Skip to content

A shoddily constructed case for half stars.

June 13, 2010 \am\30 10:33 am

So. Tell Auntie Liss-Liss. How honest are you when you rate your friends’ books on Goodreads?

Five stars is Janet Frame. Five stars is Marilyn Hacker. I won’t give five stars to a four-star book and I think my writer friends understand this. We all need something to work up to. Nobody pops out of the womb Adam Zagajewski.

But then there’s the questions of three stars. On Goodreads, three stars is supposed mean “liked it.” Liked it is commendable. Liked it is nothing to sneeze at. If you write a book in your twenties or thirties and someone likes it, you are on your way.

But three stars doesn’t really feel like liked it. Three stars feels more like meh.

So my heart will not allow me to give anything less than four stars to anyone I know.

Goodreads should make half stars. I think I’d feel okay giving 3.5 stars to someone I know.

Advertisements
5 Comments
  1. JEN permalink
    June 13, 2010 \pm\30 6:44 pm 6:44 pm

    THIS IS WHY I REFUSE TO DO GOODREADS. RATING SYSTEMS FOR ART OR MOVIES OR BOOKS ARE LAME.

  2. June 13, 2010 \pm\30 7:16 pm 7:16 pm

    I would care more about a more curated-y version of GR. It’s not about *everybody* aggregating/recommending; it’s about people who are actually trusted. Christ, I sound like Seth Godin or some shit. Box wine rulez.

    • June 13, 2010 \pm\30 7:18 pm 7:18 pm

      Isn’t The New York Review of Books a curated version of Goodreads?

  3. June 14, 2010 \pm\30 3:36 pm 3:36 pm

    That’s why I have started to write brief comments instead of just the star rating, which changes according to the positivity / negativity of my mood. Three stars is often the default for any required text that I had to read for class, and one and two stars seems like it should be rare since you can always give up a book if you disliked it that much. Thanks, though, to those who actually do have enough patience to finish “bad” books so that the rest of us can decide whether or not to read it.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: