Ratings, Ratings, Ratings!

As a society we seem to be hooked on statistics and ratings. Every day we are bombarded with new polls on a myriad of topics, and when it comes to your favorite TV programs their fate is tied to the Nielson ratings that basically determine which shows get cancelled and which get to live another season.

         The same is true with books. Go to Amazon to look up a book and you see ratings. Same is true when you search Goodreads, a popular book review site. Are you swayed by these ratings? I must admit that if I see a medium rated book (3.5 out of 5 stars), I wonder if it is for me? The inverse is true, when I see those 4.25+ starred books I automatically assume it is going to be a winner. But are we making too much out of these star ratings? None of us really have unlimited hours to while away reading an unending number of individual reviews, so what are we supposed to do?

         As a blogger, reviewer and podcaster I try my best to select those books that “real readers” are going to want to read, and which tickle my fancy. Then after I read them I give an honest review and rate them on a 1-5***** scale. Why a 1-5 scale? Why not a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down scale? The Up and Down scale leaves too much to chance in my opinion, so I agree with a numeric scale. Why not a 1-10 scale? Or a 1-100 scale? Well those scales are too baffling to me. I mean what is the difference between a 72 or 75 rating? Who knows, and greater minds than mine are just as baffled.

         So, I join the masses and go with a 1-5***** scale. What is a 5-star book for me could very well be a 2 or 3-star book for others. Every reader has different opinions on every book they read, and so every review and rating is truly personal. It is my hope as a reviewer/blogger/podcaster that you enjoy my ratings and opinions on books, and since I see a continued growth on all my platforms I can only assume that you are interested in and enjoying the books I review.

         You may ask, what is the difference between a 4**** and 5***** review. Very simply it comes down to me asking myself, “Is this a book I want to read again?” If so, up goes the 5***** rating. There really is not much difference between the two books, but I do not necessarily want to read a 4**** book more than once. Those 5***** books are special to me. Again, since all ratings are personal, you may not agree with my rating,  but at the same time you know that when I rate a book I won’t be swayed by other reviews and ratings. In the end it all comes down to a simple determination as to whether you trust me or any other reviewer. If so, then at least when it comes to my reviews/blogs/podcasts, you know that I have personally read each and every book I review or discuss, and you have the assurance that I will be reading “Real Books for Real People.”

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