Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rating Books

Ever since Shy over at The Bookishville tweeted this:

I haven't been able to get the question "How do I rate books?" In the past, I have always been firm on if the story gels together, then it gets a better rating. If it gets me engaged in the story (an easy thing to do, at that point) then all the better. Since my injury, however, I have gotten quite a bit harsher on books and characters. I know that as we grow and change, so do our styles and reading habits. Add a traumatic event that completely upends your lifestyle, the speed of the change increases.

Why do I tell you this? Because, as a reviewer, I know I have a certain level of responsibility for objectiveness. As I'm reading (see also, listening too) an average of 4 books a week, I have learned that the way I rate books has completely, utterly, changed. I am almost militaristic in my swiftness. There is no hemming and hawing, I simply seem to ask these questions: "Did this book make me think? Did this book entertain me? Was there a plausible, cohesive, plot?" And based largely on those questions, I have my rating.

Reading is personal. By proxy, rating is personal. Rating, I think, cannot be completely objective. Rating is based upon who and where the reader is RIGHT THEN as they are reading that book. I may now have a better grasp on how to execute my reading choices, but no matter the answers to my questions my rating will be affected by how I felt while reading a book. What I think might be plausible or not will inevitably be different from another's experience. But I think that's whay makes it fun.

How do YOU rate your books?