The Bloggers in the Attic is a bi-monthly discussion chain created by Camilla @ Reader in the Attic where a group bloggers take turns discussing a chosen topic throughout a month. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, be sure to contact Camilla to join!
This month, the discussion theme is ratings and the importance of them. This has seriously got me thinking of my use of ratings.
Rating system, a discussion. Is it still important, what do we think about it, how does it work for us, what can be improved?
Why do we use ratings when we review books, or anything for that matter? Turns out, it varies from person to person, reviewer to reviewer.
As in terms for book reviewing, ratings are fairly common for everyone who reviews books, myself included. It can be a habit, especially when you see it almost everyday looking at reviews and book sites. They never hide, they are always there.
I admit myself that even I use ratings with every single review I do. When I am typing up my reviews, the first thing I do is put down my rating. Here’s the thing; I don’t even think about it. I just do it. A number just appears on the screen and it stays there. It really got me thinking if there’s any real importance of having ratings along with a review.
Perhaps some readers understand ratings more than reviews. Ratings can be a good way of going through reviews. If someone only wanted to read good reviews of any book, they can focus only on 4 and/or 5 starred reviews. It’s also a great way to summarize the average ratings of anything as well. Where reviews can give lengthy details, ratings give a quick, short summary of any item (without words).
When I look into ratings, I try to make sure it reflects my opinions I put into my reviews. My definitions of each rating differs from the definitions GoodReads gives you. For example, 5 Stars is “it was amazing” while I have “this book was beyond amazing and I loved it. Most likely a favorite. I would also highly recommend it.” While there are similarities, there are also differences. I feel like this is the reason why it varies between person to person. Everyone has their own opinions on what ratings means that reflect their opinions. (So opinions on opinions I guess?)
If there was a way to improve ratings, I would definitely like to know it. I am so used to putting ratings on top of my reviews, I would feel like something would be missing if I ever got rid of it. I like how it can give readers an idea on what type of review they are about to read. It’s a way to see which way it is going to go. If I got rid of ratings, it would be like some sort of mystery before the review. I like to have some sort of idea before reading the reviews.
Perhaps instead of putting in ratings, there can be levels of recommendations. It would be between “Avoid at All Costs” to “I’m Throwing This Book At You Because You Should Read It” or whatever you set it to be. Also GoodReads could put in half star ratings. I have been wanting that ever since I joined back in 2012. I believe it would be so much more helpful with reviews.
Enough with my ramblings before I make it more confusing. Did you get it all? I hope so. I felt like I could keep on going but I needed to stop before it got to much. Anyhow, if you would like to see the rest of the chain, check it out right here!
April 1 – Camilla @ Reader Attic [announcement/intro only]
April 3 – Clo @ Book Dragons
April 5 – The Unseen Librarian
April 8 – Lauren @ Northern Plunder
April 12 – Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites
April 15 – Ben @ Books With Ben
April 18 – Nora Eliana @ Papertea and Bookflowers
April 20 – Kerys @ The Everlasting Library
April 22 – Me!
April 25 – Kal @ Reader Voracious
April 27 – Dany @ Ambivert Words
April 29 – Rain @ Bookdragonism
You can follow the discussion on Twitter with the general hastag #DiscussionAttic and the specific month one of #DAApril.
What do you think of ratings? What are you thoughts? Could anything be improved or used differently?
Remember, if you wish to join Bloggers in the Attic, be sure to contact Camilla!
Thanks for Reading and Have a Great Day!