While I haven’t written any audiobook reviews since May and have written so few this year, I intend to change that very soon. In preparation for writing more reviews, I have made a change to how I review books.
It is really a minor change overall but one that I think will make things abundantly more clear.
When I first started reviewing books, I wanted to do things a little bit differently. I didn’t want to use the conventional 5 star grading system so common on websites. So I went with a 10 point scale with intervals of .25. This presented an immediate problem but not one that I ever shared with anyone in written form…and maybe not one I ever discussed.
What is the difference, really, between a book that I grade at 7.25 and one I grade at 7.75? The unfortunate truth is that I never really came up with a way to describe the difference.
So I am shifting to a 5 star system of reviewing. This means that when I write a review on this website, my score will closely match the score I give a book on Goodreads or Audible. They won’t be exactly the same because neither of those sites allow uses of half stars which I will use on this site.
Currently, I am in the process of going back and editing old reviews to change the score from x/10 to x/5 stars. If I haven’t changed a review yet, you can figure out what my star rating is going to be pretty easily.
You can essentially divide the number in half. If I gave a book 7/10 then it is 3.5/5 stars. However, a book that I rate 7.75/10 also gets 3.5 stars, not 4. As a rule, I will round down. And this means that in the future if I rate a book 4.5/5 stars that on my Goodreads I will have only given it 4/5 stars.
I won’t ever rate a book lower than 1 star out of 5. A zero star book is theoretically possible but the problem is I would only consider going that low for a book I couldn’t finish and my personal belief is to never review a book that I can’t finish. I might not be able to finish a book because I don’t care for it but there are other reasons beyond that why I also might not finish. My mood has changed and I want to read something else for awhile. I have gotten another book that I have assigned a higher priority.
It is also more likely that a nonfiction book would only get one star out of five. I strongly dislike factual errors and those are going to be easier for me to detect in nonfiction work.
While I may eventually state in more clear terms how I determine a star rating, the explanation over at The Audiobook Worm is pretty well in line with my own thoughts.
I have no idea when I will have all of the old reviews changed. But I am changing them from most recent to oldest and have done a fair number already.