Image used under Creative Commons - Original belongs to Salady
Many bloggers, websites, magazines, and newspaper articles employ star ratings when it comes to book reviews, but do we like them? Are star ratings a good or bad thing when it comes to book reviews?
I currently use star ratings (or little out-house looking ratings, really) and I have since I first started this blog. It's the easiest and most in-your-face way to show your overall feelings about a book, but sometimes I want to toss my ratings system out the window. My feeling is that star ratings are wonderful, at a glance, but not really all that dependable, even for the reviewer who uses them.
See, there are many books that I give 3, 4, or even 5 star ratings to, but they really do not measure up against one another. I have completely different feelings towards one book I've rated with 5 stars, than I do to another. Oftentimes, I'll finish a book and immediately put it down as a 5 star book because it was that good. Then I'll read another and I feel that it tops the last, but I can't go higher than 5 stars, so...
Many books deserve the great ratings I give them, but just a glance at the rating is never a proper interpretation of how a book made me feel. For now, I still plan on keeping the star ratings because it's helpful to get the teensiest idea of how much I enjoyed a book, but my review - you know that huge thing I write in between the book's description and the picture of houses, at the end? - is the place to go to see just why a book deserved the rating I gave it.
Give a shout in the comments! Let me know your feelings about star ratings. If you blog, do you use them or not? Why? If you like to read reviews, do the star ratings make a difference to you?