9 out of 10

March 2, 2011

Long ago, I had a request to rate the books I read. And, because I do what my fanbase (er, college roommate) wants, I have for the last two years (almost to the day).

But this has become more and more uncomfortable for me. How in the world is one number supposed to sum up how I feel about a book?

And what is the ranking for anyway? Does it rate where on my scale of least and most favorites I would rank this book? Does it rate how likely I am to recommend it? Does it rate the quality of the writing? The pace of the storyline? The size of the audience that would enjoy it?

I found myself trying to incorporate all those things into a single number – okay, nine for story line, but maybe a little edgy for some, so let’s drop it to an eight, but the writing is a ten, so back up to a nine, but it’s maybe a little slow for some people, so down to eight again, and maybe the topic is too depressing for some people, so seven, but I’d say it’s one of my favorites so back up to an eight. Okay, eight. Perfect.

Actually, not even close to perfect. More like insane.

And so,as of this moment, I’m ditching the numbers. I try to mainly only review books I liked and would recommend to at least one person, and the books I don’t like and review, it’s mainly because my strong negative feelings need to be aired before I talk Bart to death.

It is perhaps a little unhealthy how freeeeeeee I suddenly feel.

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  • Reply Katie Rich March 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I had wondered where the numbers went, but this makes perfect sense.

  • Reply Ashley and Dave March 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I actually will miss the numbers. I'll be honest, I only look at your book reviews if they are rated high 🙂

  • Reply Kristi March 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I had a college professor who felt the same wavy and started grading papers with a check, check minus, or check plus, it worked out better for everyone. Enjoy your newfound freedom!

  • Reply Kayla March 2, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    This is partially why I kind of stopped reviewing books. How do you rate a book?? Also, I constantly worry that people will read things I love and be like, "This is the lamest piece of trash ever" and then they won't like me anymore.

    Freckles in April | a modest clothing blog

  • Reply Carly March 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    I always think ratings like this are so arbitrary. I sometimes will read a review of yours and wonder about the rating… why a seven? or eight? I prefer your first paragraph in italics with a snapshot verbal "rating" that tells me your stance on the book.

    Enjoy the freedom!

  • Reply Sherry March 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I noticed the numbers were gone, but I totally get your reasoning. You can just tell me specifically if there is a book that I just have to read.

  • Reply Merry March 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I totally agree! When I post a review of a book on, I always ignore the stars they want you to use to rate the book.

  • Reply girlseeksplace March 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    I don't rate my books for that very reason, but the logic behind it makes sense. You can't please everyone.

  • Reply Peaceful Reader March 2, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I tend to only review books I like or would recommend too. Congratualtions on changing it up!

  • Reply melissasmeanderings March 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I'm a new reader so I won't really be missing anything…but I think it makes perfect sense. let people form their own conclusions based on the some total of your comments regarding a book..not an arbitrary numbering system.

  • Reply Packrat March 3, 2011 at 1:39 am

    I'm with Ashley, but I'll live. lol

  • Reply Chrissie March 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I love reading your book reviews – as long as you keep writing them, I say do what makes you happy!

  • Reply Anonymous March 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Nooooooooo! Please keep the numbers. What if you just make them really, really small for some of us who have to have them. I go by your rating as an overall. If it's a 9 then I for sure put it on hold at my library. If it's an 8, then I read about it and if it seems interesting to me, then I check it out as well. Usually your sevens and below won't interest me. I guess I'm in the minority, but had to state my opinion. I'm a teacher and I check your blog everyday at lunch. Thanks!

  • Reply Terri B. March 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I agree with you about not assigning rating numbers. I rarely do this anymore on my blog (I was random about it in the first place) and prefer to just include any comments I might have about the positives, negatives, and recommendations in the review. Books and reading and enjoyment (or lack thereof) don't really lend themselves to number ratings (imho).

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