Here is my reply to her question....
- Great discussion. I also use Goodreads as a guidline, but also use half stars. To me, a 1 is a dislike and I shouldn't have wasted my time with it. A 5 means is is among the best books I've ever read and I will be thinking about it for a long time.
- In between is a 2, which means is was just barely ok, but probably had a lot of flaws that kept me from really liking it. But also not a total waste.
- A 3 to me is a pretty 'average' book. I liked it fine and don't regret reading it, but it is not a book that impacts me or I will be thinking about, and possible not even remember, a month from now.
- A 4 means I really liked it, I'm glad I read it and will recommend it to others, but it falls short of being one of my best books ever.
- I also do half stars, usually for books that fall just short of the next star. For example, I often give 3-1/2 stars to books that I think are a bit above average; I enjoyed them but would not recommend bumping other books of your pile to get to this one. Does that make sense?
I have noticed that I often change my rating as time passes. For example, I may initially give a book a 3, but after discussing it at bookclub, or writing the actual review, I realize that there was more substance to it, more to think about, than I initially gave it credit for. And after time passes and I think back to it, it is a more memorable book than I realized. I may raise it a half star or more.
One thing this discussion has made me realize is that I need to think about my ratings system and really spell it out, both for you, the reader of my blog, and for me. I need to be a bit more consistent when I rate a book so that when I give a rating it always means the same thing. And I need to make that easy to refer to, as in, I need to have it visible on this blog.
So look for it. I want to spend a little time thinking about it and defining my terms, but I hope soon to revisit this, and to have a well defined rating system in place soon!
What do you think? What is your system for rating books?