I’ll be honest, this is more just me ranting and rambling than an actual discussion. But sometimes venting feels good, and where better to vent about book-related things than my book blog? And who knows, maybe some of you will be able to give me advice or relate and commiserate with me :-P
Here’s the heart of the problem I’m having: if I were using the Goodreads rating scale in which three stars means the book was good but not great, and I were rating completely subjectively based purely on how much I enjoyed the book, so many of the books I read nowadays would end up with 3 stars. I feel like 3.5 and 4 stars has come to mean, in my mind, that a book was decent, enjoyable, maybe good for what it was supposed to be, but not very memorable or particularly amazing or maybe just not quite to my taste. So basically, my 3.5 and 4 star ratings are like the GR 3 stars. Sometimes I even give books 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4) when they were just ok simply because there wasn’t anything wrong with them either, so that’s closer to the GR 2-star rating. It used to be that if I gave a book 4 stars, I would almost definitely continue the series. If I gave a book 3.5 Stars, then it was likely that I would continue the series. But now I’m not even interested in continuing the series for a lot of the 3.5- and 4-star books I read.
So this leads, firstly, to the question of where have all the good books gone? Or rather, where have the great ones gone. I feel like I used to find a lot more books that I truly loved and thought were great, whereas now a lot of what I read makes me feel kinda apathetic. I don’t know if maybe I’ve just gotten more picky/critical, or if becoming a reviewer has sucked some of the enjoyment out of reading, or if I’m simply just not finding the right books anymore, but it’s a little disheartening regardless of the reason. I want to find memorable books I love, not just a bunch that are well written enough but make me feel meh.
This then leads to a rating crisis because sometimes I do find books that are great and memorable (like the one I reviewed yesterday), but I still reserve the 4.5 and 5 stars for books that blow me away and are pretty much perfect. So what do these great and memorable books get? 4 stars. Just like all the averagely enjoyable books. And it doesn’t really seem fair that the great books and the decent books are getting the same ratings. Does it really matter though? I mean, does me giving one book 4 stars really take away from how good another book I’ve given 4 stars is? Is a potential reader really going to end up not reading Book ABC just because I also gave Book EFG 4 stars? My reviews still explain my thoughts better than any subjective number ever could. And if a book was good for what it was supposed to be with no major flaws, even if it didn’t suit my personal taste, does it not deserve 4 stars? I don’t know, I guess I just like being lenient with my ratings, especially since I know there are people out there who judge books by their ratings and won’t even read a book unless it has a high enough rating. And it just doesn’t seem fair for someone to brush aside a book simply because it didn’t fit my personal taste. So I tend to only give a book 3 stars or less when I didn’t like it and/or it has legitimate flaws or issues. But it’s kind of… weird having almost all my ratings be 3.5 and 4 stars and having books I feel meh about get the same rating as ones I loved.
So yeah, those are my current #BookwormProblems.