Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Star System on Goodreads…And Why I Sometimes Catch Flak

Have you joined Goodreads? Love keeping track of all the books you’ve read and posting reviews? Learn about what to read next based on what your friends are reading?

I’ve been on Goodreads a while and love it as a means of keeping track of all I’ve read. However, I catch some flak sometimes because of the way I apply the star rating system. I understand lots of people like to give books 4 to 5 stars to books they’ve read, but for myself, I rate the “average” book with 3 stars and I only apply 4 to 5 stars for extraordinary books, like the Iliad or LOTR or the Bible. I see it as a matter of personal taste, but I’ve had some authors get angry with me for not giving their book 5 stars, even though I literally only have a dozen books I’ve ever given 5 stars and a few dozen more I’ve ever given four stars.

How do you use the star rating system on Goodreads? Have you ever had an author get displeased with your review of one of their books? How do you balance politeness with honesty?