There is nothing more disappointing than reading the last line of a book and thinking, “Well, that was a waste of time.”
When I think about my life in quantities of time, there’s really too little of it. I spend so much time doing things I have to do, that when I do something I want to do, I don’t want to feel like my time is wasted.
Wasted on soft plots. Wasted on unredemptive characters. Wasted on authors who clearly need to be psycho-analyzed. Wasted on filth for the sake of shock value or lack of creativity on the author’s part.
I don’t like to waste time on anything, especially on a bad story. Especially on a bad story that everyone else loves and it’s an international bestseller but when I read it I feel jipped—jipped of a good story and of the hours of my life I’ve wasted on a stinker of a book.
Maybe it’s me, but there are very few bestsellers that I’d give a stellar, 5 star review.
Goodreads is the greatest website ever invented. Period. It tracks the books I’ve read, the ones I want to read, and the ones I’m reading—without that site I would forget about so many wonderful books I want to spend time on. And I love that I can rate the books and leave reviews when I’m done reading.
What did we do before Goodreads? I mean, really? 🙂 I haven’t been able to add all of the books I’ve ever read to it, well, because I don’t remember them all, but if you’re interested in connecting with me on the site, look me up or click on the Goodreads link on the bottom right of this page.
A good review helps authors, so I’m always willing to leave a positive, honest review. I’m not afraid to leave a not-so-hot review, either, when I feel it is necessary, but I don’t leave “this was horrible” reviews just to be mean. If I really disliked a book, I usually won’t leave a review at all. That whole “if you don’t have something nice to say” thing…
Some authors get a little touchy about a review that isn’t a 5-star, but I rarely leave a 5-star review. An honest review rarely calls for 5 stars, and a 4-star review, even a 3-star, can be very, very positive. I can love a book and not give it 5 stars.
When you read a book, how do you rate it? What’s your rating scale? How do you distinguish a five star book from a four? A two from a one?
Here’s my book-rating scale:
One Star—I didn’t like it at all. I probably didn’t finish reading it, most likely because the story was too disjointed (or just boring) or the filth was over-the-top.
Two Stars—I couldn’t connect. I didn’t love it and I probably won’t read any of the author’s other books. It was a struggle to finish the book, but I did finish.
Three Stars—I liked it. It held my interest with a decent plot and interesting characters and maybe even intrigued me a time or two. I will probably read the author’s other books and look forward to doing so.
Four Stars—I really enjoyed it. It was a good story with compelling characters, intriguing plot, and well-written prose. It gripped me and kept me turning pages. It kept me involved long after the story was over. I want to support this author by reading his or her other books.
Five Stars—I loved it. Something about the story or the characters moved me enough to add this book to my “read it again” list. This book sticks with me and I can’t let the story go. I will definitely read the author’s other books and will sing this book’s praises from the mountaintops.
So to make my 5 Star list, I have to want to read the book again. Maybe a couple more times. And I don’t always need a happy ending!
Writing, like any form of art, is subjective. You are going to dislike a book I love, and visa versa.
A good story connects us with humanity in the most basic way—a need to engage emotionally. Anger, fear, love, hatred, happiness, satisfaction…the mark of a good story is an emotion that is evoked; an emotion that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last line. [Click to tweet]
Share with me:What is your book rating scale? What does a book need to have to earn 5 stars from you? How about one star?