Sunday, June 10, 2012

New Rating System

As some of you may have noticed, I haven't been using a rating system on books over here on my blog. My informal "Librarian Code" demands that I try not to turn a person away from a book s/he may like to read. I'm sure there are people out there who think I am not giving fair or honest reviews because I will not come right out and say "________ is a terrible book!" or "I did not care for _________." However, it would be unfair if I used my personal opinion as a basis for rating a book.

  1. I am inconsistent.   Never give me any kind of power. I would be that pompous, spoiled brat-queen who would behead her best friend from the day before. Okay, maybe it's not that drastic, but my tastes are erratic and unpredictable. I have no set genre/style that I will enjoy. One of my friends who has the most similar book taste as me offered me this great vampire novel that she knew I would love. I didn't, and she lost her referral card. I lied - she threw it at me. I'm terrible, but I am trying to be better.
  2. If I do not like a book, I do NOT like a book. If I started writing what I really thought, you would be afraid to touch the book. If you read and enjoyed the book, you would want to come beat me up.
  3. I do not always like books on a reread. You know that book that I was gushing about last week about being the "Best. Thing. EVAH!"? Well, I may read it again in two months and hate it with every grain of my existence. How can you rely on me as a reviewer if I'm as fickle as Henry VIII?
Those are just examples that came to the top of my head. How am I doing anything to help the reading community or promote literacy by picking apart a book? I am a tough nut to crack. If I had any sort of consistency, I would be the book bouncer at some agency's slush pile. So I do here what I have been told to do at work - push books that you think will work for the person in front of you. In the blog's case, I try to talk about books that will be enjoyed by the general public. I have emailed publishers about books that I had major issues with that I did not review here.

To the point, here are the areas I'm going to look to when I am reviewing books in the future. If it does not work, I'll get rid of it. We shall see.
  1. Writing - This will consist of grammar, word use, punctuation, symbolism, and all of that English major mumbo-jumbo. I'm not an English major, English expert, or anything with credibility other than being a reader who wants something clean. This is a major area for me because I will leave a book if it's poorly written.
  2. World-Weaving - By this, I mean the mythology, characters, setting... You know? If a book was a painting, writing would be the technique and world-weaving would be the colors. When I read, I want the world to be so real that I can almost smell the smoke, flowers, or body odor.
  3. Pacing - Is the story dragging? Am I on the edge of my seat? That will be taken into account here.
  4. Attention Span - I am very bad about wandering away from books. If I finish a book in a day, it will get full marks - even if it is absolute crap. It kept me there for a reason. Other books will be judged as to whether or not I'm thinking about it when I'm not reading it or running old ladies off the road to get  home to start reading again.
  5. Extra Magic - Some books just have something special that make it what it is. It could be references to great works; it could be me wanting to make babies with the love interest. I'm talking about whatever stands out. I may not add this into the equation for all books, but it is the only saving grace on books I've read in the past.
I'm going to try this out for a little while. The first review under this system should be up Tuesday morning. If you like the way the system works, let me know. If you don't like it, let me have a few reviews with it before you tell me to shelf it. And feel free to tell me to shelf it, if necessary. This blog is for you, too. :-)


  1. Yes for the Extra Magic points! I was trying to explain that to someone a while ago: the rest of the book may be mediocre, but if there's a little special something in the book that I can relate to/ appeals to me, I'm giving it a higher rating. As my personal-liking factor. Or something like that.

    Good luck with your new system!

  2. This sounds like an interesting system. Cool!

    I change my mind on the reread ALL the time. I think it's because the story captures me the first time through, and I focus more on the writing the second time, and sometimes realize a book really ISN'T that good.

  3. LOL, you sound like me when it comes to reading and liking/hating books.
    I hope this new system works for you.

  4. We'll see how it works out. You guys have to remember to tell me your thoughts!

  5. You sound just like me. Seriously. My reviews are more like recommendations because if I don't like something in the first 50-75 pages or so, I don't read it, then I don't feel fair reviewing a book that I didn't read. *sigh* There's just not enough hours in the day for sh*tty books, and since I have more books than I do hours left in my life, I have to be particular, ya know?

  6. I've had a few books that have made me laugh out loud, but I just can't finish them. They're not my thing, and I have piles screaming at me. :-/

    I still want to share books with people that MAY like them, so hopefully this will help.


You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!