Monday 4 July 2011

Goodreads - How do you score?

I'm a fan of Goodreads - you can find me here.

Goodreads is a great place to get exposure for your books by way of competitions and also to find new books to read. Although, it might be an idea to stay away from the Never-Ending Book Quiz because it quite frankly, never ends. So far I've answered 1448 questions (how sad is that). Anyway, this blog post isn't about time wasting quizzes or discovering what an extraordinary guesser you are, it's about how you score books on Goodreads.

I personally follow Goodreads own markers for each star ie

★  didn't like it
★★  it was okay
★★★  liked it
★★★★ really liked it
★★★★★ it was amazing

...seems sensible to me. When I'm considering buying a book, I tend to check the reviews on Goodreads rather than Amazon, first off checking if any of my friends have read it and what they thought, and I'm constantly surprised by potential readers comments to three star reviews (and I'm not talking about anyone who visits here - that I'm aware of :D), alot of folk seem to think a three star review means the book isn't worth picking up. In my world it is. It means I liked it. Sure, I'm not going to rave about the book like I would a book I awarded five stars too, but hell, I'd sure pick up the author's next book or something from their back catalogue.

Actually, I'm likely to pick up another book from an author whose book I only gave 2 stars too because I rarely like everything an author has written ie I gave Stephen King's Desperation ★★★★★ and Dreamcatcher ★.

So, I was curious, how do you score?

And in other news, another fabulous review of Strange Men has appeared online, this time in Morpheus Tales and by Brett Taylor. Here's an extract (you'll can read the full review over at Morpheus Tales - page 9.

So who is Cate Gardner? A dotty eccentric of the English countryside, roaming the garden in search of fairies and magic moths? Or only a clever young lady amusing herself with her flights of fancy? Either way, Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits and Other Curious Things is worth a look. It shows mixing whimsy and the bizarre can be a higher art than just rewriting old classics with zombie jokes.

Did you notice the word young?


none said...

I try to follow the GR system when using GR--how else can the site amass meaningful data? I find the ratings inadequate on occasion, tho.

Cate Gardner said...

Excellent point. Sometimes, I want to award a book a six. Like the last one I read.

Unknown said...

I've been called out on 3 star reviews before, but I'm like you. 3 stars is a passing grade.

And you make a good point about Goodreads over Amazon when checking reviews. I see far less crazy on Goodreads.

As for young, that's fair. Clever? Hmmm. :)

Cate Gardner said...

:O Gef

EC said...

This is a good post on star ratings and I agree with you on 3 star books still being good books. Some one once stopped following my blog because I gave their book 4 stars, which IMO is a darn good book.

I'm thrilled to receive anything 3 and up on GR. 5 stars is for those life-changing reads, and honestly, I never intended my book to be life-changing as much as entertaining.

Cate Gardner said...

Sounds to me that the writer who unfollowed you for a 4 star review is going to have a bumpy career. 4 stars is amazing. I'm with you 3 and up and I'm happy, and 1 or 2 stars and I'm grateful they took a chance on my work.

Deborah Walker said...

I vote for a Miss Marples looki-likee. Avatars can be very misleading. I am, in fact, a middle-aged bloke.

Cate Gardner said...

:O Deborah, I'll have you know I'm more of a Hercule Poirot.

Deborah Walker said...

*hee hee* Now you've got me started. I always think the characterisation in crime fiction really rocks.

I wish I could do it.

I once sat a few rows back from David Suchet in a theatre -- true fact.

Katey said...

I do the same thing you do, Cate. Two stars means I didn't much care for it for some reason, but I'd read another.

A three star rating means I enjoyed the book, just like their system suggests it should. I've shared 3 starred books with my mom if it was her kind of thing.

A four star means I enjoyed it so much I'd buy it for anyone and be very excited. It means above and beyond, and had that special something that got my heart going.

Five stars is classic status. It's A Tale of Two Cities and The Great Gatsby. It's the foundation on which my literary sensibility is built. There are modern books to which I've given 5 stars (in fact, you were in one!), I just mean that I consider them to be absolutely timeless.

I see people popping off 5 star reviews a lot, and I find it a bit silly. Cheapens the system... but yeah. Way more reliable than Amazon, right?

Cate Gardner said...

Deborah, you may find you sat a few rows behind me ;) #falsefact

I give 5 stars to books that I know will stay with me long after I've finished them and which I've absolutely loved and think everyone in the world should read. Although, I may have gotten a little carried away giving Harlan Coben five stars, Katie :D

Danielle Birch said...

What a fabulous review.

On Goodreads I give 5 stars for outstanding, a favourite, the kind of book I can't put down and will stay up all night to read. 4 stars is for a great book and 3 stars is if I liked the book. I can't remember off hand now if I've given any books 1 star, but I usually give 2 stars to a book I didn't overly care for and probably wouldn't read again.

Aaron Polson said...

Any time one is called to subjectively rate a piece of writing, there will be room for argument.

My "liked it" could be someone else's "it was okay". GR has kept it rather simple, though.

(and congrats on the acceptances, Cate--I've been off the planet lately)

Robert said...

Most of the books I rate on Goodreads get three stars, which means I like them. Four stars means I REALLY like them. And five stars means that I loved the books so much I wish I wrote them. I do know that some writers get irritated with three star ratings; one writer was all worried that I gave her book three stars until I explained that it meant I liked it and that I'm a three-star kind of reader and she calmed down.

wv: dewea

Cate Gardner said...

Thanks, Danielle.

Aren't you always off the planet, Aaron :D

I echo what you said about 5 stars, Robert, especially with regards to the last book I read.

K. Allen Wood said...

I do school grading, basically.

★ is an F
★★ is a D
★★★ is a C
★★★★ is a B
★★★★★ is an A

I think that follows Goodreads' system. Obviously that doesn't cover whether it's just a B, for instance, or a B+ or B-, but I post those specifics on my blog.

Not that anyone cares. Haha.

Cate Gardner said...

We care, Ken. We care.