To me, three stars has always felt like a solid rating. I know not every reader and reviewer sees it that way, but I feel like it says a book was good, but not great – and definitely nowhere near that amazing five stars. But lately I began to realise something. Even to me, three stars is not always good.
I figured out that it really depends on the circumstances:
- If I am really not expecting to enjoy the book, but it’s better than I thought, then three stars is a good solid rating.
- If I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I thought I would or it was a bit of a disappointment but not AWFUL, then three stars is a middling rating.
- If I have no particular expectations of the book, then three stars tends to be good, just good.
This sort of thing makes me wonder if my rating system is all screwed up. There are some three star books that I prefer to others, some that I wish I’d rated lower – and I have actually adjusted a few ratings lately, but that was moving a few two star books down to one, as I felt too mean to do it before. I’m wondering whether to bring half stars into the mix, which I’ve never done before, mostly because you couldn’t actually reward them on Goodreads so when I started blogging I just stuck to their system.
I suppose to understand whether that particular three star rating is a good one or not, you would have to actually read my review and see whether I said I was surprised or not. But this has really gotten me wondering whether I should modify some of those books that I don’t really think deserve three stars, on further reflection.