Why I Don’t Like Goodreads Star Ratings

For the most part, I really enjoy using Goodreads. Goodreads helps me with keeping tracking what books I have read so I don’t reread books. It helps me find my next book reads and I find out about book releases. You can read reviews about books and find out how other people like the book. I really enjoy the whole concept of the reviews but one thing: the stars. I don’t like how they have the stars.

Firstly, you might be asking what Goodreads is. I view Goodreads as a Social Media but there are still a few people that have never heard of Goodreads.

Goodreads Homepage for Users – Currently My Homepage

Goodreads is an Amazon company and “social cataloging” website founded in December 2006 and launched in January 2007 by Otis Chandler, II, a software engineer and entrepreneur, and Elizabeth Chandler. The website allows individuals to freely search Goodreads’ extensive user-populated database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists. They can also create their own groups of book suggestions, surveys/polls, blogs, and discussions. In December 2007, the site had over 650,000 members and over 10,000,000 books had been added. By July 2012, the site reported 10 million members, 20 million monthly visits, and 30 employees. On July 23, 2013, it was announced on their website that the user base had grown to 20 million members, having doubled in close to 11 months. The website’s offices are in San Francisco.

I use Goodreads about everyday because I always like to update my pages read. I get on and I always check out what other people are reading and check out the giveaways, since they have some good ones at time.

Before I started this blog, I wrote a review for about every book I read, and these reviews were not no good. I had fun doing them, and that is the whole point of doing something, right? I would rate the books (for the most part, they were always either 4 or 5) and write a short review. I never thought about the rating scale until now…


One thing I wish that Goodreads had with their rating scale is the chance to really give a rating, and not just 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. I wish they had the option of either the stars of typing in your own number – almost like the page option where you can either do a percentage or type the page number in. With this option, you would be able to get a more accurate rating number and see how people really felt about the book. Sometimes using just the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 don’t do a book justice.

On Goodreads, they describe all of their stars when you roll over them. They all have their own meaning. Each star means:

1 Star: “Didn’t Like It”

2 Stars: “It Was Okay”

3 Stars: “Liked It”

4 Stars: “Really Liked It”

5 Stars: “It Was Amazing”

I do enjoy how they have the labels for the stars. Sometimes it is honestly hard to judge a book when you finish it. You might finish one book and say it is your favorite book of all time. Then, the next week, you get a new book and you say that it is your new favorite book. The help of the labels really do help, but if you add something else in with it, it would make judging books easier.

Goodreads Poll

While I was writing this post, I decided to see if I was the only one who has wanted to add in something else with the star ratings. It turns out that there was a poll taken on Goodreads that asked this very question. A lot of the comments were clear cut – most were yes and some were no. There was a few comments that said that there should only be 3 stars; if you add half stars it would make the whole thing complicated; and it would be breaking down way to much. On the other hand, there was users that were saying that there were so many books that need a half star; there should be a percentage spot instead (which was pretty genius); and then comments that were saying the same as me.

Like anything, there will always be the people that really hate the idea and people that really love it. Someone will be there trying to stop the whole thing, which I don’t understand. On about everything – movies, video games, etc – you are able to give these half stars but not for books.

 What are your thoughts about this whole thing? How would you have the stars if you were in charge of Goodreads? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Happy Reading,

❤ Ann

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