I was on Twitter last night and came across a conversation between several authors about ratings. One commented that she didn't understand why people continued reading a particular genre of books when they constantly give them 3.5 ratings. She could have been talking about me. The majority of my ratings tend to fall in that range. For me, a 3 is "good". A 3.5 is better than "good", but not quite to the point of being "very good" (which would be a 4). Some might say that makes me hard on books. While others probably think I'm too easy. Talk like that always makes me pause and wonder if I should bother rating the books I read at all. I gave up rating for awhile, at least publicly. I find rating a book helpful for personal reasons, when my thoughts on a book aren't as clear as I would like them to be or if I'm on the fence. I eventually came to the conclusion though that if I was going to rate books for my own purposes anyway, I might as well share the ratings with you.
Ratings can be very confusing. Scales vary with each user, each point on the scale representing a different value. A 3 to me may mean "good" but to my friend Denise, a 3 is just average. It's extremely subjective, even when someone is trying to be as objective as possible.
So, maybe I give most books in a particular genre a 3.5 rating. It doesn't mean I do not enjoy those books. And I have rated books higher within that genre when I felt it was warranted. And sorry, authors, my 5 spot is highly coveted. I may love your book for many reasons, but it isn't a rating I give out often. For me at least, it would take away the significance of that top spot.
I did not offer my opinion into the Twitter conversation, and obviously the authors weren't talking specifically about me. I will continue to rate the books I read, and probably disappoint an author or two when I give their books 3 or 3.5 rating instead of the big 5.
To rate or not to rate has been an ongoing discussion for longer than I have been blogging, I know. It does not bother me when someone chooses not to rate the books he or she reads, nor if he or she does rate them. Readers have to do what works best for them.
How do you feel about rating what you read?
I somehow managed to finish A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman yesterday in between Mouse's and my games of mermaid princesses, being chased by paper snakes and bad men, ring toss, bowling and chasing each other around the house. Probably the only time I am grateful for Caillou these days. It was a fun girl's day--and we didn't even have to leave the house. Mouse even helped me with the laundry.
Now I am reading another mystery, this one the first in a series by Rich Zahradnik called Last Words. It is set in 1975, and is about a journalist stuck writing obits after having been demoted from working the police beat. He's determined to change his fate and solving a murder case may just be the ticket he needs.
What are you reading at the moment? Would you recommend it?
Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.
Here is a sampling of the beginning of Last Words by Rich Zahradnik:
The dead sitting on his desk could wait.
Instead of going back to the office, Coleridge Taylor stopped at the newstand on 23rd Street and looked at the front page of the Daily News. MAYHEM IN QUEENS spelled out in two-inch type. Another story that should have been his. The Times led with a dull speech by President Ford. It made him miss Nixon. Nothing like a crook in the White House to sell papers. He spent a nickel on a pack of Teaberry gum, folded a stick into his mouth, pulled his filed jacket tight against the wind, and turned east toward Bellevue.Would you continue reading?
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.
This weeks' Top Ten Tuesday theme was left up to the participant, and I decided to make a list of Books I'll (Probably) Never Read. There are some obvious titles on this list, and others that may not seem so. A few of these come highly recommended. It isn't meant to be, however. With so many books out there I do want to read, these did not, and likely will never, make the cut.
Ulyssess by James Joyce ~ There are several classic novels I have loved over the years and many more I still want to read. This is not one of them.
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville - This is yet another classic that has never appealed to me.
Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan ~ I love animals, especially cats and dogs. If the animal is going to die at some point in the memoir, I will pass on it no matter how many people say I must read the book.
The Orvis Guide to Prospecting For Trout by Tom Rosenbauer ~ I am sure this is a wonderful book if you are interested in fishing and trout.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ~ I actually owned a copy of this one when it first came out. I lost interest in reading it before I even got to it. I won't be reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed either.
Othello by Shakespeare ~ I am not a fan of Shakespeare's plays. I have read several, but only because I had to. (I do like this poetry, however.)
Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever (100% Official) by Justin Bieber ~ I enjoyed Tina Fey's Bossypants quite a bit, but for the most part, I stay away from celebrity memoirs or autobiographies, especially one about Justin Bieber.
The Shack by Wm. Paul Young ~ When this book first came out, it caused quite a stir. People seemed to either love or hate it, and few opinions fell in between. Enough of the reviews, both positive and negative, made it clear this wasn't a book for me.
The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon ~ I enjoy historical fiction and time travel. In many ways, this would seem like a series I would have already devoured and maybe even loved. It does not appeal to me, however, and I have no interest in reading it no matter how many people say I should.
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell ~ A favorite of many, both the book and the movie. I saw the movie years ago and did not care for it. It took care of any interest I might have had in reading the book. Despite the efforts of those who insist I should read it, I haven't heard of an argument to convince me to give it a try.
What are the books you will never read?
© 2015, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.