So I signed up for Goodreads.com a few months back. I did it partly so I could keep track of what I read, partly so when my friends need something good to read they can see some books I’ve read and recommend. I follow the five-star rating system but you will find few one- or two-star books. These are the types of books I don’t finish.
When I read a book, from time to time I have to restart. I can think of three books I have done this with: Imajica, Bleak Seasons, and A Game of Thrones. If I have to restart, it’s because I went too long after starting or I made it so far and had no idea what was happening. Or both. I generally finish a book if I start it. There are exceptions.
Back to my version of the rating system.
- One star means I didn’t make it past the first chapter. Could be grammar, subject, content, how dis-interesting I thought the story was. Something was off about the book or story that threw me off.
- Two stars means I made it past the first chapter but ran into any of the same problems. I don’t finish one- or two-star books any more. I also do my best to stay away from these types of books. I’ve downloaded quite a few free eBooks that fall in this category. If it’s not free I get a sample. I buy a lot of books but I’m very stingy with my book budget. I refuse to buy past the first book in a series unless I know I’ll like it.
- Three means I liked the story. In this case, it could have been something I read for a librarian or friend. It is not something I would purchase at full price. There might be some issues with the book as well. I finish anything at three stars and higher. Was it a horrible book? Maybe not, but it wasn’t something I really dug. Pride and Prejudice is a good example.
- Four stars means I would recommend this to a friend. I have purchased it as eBook or paperback (even discount hardcover at times.) I might read it again. I rarely re-read a story.
- Five stars. The pinnacle. The best. These books may not be the literary award winners or the National Book Award finalists (or something like that) but this is me rating the book. I rate on what I like. A five-star is one I have owned a copy (even if I bought one after reading). Some of the time I have bought it more than once. In multiple formats.
Example: I have had two hardcover and at least one paperback copy of The Stand by Stephen King – I read each copy.
Extra copies allow me to loan out to friends and family. I like this book enough to share.
There isn’t a sixth star. This would be for books I feel the need to donate to the local library. Our library has every copy of The Dresden Files; I donated most of them.
I know I don’t use the system exactly the same as everyone else. I don’t read that way either. I’ve had more experience with ones and twos since getting an eReader. I’m doing my best to not stick with authors I’m comfortable reading. I like new ideas. I love “discovering” new authors. And I really love five-star books.