What Is The Value Of A Star Nowadays | Ratings Over The Years

Monday, June 6, 2016

Paper Bindings - What Is The Value Of A Star Nowadays | Ratings Over The Years

When I first started reading, and later blogging, I was very much that proverbial kid in a candy store.

  • I accepted every review request that came my way.
  • I downloaded every single free ebook that was in a genre I read.
  • I cover shopped at the library like a boss.
  • I became best friends with the B&N sales lady who kindly asked this crazy lady (*cries*) if she needed a basket for her precariously balanced hoard as she wobbled to the check out.

If there was a remote possibility I would like it, I got it.

By that point in my life, I'd only read school books and whatever books I read as a young child. This was prior to making friends on Goodreads and Twitter, and finding blogs with similar tastes to follow. So I had no standards, no reading history, and no word of mouth to fall back up.

My reading was all over the place.

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All the stats:


No Rating/DNF0

Total Read: 262
Average Rating: 3.21
Number DNF: 0

If I got it, I read it. It was impossible for me to put a book down. 

Also, I was a little more generous with my ratings than I would be now. Looking back, most of those 3 star ratings would be a 1 or 2 star rating now. And a lot of those 4 stars would be downgraded to 3 or 3.5 stars. And so on...


No Rating/DNF: 25

Total Read: 383
Average Rating: 2.92
Number DNF: 23

I started allowing myself to put down books that did not capture my interest from the start. However, I read a lot of books that I should have DNF just because I was "curious" about something in them. And I continued to give into the peer pressure of others in regards to the books I read.


No Rating/DNF12

Total Read: 248
Average Rating: 3.63
Number DNF: 11

Somewhere prior to the start of 2014, I made a decision to start culling my TBR. This has really helped me focus on books I might enjoy more and my lower rated books started to decrease.


No Rating/DNF: 22

Total Read: 208
Average Rating: 3.23
Number DNF: 32

2015 became the year of 'I don't care anymore.' I started focusing less on what other people wanted from me and more on what I wanted from myself. I still have a long way to go, judging by the numbers, but I'm getting there at my own pace. Ideally I don't want to see any low numbers, because I want to be a better judge about what books I put in my hands prior to buying them.


No Rating/DNF: 13

Total Read: (as of June 1st, 2016) 81
Average Rating: 3.36
Number DNF: 11

2016 is the year of changes:
  • I've abandoned all my freebie ebooks. 
  • I've abandoned taking Indie requests for books I don't want to read. 
  • I've gotten more picky about requesting books. 
  • I've focused on my owned pile of unread books.
And I've never been happier.

Slowly my average rating is going up and the number of books I'm unhappy with is going down. But I'm not focusing on the numbers as I go along.

Instead I'm focusing on reading what I want to read. It sounds like such a simple concept. But I think as book bloggers, we forget it a lot of the time, and get caught up in the hype of big names and thrill of getting books.

RELATED : RockMyTBR Challenge | RockMyTBR Challenge Update One

What Is The Value Of A Star?

When I First Started Blogging My Rating System Was Different

DNFs: Were rare. I mean, who did not finish a book?
: Eh.
: I didn't hate it, but it wasn't average.
: Everything in the middle.
: If I enjoyed it, it got four stars.
: If I loved it, it got five stars.

I've learned a lot about myself, my tastes, and the things I cannot forgive in books since 2012. 
  • I may have have enjoyed a book that was largely telling then, but I won't read it now. 
  • I have triggers in books that set me off and I don't feel bad putting them down anymore. 
  • If my mind wonders, the book is gone.
  • I don't need to read all the hyped books.
  • Saying "no" is easier than I thought.

But the changes are not all about "bad" books.
  • I would never have bought a contemporary book based upon a friend's recommendation then, but now I hope to collect all of Sarah Dessen's books because someone convinced me to read Just Listen.
  • I have more time to read the books I want to read.
  • Reading is less of a stressful chore and more of the relaxing (except for when bad shit happens to my favorites) experience it is meant to be.
  • My blog is not loaded down with half ass reviews of books no one wants to read.

Now my rating system means more to me

DNFs: It is 10000000% okay for me to put down a book. The book could be bad, atrocious garbage (not that I have read any that fall in this category) or it could just be a book that is not for me (which happens a lot and it is fine to admit that allowed.)

: "Eh" still just about covers this. But it encompasses more now because I'm not lumping in books I wished I DNF into here. There was something about this book that dragged it downwards, but it had enough redeeming qualities to keep me reading.

: A step above 1 star. Somewhere between two stars and three stars is where my "average" rated books seem to fall. Two stars are the ones on the lower side, while three stars are higher, and slightly above average rating.

: *see two stars* These are the books I enjoyed. I don't regret reading this books. I learned something. I was entertained. I would read more by this author. These are the series I will be continuing. Most of these books would be previously rated as four star reads.

: I really liked this book. Most of these books would have previously been rated five stars. These books are a step above the rest. They are the ones which have earned their places on my shelves.

: Five stars are rare now. But when I rate a book 5 stars now, it means something to me. We've connected on a meaningful level. It was an excellent way to pass the time. The book was so well written/full of fantastic characters/had a great plot/etc. The book has rereading potential. Whatever the case may be.

Has the way you rate a book changed over the years? Do you ever go back and rerate a book?


  1. Over the past few months, I have noticed that I had rated books higher in the past than I would now. I tend to feel guilty for DNF-ing a book, so I'm still in the process of working on that. Overall, I'm pretty good at only requesting/accepting books that I genuinely have an interest. Really interesting post!

    1. I've always wondered if I was alone in rating books lower now. I wonder if we somehow become jaded and less willing to tolerate things the more books we read. I hope you can become better at DNFing books. It is certainly freeing to accept that you cannot read everything and not every book is made for you to enjoy.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  2. It's so interesting to look at your ratings over the years and analyze the patterns. I think I'm a lot like you - I rate a bit harder now than I did when I first started blogging in 2013, but I'm much better at picking quality books!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Maybe that is really the key to it all, the books we pick out. I've certainly have gotten better about judging books from covers and blurbs together to find ones I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy. It probably helps that due to space and all, I can no longer buy every book that calls out to me. I'd be very curious if all got together and did a study to see at what point we all started to change out tastes and standards.

      Thank you for stopping by.

  3. I can definitely relate to the agreeing-to-everything when you first start. I did the same thing. Now I'm much pickier about everything: books I request, blog tours, etc. I still sort of worry about content, but I would rather have a week of nothing than 1-2 posts of crap.

    As for the book ratings, I recently started a feature on the blog called Reading Rewind and I go back to YA books I read when I first started reading YA. It's interesting to see if I still love them now that I've gotten pickier.

    This is an interesting topic, thanks for sharing it.

    1. "I would rather have a week of nothing than 1-2 posts of crap." I think this is one of the greatest pieces of advice a blogger can give and the hardest lesson for us to come to terms with.

      Your Reading Rewind features sounds fun, I'll have to check out the posts.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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