitzer / Booker material, but who seriously fell short of their capabilities in this one. -- If it was my first book by this author, I will quite possibly give them another chance; however, with me typically it's "two strikes and you're out" ... not three.


Above average.  A truly enjoyable read, even though there are individual aspects where I would have wished for more, or for something different, or which leave me puzzling over authorial intent, etc. -- Alternately, a book whose strengths and considerable significance in the overall literary heritage of humankind I acknowledge, but which I didn't enjoy enough to want to read it again any time soon.  I am, however, almost certainly going to read other books by the same author.


Vastly above average; I greatly enjoyed the reading experience and will definitely read other books by this author (if (s)he isn't already a favorite author of mine anyway). Whatever smallish things may not have sat quite perfectly with me were, on balance, hit out of the park sky high by everything that I liked.  This is a book, and an author, that I will unreservedly recommend to others.


A phantastic book; almost definitely "all-time favorite" material -- as is the author.


Perfection. Desert island stuff. Without this book in it, the world would be a lesser place. Quite possibly, a life-changing reading experience.


Over the years, I have developed a fairly accurate sense of what will work for me, so most of my ratings are in the 3 1/2 to 5 star category -- these are also the books that will most likely inspire me to write a review.



Also, among these books it's often just a matter of minute degree, nit-picking, or simply spur of the moment whether I opt for a half star more or less.  (Bless BookLikes for making half-stars available, btw; for the longest time I thought I didn't need them, but I've since decidedly come 'round to loving them and wouldn't want to give them up again for anything in the world.)  I've been known to waver back and forth pretty badly between 4 and 4 1/2, and 4 1/2 and 5 stars in particular.  (Hey, I'm a Libra ... I'm supposed to be indecisive.)



A negative reading experience on the other hand, whether it's just "meh", abominable, or DNF, tends to make me want to move on to something else sooner rather than later. Unless the book (or the author) has seriously ticked me off in a way that can only be dealt with by a longish rant, I will very likely not bother to write a review at all -- or if I do, not one exceeding a couple of lines and the odd meme.



But when all is said and done, it all really just boils down to ...


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text 2015-07-23 00:52
Since Everyone's Doing It: How I Rate

A note on how I rate:


5 stars: A rare rating.  I've given out three 5-star ratings so far this year, but some years I'm lucky to give out one.  I can be very picky.


4 stars: On the other hand, I can be pretty generous with 4 stars.  A 4-star rated book is definitely above average, or just an entire blast to read even if artistically it's maybe not that high.  (What can I say - I know it when I read it!)


3 stars: A perfectly good average read.  Nothing wrong with it, just not enough pluses to elevate it to a better rating.  Probably nothing special, but just fine.


2 stars: Book has significant problems, but still has something going for it.  Maybe it's written by an author who can write, but I hated the characters and the plot was 'meh.'  Maybe a lot of grammar errors the editor should have caught.  Maybe it's historical fiction and something 99% of readers wouldn't notice made me throw it at the wall.


1 star: Books that make me growl, and give me the urge to go grab my matches.  Plot elements I find offensive (particularly if gratuitous).  Incompetent writing.  Mansplaining.


Luckily I have not given a 1 this year - I don't go looking for them!  (I believe my worst this year is in the 2-stars zone, a historical mystery where the 'historical' elements made me want to throw the book - I couldn't because I don't throw my kindle - and the mystery element wasn't terribly good, either.)

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text 2015-07-22 23:53
My Rating System

My promotion has definitely taken some getting use to with my new hours, and getting into a routine of my life outside of work has been tricky. I'm trying to get into a routine, but it's summer here.  Which means it's almost time for my baby brother to be out for his birthday.  So while my blog has been a little on the quiet side, I've still been lurking around.  I saw a lot of others blogging about their own rating system, and I wanted to throw in my own.


5 Stars: I was blown away by this book.  Everything about it was amazing and couldn't stop reading.  I have probably gushed about this book to anyone who asks about what I'm reading.  In fact I might of had to tried not to fangirl too much in my review.


4 Stars: I really liked the book.  I was engaged with it because of the plot, the characters, the writing style, the world building, or a combination of all of them.  Only, there was something about the book I wasn't a fan of.  Maybe it was something small or a glaring plot issue, whatever it was it kept me fully loving it.  I still totally recommend it, though. It's a good book and I enjoyed reading it.


3 Stars: Eh, the book was okay.  It probably took me longer than it should of to finish it because I kept pulling away from it.  There were definitely parts of this book I liked, but the book just didn't pull at my attention.  I will still recommend it to a certain type of reader, what type would depend on the book.


2 Stars: I honestly didn't like the book.  It just wasn't there for me, nothing really reached out and grabbed me.  I had issues with characters, plot, the world building, or I just couldn't get with the writing style.  Something just turned me off from this book and I had truck my way through it.


1 Star: This was a DNF book. I tried, probably tried again in case I just wasn't in the right type of mood for the book the first time, but I just couldn't do it.  There could be many reasons, or just one reason, but something put me off about this book.


Half Stars: I don't normally use the half star option.  For the most parts it's because I came from Goodreads and that site doesn't allow for them.  When I do pop out a half star it's because I'm sitting on the fence between one star to another.  Usually there's one little thing keeping me from popping it from one level to another.


Well, there it is, how I rate my books.  I've had a few books start out as one rating and switch to another.  There have also been books that before I even start reading I think it's going to go one way, and have it be another.  In the end this is how I decide how to rate my books.  

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text 2015-07-21 08:08
My rating system

Well since everyone seems to try to explain how they rate books will I also give it a go


½ star  - WTF? DNF all the way this sucker! 


1 star  - The book sucked! But I may actually finish it...or perhaps dnf it, depends on how I feel about it...


1.5 stars - I saw a glimpt of something good in this book, but not enough to make me like it.


2 stars  - This book had some good stuff in it, but mostly it was just bad or not my kind of book.


2.5 stars - Almost good, this book could have been better. I liked part of it, but in the end it was just not good enough for a higher rating.


3 stars  - This book has more good parts than bad part. I liked it for the most parts. It's a solid book.


3.5 stars - I see potentials for this book. But even though I liked it, it's just not worth a higher rating. But it still not just a 3 star book. A compromise between 3 and 4 stars.


4 stars - I liked it, it wasn't perfect, but I damn well liked it very much!


4.5 stars - Is it a 4 or a 5? God damn it I'm conflicted, I rate it 4.5. I loved it, but I'm not sure enough if I loved it enough for the highest rating! May change rating later on...


5 stars - Is the author single? I can switch team also for the chance of reading the next book first. No I'm not desperate...I just need more...

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text 2015-07-21 07:48
My Rating System

I figured I'd jump on this bandwagon too.


My rating system is a combination of my emotions/gut feelings and letter grades, translated into stars. So:


5 stars = A

4.5 stars = A-/B+

4 stars = B

3.5 stars = B-/C+

3 stars = C

2.5 stars = C-/D+

2 stars = D

1.5 stars = D-

1 star = F

.5 stars = This was not ready to be published and, if I spent any money on it, I'm probably extremely upset about that.


All of this is based more on feelings than anything, and I sometimes bump things up or down depending on my emotions after reading something. I don't see 3 stars as being a bad rating. Granted, I'd love it if everything I read was worth more stars, but 3 stars means I didn't hate it.


Any ratings higher than 3 stars are for works I have at least somewhat positive feelings about, while anything lower than 3 stars is for works I have at least somewhat negative feelings about. I give out very few 5-star ratings and, for some reason, tend to be more comfortable giving out higher ratings to graphic novels and manga than to books (maybe because the artwork works on my emotions more?). I sometimes feel like I give out more lower ratings than higher ones, although my LibraryThing graph (pictured below) tells me this is not the case.


What it comes down to is that I don't really have an objective system. Also, I really wish I fretted less over assigning higher star ratings.


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