Discussion: Are star ratings always necessary?

Discussion time! Last time we talked about 1/2 star ratings and whether or not they are a good idea. Today, I have a completely different idea to think about in regard to rating books.

Should we have star ratings?

Let me explain.

I like to include a rating as part of my reviews, as it is a concrete way to define how much I liked a book. Also, it allows readers to have a clear understanding of how I felt about a book.

However, I feel that ratings sometimes get in the way of the actual review. When I write a review, I put a lot of myself into it: the writing of the review, the editing, the adjusting, etc. I want to share thoughtful reviews with my readers.

The reason I bring up this topic today is because I want the reviews I write to stand on their own, and let the words I write resonate with others. By adding a rating, I feel that it can sometimes take away from the review you worked so hard to write thoughtfully.

What’s your opinion? Are ratings a must? Or should you let the review speak for itself?

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11 thoughts on “Discussion: Are star ratings always necessary?

  1. I’ll add stars when I post to amazon and Goodreads, but am okay leaving them off the blog. I think they’re helpful for sure, but for me, I prefer to leave them off my actual review. Maybe one day I’ll add them… 🙂

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    1. Hello, friend! I’ve noticed you don’t use ratings on your blog, which is partially what got me thinking about this topic 🙂 And, I always know I can check Goodreads to find out your book ratings. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I’m lazy, so I like seeing a rating at the end just to sum it all up for me. It doesn’t have to be stars though… it can be a letter grade, a simple “Love it! Liked it! It was OK! Didn’t like it!” or something you come up with on your own.

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  3. I’m with Jamie, I think star ratings are good for sites like Amazon or Goodreads, but I personally don’t include them on my blog. I think they could be distracting for readers and take away from my writing and perspective, as you say. For sites like Amazon, though, I like to see stares for an “average” rating when I’m browsing books.

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    1. Courtney, thanks for your input. I, too, like to look at Goodreads for book ratings- it’s good to see what the overall response to a certain book has been, whether good or bad. Even though I use ratings on my blog, I have seen blogs that don’t use a rating system, and I think either way works.

      I think I will probably still use ratings on my blog (most of the time), but I am thinking about changing it. Something other than stars… we shall see. 🙂

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      1. Yes, I’ve noticed other special rating systems other bloggers use, too! I really like Amber’s at Seasons of Humility. It would be fun to incorporate a unique system – that was you don’t have to worry about stars!

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