Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reflecting on a Year of Rating Books

It's time to start reflecting on the past year. Since I'll be trying to do a mixture of stepping back from blogging duties, celebrating the holidays, and getting geared up for a great and focused 2010, I figured it's not too early to take stock of what happened in 2009.

One of the big changes for me in 2009 was making the decision to add a rating to my reviews. I was skeptical at first, but in the end I have come to really embrace this decision. I do have to laugh at how much debate bloggers have over this. But I suppose that's a good thing...we're not willing to accept anything without having our passionate reasons for why we do what we do!

What I like about rating books is that it forces me to really think about my level of enjoyment and what I feel I gained from reading the book. Yes, of course the process of writing the review clarifies that for me as well, but making a decision of where it fits in and compares with other books is helpful for me. And I hope it's helpful for you as well.

It's by no means an exact scientific process but it's one I find helpful and it's a process that will carry over into 2010. And I have to admit...I love giving a 5/5! It's like a cherry on top of a sundae! :)

I will be interested to go back and see when I make my top ten list of reads for the year if they are all 5/5. You might think they would be, but sometimes books rated just a little lower end up having more staying power than I think they will originally. How fantastic is it that a book can move in us and live in us long after we've turned the last page!



Lu @ Regular Rumination said...

Lol, I had the same qualms after I had been rating my books. I really like my new system though and I think it's definitely working for me. And that's all that matters! We do take it very seriously though ;)

Diane said...

I can't wait to see your top 10 list for 2009. I've been thinking about mine too. BTW...I love that you decided to rate your books. Yes, it is subjective but I enjoy when bloggers, give you some idea of what they thought.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I started rating this year too. I guess I'm getting used to it, but it still feels a bit arbitrary!

Vasilly said...

I used to rate books but gave it up earlier this year. I thought about bringing ratings back in a different format, but didn't.

Florinda said...

I'm curious to see whether my Books of the Year will be my highest-rated ones too - I'm not sure they will be, actually. Like you said, some of the ones that didn't get as high a rating have stuck a bit more.

Callista said...

I've always rated books and I enjoy it. You are right about later thinking that a book is better or worse than before. Especially ones rated years ago. I always choose my top 10 list from my 5 stars. If there is a 4 or 4 1/2 star rated book that I think deserves to be top 10, I change it's rating to 5 first.

I'm glad you started rating books. I can't believe the year is almost over already!

Amy said...

Lu--exactly! I'm glad it works for you as well.

Diane--thanks for saying so! :) I look forward to seeing yours, too!

Jill--yeah sometimes it really, really is. :)

Vasilly--whatever works for you friend!

Florinda--it's so interesting how that happens!

Callista--I know where did it go?? :)

Sandy Nawrot said...

I started rating my books sometime this year (spring I think) and while I whole-heartedly embrace the idea and always have, I immediately started second-guessing my method. Is five stars too limiting? Maybe I should have used ten stars. Maybe I should have adopted a keep it/take it or leave it/burn it approach. I guess at this point, I am at peace with it. I too, can't wait to sift through all of my reads and see what pops out at the top!

Jenn said...

I rate my reads and there was a point where I thought "wow, everything I read is 5 "ehs" out of 5!" Then it changed. Personally, I would love if they were all 5/5 because then I would only be reading awesome books! I cannot wait to see your top 10 list.

farmlanebooks said...

I love the fact that you are embracing ratings! I find it really useful when bloggers rate books as it is an instant indication of how much they loved it.

I have been looking back at a few of my older ratings and admit that a few need changing slightly after seeing how much I remember them a year on, but that is half the fun!

SuziQoregon said...

I too started posting ratings on my blog this year. I'd had the luxury of 2 years worth of rating that I'd only posted on Goodreads. I used that 2 years worth of ratings to help me define my rating system and post it on my blog.

I think a single rating alone is worthless, because you have to look at them in the context of the rater's trends or experience. That's why I like to see my favorite bloggers post ratings. When I get to know a blogger and how their tastes compare to mine, it makes the ratings they give more meaning. I never decide on a book based on a rating alone, but a rating from someone I've come to know and trust along with thier blog post can most definitely influence whether a book gets added to my TBR list.

Jackie B. said...

I love the fact that you rate your review books. I wish all the bloggers would! I understand that it is only one person's opinion but it is still helpful to me all the same. Keep up the good work! Looking forward to your fave list!

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