Precious time (and Fictionophile ratings)

Time is a precious commodity.

Whether you are a student, a working single, a working parent, or even when you are retired like I am, there never seems to be enough time to do the things you really enjoy – like reading.

So it is that I want to explain my rating system.

I’ve had emails asking me why I rate many books with high scores. It has been suggested that book bloggers score books highly to get more digital ARCs!  These comments are hurtful.  If I rate a book with a high score it is because I chose the title thinking I would like it and I REALLY enjoyed reading it.  The time I spent reading it was enjoyable.

Fictionophile’s Rating System

Reading time that I treasured. Absolutely just the right book for me at the right time. A book I’d highly recommend.

Reading time well spent. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.

Reading time not begrudged.  This book had many good points, but it was not entirely to my taste. I would recommend this book with a few reservations.

Reading time wasted. This book was not to my taste and I would not recommend it.

Reading time I’ll never get back. I probably did not finish this book. Ugh!


Of course, occasionally I give a title half stars.  You’ll just have to figure my feelings for those are somewhere between the stars above.

STARS mean different things on different sites.  Goodreads star ratings don’t mean quite the same thing as Amazon ratings. NetGalley stars don’t mean the same thing as Goodreads stars, and so on, and so on.

All bookbloggers know that it is hard to rate books that are vastly different.  For instance a prize-winning work of literary or classic fiction is hard to compare to the latest cozy mystery or best-selling romantic suspense.

It is for that reason that I try to rate by genre.

You cannot compare apples and oranges, so why would you compare romances to thrillers?

I compare thrillers with other thrillers that I’ve read and enjoyed and rate accordingly.  I compare historical fiction to other works of historical fiction that I have read and enjoyed and rate accordingly. Cozy mysteries with other cozy mysteries. And so on, and so on….

If a cozy mystery gets a 5 star rating from me, it means that for a cozy mystery it is absolutely top notch.  It does not mean that I think it is as good as award-winning literary fiction, only that for its own genre, it excels, and is an example of the best the genre has to offer.

For me, it is all about the time spent reading.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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25 Responses to Precious time (and Fictionophile ratings)

  1. sahmoun2778 says:

    I feel the same way about rating books as compared to their genres. My rating system is pretty much the same as yours. I think readers need to keep in mind that any review or rating is going to be influenced by what appeals to the reviewer, so I may love a book that you hated, and that’s ok. It seems to me that the point of reading reviews is to get several different perspectives before making a choice. Personally, when I’m considering a purchase I want to know both what people liked and what they didn’t like.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sandra says:

    Great post. I don’t “review” books in part for the reasons you describe (but mostly because I fear the commitment and restriction I’d be imposing on myself.) When I was in a book club we did have a rating system and I rated purely on gut feel: on the experience of reading that book at that time. Totally subjective and obviously only to be discussed within the confines of the group of friends. But essentially it was the same system as you’ve outlined, Lynne: a reflection of the time spent reading that book at that moment. And for what it’s worth, I find your reviews – and those of others whose blogs I follow – enlightening and very helpful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margaret says:

    My ratings are quite high too and for the same reason. I often don’t post reviews for 1 and 2 star books – unless I’ve received a review copy and then I feel really mean doing that. I never used to give ratings as they are purely subjective but since I started using them on Goodreads I put them on my blog too. And as you say the star ratings mean different things on Amazon, Goodreads etc, which can be misleading!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t realize that’s been said about blogger’s rating books high for more digital Arcs…I’m in trouble lately then because I’ve rated many super low in my NetGalley reviews. The only time I don’t rate a book is if I don’t finish it. Interesting post Lynne!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that publishers and NetGalley appreciate our candid views Renee. It would be doing them a disservice to inflate the ratings if that is not how we truly feel.
      I feel that bloggers who do inflate their own ratings with the idea of getting approved more often are not doing themselves, their blog, or the author any favours.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Annika Perry says:

    Lynne, this is a terrific rating sytem!! 😀 It is confusing with the various criteria used by different bloggers as well as Amazon, NetGalley etc…great to have your own rating system clarified so clearly. One that should be adopted widely, I feel!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I gave star ratings I would certainly appear to be being consistently generous on the grounds that if I’ve already wasted time reading a poor book I am definitely not going to waste more by writing about it. No two star equivalents would get a look in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You make a good point about rating by genre, which is what I do too – my feeling is that since all reviews are by their nature subjective, how I choose to award stars is somewhat irrelevant – I’d hope they read the words I write too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have to agree on so many books so little time. I like your system and it makes a great deal of sense to provide a time element to a rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Stunning graphics, great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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