Book Ratings…Do they matter?

Posted March 2, 2018 by Michelle in discussion posts / 24 Comments

I recently took a trip to Barnes and Noble, on a whim, with no set amount of books in mind to purchase.

Dangerous I know!

But I just wanted to look and see what is currently out and what I might have missed because honestly I don’t know how some of you do it but I can’t keep up with all the new/current books. I try but a few sometimes slip past me without notice.

I happened to be looking over the books in the YA fantasy section and picked up one, apologies for not remembering which one it was, I looked at so many. I scanned the back of the book with my Goodreads app and the rating came up at 3.45. Thinking it wasn’t a good read, I put it back, I did this for a little bit when I finally put my phone back in my pocket and said I need to ignore the ratings. Just because a book wasn’t liked by some doesn’t mean I wont like it…right?

That got me thinking about ratings.

Mine used to be 3.5, anything below that I would skip but again I felt like that’s not fair, don’t books deserve a chance from anyone. Even when the rating is super low. I noticed this happens a lot with hyped books, it’s hard to really tell a rating before the book has been out for a bit because I honestly think some ratings aren’t honest because the book is popular or you get some trolls that go on goodreads and rate popular books one star.

So I am not sure I honestly trust the rating anymore for books that I might enjoy. For example, And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich has a rating of 3.55, but I LOVED it and actually gave it 5 stars. However, Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer has a rating of 3.4 and I actually DNF’d it. I thought it was interesting but a little too slow for me. So in that case the rating reflected how I felt about the book but I honestly will never know unless I try it.

So I ask you….

What is your do not read number? Do you have one? Or do you like me no longer or never did trust the number rating?

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a great day and Happy Reading!


About Michelle

I am a mom to two pretty amazing kids, four pretty cute fluffy children and a wife to one adorable husband. I am a gamer, reader and a graphic designer with 20 years experience. I recently started my own business "Limabean Designs" to help other bloggers, authors and anyone else create amazing things that they would be proud to show off. I have been reading since forever and started blogging because I love sharing all the awesome books this world has to offer. I am also the co-host for the COYER Challenge, Reading Assignment Challenge and the Bookish Resolutions Challenge. I try to create a warm welcoming environment on my blog where authors, readers, and bloggers will have a great time. Let’s chat books, games, blogging, recipes, design, or family over a cup of coffee and a glass of wine!



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24 responses to “Book Ratings…Do they matter?

  1. I don’t necessarily look at the number, Michelle, because I’ve picked up a few books that readers FLOVED and I sooo didn’t. I do like to read reviews though…especially if some of my friends have read the book. But I also look at a sampling of higher rating and lower rating reviews to see what people have to say. Those that have given a low rating because there’s a cliffhanger…or a love triangle…things like that? They don’t bother me so I’m going to disregard those low ratings. I pay attention to character development comments or editing comments. HOWEVER, sometimes I just wanna read a book because it sounds good to me. Sometimes I miss the days before Goodreads when I went to the bookstore and just picked a book without taking into consideration what other people think. Great topic for discussion!

    • YES! That was my point! I don’t know why I got so concerned with rating. I miss going to the bookstore and grabbing what I liked best and it sort of just hit me, like, why am I doing this. Lol i do look at a lot of other factors but not sure why when I am just looking around I was so focused on that number.

  2. Vee

    I look at the top reviews on Goodreads, rather than the overall rating. If the top three most popular reviews are all under 3, it’s likely to be a pretty terrible book. But if they’re 4 and over, I’ll add it to my TBR. If it’s 3 I just guess based on the plot. XD

    Vee @ Under The Mountain

    Vee recently posted:
  3. This is so interesting to read since this is a very different approach that I’ve never really considered! I don’t really pay too much attention to average GR reading — I don’t know all those people rating the book or their reading tastes/preferences. I don’t think there is a way to be objective in ratings — they have to be subjective, so who is rating the book matters. I am much more interested in what ratings the people I friend/follow on GR gave a book because I know the people I’ve connected with better and have at least an idea of their reading tastes. Sometimes a really low rating on a book from a random user might make me MORE likely to read a book bc I sometimes their complaints are not things that bother me! Though on occasion if I need to cull my shelves, I might look at more general ratings just to help give me the push to send some more books out of my house 🙂

  4. I’ve never paid much attention to the overall rating. I mean, if it has hundreds of reviews and the rating is 2 stars or something, then I probably would. If the book only had a few ratings though, I’d cut it some slack though and still check out the reviews. For the most part, I pay attention to *reviews*, not *ratings*, because everyone likes different things. It’s all subjective. I’ve hated books that are super popular with high overall ratings, and I’m sure I’ve loved some with medium ratings!

    • YA know, I actually stopped reading reviews. Like I visit bloggers reviews but sometimes more for books I don’t want to read. For the books I want to read I don’t read the review I still don’t get why I always looked at the rating. It never occurred to me I was doing that until that day.

      Michelle recently posted: My To-Be Read List ~ Lets Vote ~
  5. Ali

    I don’t have a do not read number, I go by the feeling I get when I read the back cover synopsis. If it sounds like something I will like I read it, even if I end up not liking it, I at least tried it. Not every book is for every person. So maybe some people hated it but I might actually enjoy it, that’s my take on ratings.

    • I honestly don’t know why I was doing that but usually I read the synopsis and then would read reviews from friends to determine if I wanted to read the book. I don’t know I never noticed I was doing that until that day.

      Michelle recently posted: My To-Be Read List ~ Lets Vote ~
  6. I tend to go by the cover and blurb. I don’t really care about the ratings because everyone’s tastes are different.

  7. A lot of times I don’t pay attention to the goodreads rating till after I have decided I am not liking it then I go and see what others are saying…lol. It’s easy to eye a rating and think oh no, but this year has taught me that I don’t like what others do since two hyped books I have hated…lol. So I can’t go on book ratings.

    Stormi Johnson recently posted: Friday Meme’s ~ Six Feet Under
  8. I never look at ratings honestly, or very rarely. It’s more a matter o f do I want to read it. I will though read reviews if I recognize the blogger/ reviewer, and that will help me decide, but I guess I look more at the review and not so much at the rating? IDK.

    Greg recently posted: Bookcover Spotlight #143
  9. For me it’s not about the number, it’s what people are actually SAYING about a book that matter and often times I don’t look at that until I’m well into a book and either a) I don’t like it or b) I can’t get into it. I use other people’s reviews as a reason to abandon a book. Sometimes when I read I feel like “I must be the only person in the world who doesn’t like this book” but then I read reviews on GoodReads or Amazon and find out I’m not alone!

    • I tend to stick with the reviews that are below 5 unless they are friends, I have been having trust issues with some and the 5 star reviews. I sometimes thing when it’s a arc of a popular author they tend to favorite it more, i think to get more books.

      Michelle recently posted: Book Ratings...Do they matter?
  10. I do often look up a book on Goodreads, but don’t look to the average rating as often or when I do it doesn’t play as much of a role in my decision. Although when the rating is very low or very high it does make me wonder why. And if a book has a very low average rating it can make me a bit more hesitant to pick it up. But it all depends on the book, I look at other things like the blurb, cover and reviews more. I usually reads some reviews and see if they mention points I like or don’t. And as you said I have read books that people don’t seem to like and I do and other books with high ratings that aren’t for me. It’s so subjective. And Melanie makes a good point too with how sometimes 1 star reviews can make you more enthusiastic. I recently had a book were the only few negative reviews said the romance was too slow burn, I love a good slow burn romance, so that made me more enthusiastic about the book, instead of less.That’s also why I think negative reviews can be helpful as well. Not only because they can warn you away form book you won’t enjoy, but they can also make someone more likely to pick up a book.

  11. I use multiple factors but the most important are the reviews by friends on Goodreads. If there aren’t any, I’ll look at the community reviews, reading the high and low rated ones. By that time, I feel like I’ve gotten a good sense of whether I’ll enjoy it or not. It’s just too hard for me to just go by an average rating, especially knowing how distorted they can be (people assigning ratings that haven’t read the book, etc.).

    • I always read the lower rating reviews to and the 3 star, I just have a hard time with the 5 stars unless they are people I know.
      I totally agree, the ratings are done sometimes the book comes out.

    • I totally agree and I am sad that I had started this habit. I am determined to break it! 🙂 lol I did pick up 3 books that trip without looking at goodreads so I am making progress! 🙂
      I do believe the rating system works more with products than books.

      Michelle recently posted: Book Ratings...Do they matter?
  12. I’ve actually picked up books based on a one star rating. I can give you an example. The first was Menagerie by Rachel Vincent. Now, I’ve been a Vincent fan for years. I’ve read and enjoyed all of her adult series (I haven’t tried her YA stuff yet, but I do plan on it one day). I saw that several people were rating it as 1 star, DNF. They said it was way too dark. That just perked me up more. I love dark reads, and I gave it 4.5 stars. I think in this case, it was some of her YA readers trying her adult stuff and getting taken aback by how dark the series was. Something that is wrong for one person, might be perfect for another. I usually just look at ratings from people I know and trust. I know their likes and dislikes, so I can judge if it is something that I will like as well.

    • That is how I am starting to feel now. I am not sure why I originally started doing that but now I plan to read those that I trust most and if they didn’t read the book then let me be the first to review it even if the rating is low. I figure, that way when my friends try it, they can see my rating. I am so amazed at how much we all differ in what we enjoy and what we don’t enjoy. What is good for some, might not be liked by others. Thanks for commenting, Melanie! 🙂

      Michelle recently posted: Book Ratings...Do they matter?