Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I give 5 Stars to Tuesday Thinger!!

My favorite day of the week, the thing that makes Tuesday better than Saturday, the thing you have been waiting all night, sleepless, to read...yes, via Wendi's Book Corner, Tuesday Thinger!!

Today's question: Do you use a rating system on your blog? How do you feel about using the rating system provided on sites like Library Thing and Amazon? When looking up information on a book you are interested in, do you use the ratings provided by these sites (or similar sites) to help you make the decision on purchasing the book?

No, I don't use a rating system on my blog, which you might have noticed if you read my reviews. If you don't, you really should. Read the reviews that is. Because they take a fair amount of time and thought to write. And personally, I think they are pretty good.

I have considered it, a rating system, maybe some cute little lighthouses or something but....well, it is just so definite. See, I am a bit concerned with grade inflation, or in this case review inflation.
To me, the average should be...average. a C, or in the case of stars, 3. So, an A, or 5 stars would be rare, a B or 4 stars not as uncommon, but not common...3, common, and then 2, fairly rare and hopefully 1, more uncommon but not unknown.
If I actually start to put numbers, I am afraid that I will be tempted to up them a grade or a lighthouse, as it may be. If I keep it vaguer, I can be more honest.

But still I reconsider from time to time. To go with the common five levels, they would go sort of like this...

  • 5. Wow...so good I am considering calling in sick to work to keep reading it, mad at the checkout guy at the supermarket because he is so slow and keeping me from my book, figuring I can do with an hour's less sleep and read just a few more pages and considering stopping people on the street to tell them about this great book I just read. Very sad it is finished.{{sob, sob}} Checking to see if the author wrote anything else and ordering said book at once.

  • 4. Very nice...very nice...all of the above comments but just dialed down to sane levels. Levels not likely to get me fired. Or elicit strange looks from folks.

  • 3. Good. Liked it. Will lend it, with a recommendation, to my sister in law and other borrowers of my books but mentioned it is not a 5..or even a four. They may like it, they may not. Good to kill some extra time but not MAKE time for.

  • 2. Not too great. Real flaws. Shouted at the author several times while reading. Don't really lend it out because this is just so much time in life and so, so many books. Better books.

  • 1. Makes me wish I had a fireplace because then I could throw this book in and the heat it would provide would make cutting down a tree to produce it not totally in vain.

I don't know...it just seems so definite. Shorter, but definite.

That being said, I do use the rating systems on Amazon (don't like it but I use it) and Library Thing (like better). I prefer LT's..as is so often true...because they allow 1/2 stars. After I spend way to much time thinking about how many stars to give, I need those half stars to get it just right.

Of course, I look back on them months later and wonder what I was thinking. LT also allows me to change my rating. Which would earn them another star. If I was giving out stars. Which I am not.

Do I use the ratings of others to make a purchase? Yes...within reason. It is another piece of the puzzle...the puzzle of whether I can balance one more book on the TBR pile. {{WATCH OUT KITTY. It's about to fall!!}} But I would give more weight to someones recommendation, read or spoken, than to stars on a page. That said, a really high rating, 4+, especially from a large number of people, will get my attention.
{{Be careful Kitty! We have another book arriving.
Even imaginary kitties have to be careful}}


  1. I also love the half stars and the ability to change ratings later on LT. LT gets 5 stars!

  2. Those half stars are very useful. I always look to see how many reviews there are before I look at ratings. Much more helpful!

  3. true, I love the half stars, but no matter, if there are just a small number of reviews or the ratings, I don't give them a lot of weight.

  4. What a nice shout-out to Wendi!

    And I love your "if I had a rating system, this is what it would look like" non-rating-system grades. But, why get mad at the check-out guy for keeping you from your book ... bring it with you and read while he bags the groceries!

  5. I like to bag my groceries myself...but I can only bag as fast as he rings up. but I controlled myself. ;-)

  6. I love the idea of a rating system of lighthouses. That is a very cute idea. I wonder if I should do that with cats :)

  7. You are too funny. I don't use a rating system either, for a lot of the same reason as you. I do use it on LT and have looked back and wondered what I was thinking at the time.

  8. Can one be too funny? I think not!
    But I do try, thank you. :-)

  9. You certainly gave me a chuckle! I do appreciate my information all wrapped up in a funny package.

    Thanks you for explaining magnet bookmarks. I'm relieved to learn the US hasn't figured out a way to magnetize paper but not telling the rest of us!

  10. Oh no!! Now the cat is out of the bag!

    It was a huge, secret American plot but now we will just have to forget it. Darn.

    Instead, I am going to work on those tiny lighthouses for my rating system.

  11. I'll plead ignorance in regards to Library Thing. Never heard of it. I do use the ratings on Amazon, obviously (there's not much of a choice), and I agree that it's frustrating that you can't amend the rating (though it makes sense... they presume that if you think a rating has changed with time, your content will probably change too), but I still use it. Actually, I go crazy with it. Five physical stars if I actively recommend it (with 4.5 meaning it's not amazing, but still good), four if it's okay but flawed (3.5 means it's bordering not-worth-it), 3 means not worth it, 2 means bad, and 1 means I've encountered few books to rival the sewage that it is. With all manners of fractions in between. Really interesting post. I've never really thought about this...

  12. see...I would suggest that you might be suffering from the Star Inflation! ;-)
    3...in the middle should be...in the middle. Still a recommendation..averagely good. Average. But good. Ok.

    It's the difference opinion on the use of ratings that really makes them pretty useless. Your 4 and my four would not mean anywhere near the same thing.

  13. I also use stars on LT and Amazon, but I actually use them differently in both places. This is because on Amazon there is actually hover text that I try to adhere to to keep things as standardized as possible...and at Amazon, 3 stars is "It was okay" and 4 is "I liked it" (5 is loved). On LT, though, even books I liked get 3 stars, because 2.5 is in the middle!

    But like you I don't rate books I review on my blog. I would be giving a lot of pretty low grades; I feel bad enough at writing so many critical or middling reviews. I would be handing out 2 stars or something and saying, "But really, that's not that bad in the scheme of things!" Grade inflation, sigh.

    I cracked up at your thought of lighthouses though. I'm moving my blog soon (as soon as I come up with a new name...urgh) and a friend is doing a design for me, including maybe coming up with some icons for different types of posts. But nothing for "stars"!

  14. Loved your would-be rating explantation. Too funny! :)

  15. Too funny again? Do I have to dial it back? I think not!! :-)

    I need to good for tiny lighthouses...

  16. Caite ~ How are you and Kitty doing? :) One of these days I should get myself an imaginary pet - much easier to clean up after! I LOVE the title of your post! You always make me smile - and such great information in your post! I love the thought you put into the ratings you posted here. Amazing, but I have on occasion felt that a book would be better off as fire wood - I have actually recycled a few that I found so horribly written or offensive.

    Thanks for making me smile . . . again!

    Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I've got the post up for this week. ~ Wendi

  17. Kitty is always well. Another advantage of the imaginary pet.
    No vet visits.

    And thank you for your kind words. If I can make a reader smile of laugh..well, that is a grand thing!


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