How I Rate

Recently I’ve been making an effort to rate, and even review, books after I read them. We all recognize the power of Amazon’s customer reviews, and well, I decided I should take the time to help out authors the way I will appreciate being helped out when The Gift and the Defender comes out, you know, golden rule type stuff.

But… how to rate? On Amazon and Goodreads there are five stars and, to be honest, that poses a problem for me. Three stars would be better: don’t bother, it’s up to you, and you gotta read this! Five? Well, now what do I do?

Up until yesterday I found myself going back and forth between two systems: a one-three-five star system, pretty much an adaptation of the three star system I just mentioned with the second and fourth stars for those undecided moments and a system that retained the fifth star for my all time favorite – the house is burning and I can only save five star rated – books. Reserving the fifth star made sense to me up until this week when it was brought to my attention, by my brilliant wife that some shoppers who use customer reviews when deciding to make a purchase might look at my four star rating as a reason not to purchase a book.

“Why didn’t Tyrel give it five stars? I mean it’s Tyrel Bramwell for crying out loud! If he didn’t give it the fifth star, well, it must not be worth my time, right?”

Yeah, I embellished the thought a little bit there. Okay, a lot. But you get the idea. Reserving the fifth star for the works of Tolkien and Lewis isn’t the best practice because, well, those dudes are dead and we already know their books sport the five star bling.

In short, I decided to go with my three star system. I don’t know, maybe I’ll use the second and fourth star some day down the road, but right now, why bother? As a rater/reviewer I’m going with (1) don’t bother, (3) it’s up to you, or (5) you gotta read this!

So now you know. And so do I.


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