Happy Friday, readers, and welcome to my 600th blog post!!
Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Today is a choose your own adventure day, so I’m doing one of the old prompts from before I started writing the Let’s Talk Bookish posts on my blog. The prompt I’ve chosen is Is 3 stars a good rating?
A lot of reviewers think 3 stars marks a book as bad; do you?
Book ratings are highly subjective and it depends a lot on the reader’s taste. For example, when I read books of genres I’m not accustomed to or generally dislike, my rating tends to be on the lower end. I also have certain pet peeves when it comes to certain tropes, especially in contemporary or fantasy novels which automatically reduce my rating. Basically, personal preferences play a major role in how a reader rates a book, so a rating often does not tell the whole story. A 3 star is on the poorer side for me, but could be an excellent read for someone else.
What makes you personally rate a book 3 stars?
I’m a rather stingy rater, but only towards the higher end. Most of my ratings are 4s and 3.5s. 3 stars is a rating I give out when I am able to finish the book, but it was either pretty mediocre or some or the other aspect of it didn’t sit right with me.
Do you hesitate to pick up books that seem to get a lot of 3 star ratings?
Goodreads has been my main source for finding new books to read for over a decade, and while I now use other sources like book blogs and Twitter, I still go back to Goodreads when I can’t decide. That said, the site does have its downsides, such as allowing reviews and ratings well before the book has been published, no half star ratings and so on. So I take the ratings with a pinch of salt – a general rule I use is to ignore Goodreads ratings for a book unless it has been out for more than 6 months, which is ample time for a decent number of genuine ratings to come in and for the two extremes to balance themselves out. Anything newer than that, I don’t use the rating to decide and instead rely on other methods like reviews from trusted bloggers. When I do look at ratings though, I’m generally very hesitant to pick up any book rated lower than a 3.8 star average and anything below a 3.5 is a definite no.
Do you think a 3 star rating is good, bad or neither?
I would say neither, because it depends on perspective of the reader. On my blog, a 3 star rating is not favorable and I’m unlikely to recommend any book with this rating unless it’s a serious case of ‘it’s me, not the book’. On the other hand, I’ve seen reviewers who are even more exclusive with their ratings and consider 3 stars to be very good. The bottom line is that a rating is meaningless without knowing the scale the reader or reviewer uses.
Do you think 3 stars is a bad rating for a book? Share your thoughts in the comments below!