How Do I Rate Books That I’ve Read? My Rating Scale

Since I’ve started reviewing books more on my blog, I thought I would share how I determine what to rate books. Of course, sometimes my rating of books changes over time as my opinions change but generally, they stick to these ratings. I normally rate books out of 5 stars and a 3-star rating is a positive review. I know not everyone uses this same scale, but this is how I generally go about the rating.

I do add 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 to the end of the star rating if I feel it’s somewhere in between the ratings. But not enough to push it to that next level. For instance, a book I seriously enjoyed but didn’t pull an all-nighter over and could wait until the next day to finish would get a 3.5 or 3.75 rating instead of a four-star rating depending on the other elements regarding the book.

Things I consider when coming up with my rating:

  • My expectations of the book or author based off previous recommendations.
  • The writing style of the book (how perspective is handled, how things are described, or how background information is presented and how that affects the pacing of the book).
  • How unique the concept of the story is, or how the author handles a certain trope.
  • The predictability of the plot.
  • The memorability of the plot and characters.
  • How emotional I got while reading the book.
  • Character development and relationships.
  • How long it takes me to get through it (do I struggle to keep reading or can’t put the book aside).
  • Length of book. Were all the pages justified? Could things be removed to shorten a book or could more have been included? I generally like longer books, but not everything needs to 500+ pages if it doesn’t need to be. And some ~300 page books I would’ve loved to see more from to round out a tale.

☆ Wasn’t For Me

These are typically books I never end up finishing, or could not stand at all for some reason. Either I found it offensive, the style of writing wasn’t for me or I couldn’t get into the plot/characters. These are books I normally don’t mention on my blog, since I never even finished them. So, there’s no point in discussing the book.

☆☆ It Was So/So

There were elements of the book that I enjoyed, but it took a lot for me to get through the book. The characters, places, or events were dull or forgettable. Possibly ended up skimming through sections of the book, or didn’t care what was happening at any given point of time while reading it.

While I may have finished the book, I would not recommend it. Or I found the book just wasn’t for me, but may be for someone else. So, I’ll bring it up stating those reasons.

☆☆☆ I Enjoyed It

As I mentioned in the beginning, these books I would recommend as I thoroughly enjoyed them. There may have been elements that I didn’t like, but could get past while reading the book. The subject of the book was something that I was into, and the characters were interesting to read about. These books don’t take me forever to finish, but I’m easily able to set them aside to do other things or take breaks while reading the book.

Or books that also have editing errors typically end up in this rating even if I couldn’t put the book down. Though sometimes these can end up pushing their way up further depending on the error as some of my favorite books do have errors in them. It just depends on how jarring it was overall.

☆☆☆☆ I Can’t Put This Down

If I find a book where I literally can’t do anything else but read this book, it falls into this category. Especially if I’m staying up until 2 AM to read. The plot, characters, and writing style are something that I would find myself talking about with anyone I know. While I couldn’t put the book down, there may be elements that I think could’ve been handled better (LGBTQ+ representation, diversity, etc.).

I’m probably going on Tumblr at some point to look up fanart, memes, or other things relating to books that fall into this range.

☆☆☆☆☆ I’m Obsessed!

To get to the top tier, this book has to blow me away. Hitting that four-star status of me not wanting to put the book down and having nothing I can think could’ve been done better. These books I come back to time and time again, and usually, after finishing these books I’m in a book slump for a week or so, or unable to get past the story to even consider reading something else.

These are also stories that stay with me for a long time. But it’s very rare for me to use this rating.

How do you rate books you’ve read?

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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  1. August 13, 2020 / 10:37 AM

    Great post, Mae! It is a very neat rating system 😉

    • Mae Polzine
      August 13, 2020 / 10:51 AM

      Thank you! 😊
      ♥ Mae

  2. Brooke Carrington
    August 14, 2020 / 1:09 PM

    Nice scale! Three stars for me means I found it okay. Its a good book but just not for me and I would recommend it to people who like that genre or specific thing. I agree with you that 5 stars has to blow me away. I don’t give out many stars. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mae Polzine
      August 14, 2020 / 1:11 PM

      Thank you. And fair enough that’s where I normally end up going with the decimal points, because it just doesn’t fit the base level but doesn’t quite meet my requirements of the next star level.
      ♥ Mae

  3. August 14, 2020 / 5:01 PM

    This was really interesting to read Mae. For me, 3 stars is a book that I liked but wasn’t amazing or a book I think I’ll remember or talk about again. Although I might recommend it to someone that I think would like it even if I didn’t that much. I use decimal points too, sometimes a book just lies somewhere in between. Thanks for sharing your rating, and reasons behind them!

    • Mae Polzine
      August 14, 2020 / 5:02 PM

      Of course! I figured since I’m doing more reviews now on my blog, I would share how I came up with the rating.
      ♥ Mae

  4. August 14, 2020 / 7:01 PM

    Great post Mae! I think every reader has its own rating system and this scale is great. I use a scale out of 5 and use decimal points and sometimes round up if I see fit.

    • Mae Polzine
      August 14, 2020 / 8:13 PM

      Yeah, everyone has their own rating system and it’s interesting to learn how they go about rating books.
      ♥ Mae

  5. Ellie Rayner
    August 15, 2020 / 2:59 PM

    Great post! I rate the books I read similarly to you and I’ve actually just come up with a new rating system! 😊

    • Mae Polzine
      August 15, 2020 / 3:06 PM

      Thank you!
      ♥ Mae

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