ratings and the swing voters



One of the points raised as a result of my post about ratings was that lament often heard from readers:


“Why, oh why, can’t goodreads have 1/2 stars?!”


If I had a dollar, blah, blah.  Bunch of drama queens.  


At the risk of being stoned to death, I like the simplicity of the whole stars.  


There have only been a few – a very few – instances at which time I’ve *barely* ummed and arred over a 1/2 star and this was mainly when I was reviewing for Wave. 


Even then, a .25 meant the rating went down, a .75 meant it went up, and a .5 saw me having to decide whether it was really worth going up.  Sometimes it was and others, well, not so much.


See.  Simple.


Or lazy.


Whatever.


Anyhoo, are you someone who obsesses over that mythical 1/2 star thing at goodreads?  Or do you, like me, not give a toss and wonder what the hell everyone else is raving about?


The weirdos.

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About Kris

Reads, rants, randoms & R+s. You've been warned. BTW, don't follow me if you're a GLBTQQphobic wanker. It won't end well. For you.
This entry was posted in not a review, ratings, reading, reviews, serious randomness, serious shit, Wave. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to ratings and the swing voters

  1. Tam says:

    OMG, I obsess, like for days. Well, seconds, sometimes microseconds. I'd say for about 75% of my reads I can live with the whole star rating and it's fine. However for that other 25% I want the half star. There is quite a difference in my mind between 3 and 4. Sometimes you are more than a 3 but not quite a 4 and I'd like to indicate that, but can't short of writing “3.5 stars” in the review, which I do sometimes. So rather than lower someone, I tend raise it up because they are better than many of the 3 stars I rated and I figure it's kinder to “round up” than “round down”.

    I'm not sure why they never went with the half star at GR. I wonder if they are so big and complex now that they are afraid to switch it? I like our – and + system at BE. It seems to work more intuitively for me and I rarely have a problem picking one or the other. It's a pretty instinctive process of how I “feel” about a book.

  2. Lily says:

    I'm not obsessive about it but I do like the 1/2 stars. I've done reviews where I've added 2.5 3.5 or 4.5 to the body of the review and then just rounded up the rating.

  3. Janna says:

    Yeah, sounds lazy to me. πŸ˜‰
    My problem with the whole stars is that there's sometimes a world of difference between two books I both rate with 4 stars (4 stars is my favorite :)). Neither book does qualify for a 3 nor a 5 star, but one is better than the other while the 4 stars don't show that…

    Love that lolcat!

  4. Eyre says:

    *raises hand* I obsess. It kills me that I can't give that half stars. Sometimes a book isn't a 3, but it isn't a 4 either. I'm like Tam. I write the .5 in the review, but I struggle with whether or not to round up or round down. Sometimes I have to round down because I can't bring myself to give that half star that I don't think the book deserved; other times, I have to round up because the book doesn't deserve to lose that half star that I think it should have. Yeah, I know that's kind of obsessive. πŸ™‚

  5. K. Z. Snow says:

    Jeez, talk about inflexible…

    Maybe this comes from having been a teacher (or just wanting to get a rise out of Kris — heh), but I'd like to be able to use every number between 0 and 100, including fractions. There are countless criteria to consider when evaluating a book, and most rating systems don't take that into account.

    My solution is to rate as few books as possible on Goodreads. I don't even bother with other sites. Rating systems clash with my fussiness and give me too much of a headache.

  6. I need my half star. On my blog it's okay, I've got it,but on Goodreads I obsess – do I give it a three and then mention the extra 1/2? or give it a four even though that's not what I want to rate it? Bah! How hard can it be to add the half?

  7. Tam says:

    Maybe out of 1000 KZ, 750.35902057 Sort of like pi, but bigger. πŸ™‚

    I'm glad I'm not alone in my obsessing.

  8. Mariana says:

    I guess I'm a weirdo (who is still ashamed of herself πŸ˜‰ ) because I really, really want the half-star.

    It would totally stop me from doing the shaming “benefit of the doubt” higher rating.

    I do give the half-stars in my review section, so that appeases me somewhat.

  9. Ingrid says:

    Half stars would be nice but I can live without them.
    Sometimes I add the half in the review.
    But when choosing a 4 or 5 I tend to star down. 5 meant I was blown away or very moved by a book and that doesn't happens much.
    At least not recently. When I look at my rated books I notice that most of my 5 stars are older books. Makes me wonder sometimes if I was more easy to impress in those days

  10. Kris says:

    Tam: “So rather than lower someone, I tend raise it up because they are better than many of the 3 stars I rated and I figure it's kinder to “round up” than “round down”.”

    When I first went to Amazon and goodreads and came across the whole stars as opposed to the part ones at Wave's I was told that I should round up because it was the better thing to do, especially at Amazon. I pondered that for one of your microseconds and then decided, no, I wasn't really that nice.

    I'm sure that reaction will come as a total shock to all of you. πŸ˜›

    Lily: I think adding the 1/2 star in the body of the review works. Even though I don't do it myself, I always take note when other readers do it at goodreads.

    I might ignore it, but I always note it. πŸ˜‰

    Janna: “My problem with the whole stars is that there's sometimes a world of difference between two books I both rate with 4 stars…”

    Does that mean you indicate the 1/2 star in your review, Janna? I would look, but there's that whole lazy thing. *hehehe*

  11. Kris says:

    Eyre: “Yeah, I know that's kind of obsessive.”

    Maybe just a little. LOL. Are you like that with your marking to, Eyre??

    KZ: “Maybe this comes from having been a teacher …”

    *muttershouldhaveknownmutter* And I'm not inflexible! I keep telling you I'm Libran.

    “I'd like to be able to use every number between 0 and 100, including fractions. There are countless criteria to consider when evaluating a book, and most rating systems don't take that into account.”

    You been hanging out too much at Mrs Giggles?? πŸ˜›

  12. Kris says:

    Patti: “How hard can it be to add the half?”

    Or to just leave it as is, but whatever. *whistles innocently*

    Mariana: “It would totally stop me from doing the shaming “benefit of the doubt” higher rating.”

    A sucker too. πŸ˜›

    Ingrid: If I have any issues, I tend to rate down too. We'll be mean together, Ingrid. πŸ˜‰

    “When I look at my rated books I notice that most of my 5 stars are older books. Makes me wonder sometimes if I was more easy to impress in those days.”

    Now this is very interesting, Ingrid. Are you ever tempted to go back and re-rate those books?

  13. Chris says:

    Since I came to GRs from LibraryThing, which HAS half stars, I really miss it.

  14. Kris says:

    And I'm the Kris who is meant to be inflexible?? HA! ;P

  15. jitterbug says:

    Ah ah, those weirdos.
    Oh, wait.
    I'm one of them.
    Or rather, given that I don't care about gr & that I don't write reviews, I *would* be one of them. And really, IMO 5 stars aren't enough; the more definite the scale, the better.
    Face it, Kris. As far as reviews are concerned, you're lazy ;).

  16. Kris says:

    “Face it, Kris. As far as reviews are concerned, you're lazy ;).”

    And proud of it, Sara!

    You weirdo.

  17. Eyre says:

    Yes, I am like that with my marking and proud of it! Today, one of my students asked me why I was so picky. I responded that ninth graders should know how to capitalize their own names!

  18. Kris says:

    Eyre, you're a typical English teacher. You're all like that. πŸ˜›

    You wouldn't happen to be a Virgo as well, would you?? If so, there's no hope for you at all.

  19. Eyre says:

    Sagittarius. ;P

  20. Kris says:

    Almost as bad. πŸ˜›

  21. K. Z. Snow says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. K. Z. Snow says:

    Tam, you're never alone … except when you get on those jags where you refuse to bathe for weeks on end. πŸ™‚

    You been hanging out too much at Mrs Giggles?? πŸ˜›

    Yes, as a matter of fact. Cos we're like this: 8. We luuuurve the way each other thinks.

    Pfffffffffhahahahahahaha!

  23. Kris says:

    KZ, that's exactly what I figured.

  24. Kaetrin says:

    No Kris, it is clearly YOU who are weird. πŸ˜›

    Count me in with the chorus of people calling for half-star ratings. I put them in the body of the review but it screws with my curve dammit!

  25. Kris says:

    Kaetrin: “No Kris, it is clearly YOU who are weird.”

    Never said I wasn't. πŸ˜› Oh, and MY curve is near perfection. *polishes nails*

  26. Kaetrin says:

    *muttershowoffmutter*

  27. Kris says:

    *hair flick*

  28. Ingrid says:

    I looked at them and most I read several times. So I do notice on a second reading and seeing comments from others that those are not always perfect reads. But because they are the books that resonate with me (still) I will not rate them down.

  29. Mariana says:

    Kris, will we ever find common ground?! I'm a Sag too… this on top of the other two, what is to become of our relationship ;_;

    veri word: gaggest… what does this mean??

  30. Kris says:

    Ingrid: “But because they are the books that resonate with me (still) I will not rate them down.”

    That makes all the difference, doesn't it. πŸ™‚

    Mariana: *pats* Don't worry. I like you in spite of your faults. πŸ˜›

    “veri word: gaggest… what does this mean??”

    Who has the best gag reflex of them all? Something you want to tell us, Mariana?

  31. Lea says:

    *sigh*

    I'm late to the party on this one Kris but I guess I can't get to concerned about “ratings”.

    Why? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as they say and ratings are purely a subjective device for scoring books. Reviews in themselves are subjective. What one person considers a '5' book, another considers a '1'. It's like anchovies – I hate them, my husband loves that crap. lol

    So, while I may be considered a 'lenient' with respect to the 'ratings' issue, I just try and call them as I seem em. *shrugs*

    Good Topic!

    I hope you are well Kris.

    Lea

  32. Kris says:

    Hey Lea luv. It's good to 'see' you. πŸ™‚

    “”Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as they say and ratings are purely a subjective device for scoring books.”

    And that's it, but no matter how many times it is said or admitted in the reading community rating and reviews, the good and the bad, continue to be a topic of controversy. I guess they always will because people seem to use the relative anonymity of the virtual world to act like douches. *sigh*

    Oh, BTW… anchovies are Teh Awesome. πŸ˜›

  33. Mariana says:

    Girl, I've been single so effing long, I wouldn't know what it looks like, much less what it tastes like πŸ˜‰ (sad, but true)

  34. Kris says:

    Want me to send you pictures, Mariana? I might have one or two in my hoard. πŸ˜‰

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