For a long time, I didn’t have a rating system on Erin Reads. I had my reasons. But when I revived my blog in late 2013, I felt it was time. After all, I already rate the books I add on Goodreads and LibraryThing. (Though since this rating system hasn’t been with me from the start, you’ll find older reviews may not have ratings.)
A Reader Caveat
Working in a bookstore taught me that there is no one book that everyone will love. Some people prefer plot twists to beautiful writing. Some will sacrifice beautiful writing for well developed characters. The possible preferences are truly endless.
With that in mind, I try to review books in such a way that my reasons for liking or disliking each one are clear. It’s up to you to decide, based on my review, whether or not a book will fit your tastes. It may be that the very things I disliked are your favorite elements, or vice versa. The goal of my reviews is not to tell you what to read, but to share one person’s experience with the book.
Consider these ratings as my answer to your question: “Such-and-such book looks interesting. What did you think?” Because really, I don’t think there’s a single book out there that every single person would like!
I use adjectives for my rating system because that’s how I classify books. I’ve equated each adjective to a number (out of 5) to correspond with my LibraryThing and Goodreads rating systems. I’ve explained the in-a-nutshell reaction you’d most likely get if you asked me “What did you think?” And I’ve also listed whether I’d be likely to recommend a book with a particular rating or not.
- On a scale of 1 to 5: An amazing book would receive a 5+. I tag these books as “Favorite” in Goodreads, since their rating system stops at 5 stars!
- My reaction, in a nutshell: This book is a new favorite!
- Would I recommend it? Absolutely. In fact, I’ll probably beg you to read it.
Curious? Here’s the list of books I’ve rated as amazing.
- On a scale of 1 to 5: An excellent book would receive a 5.
- My reaction, in a nutshell: I loved this book. I have no complaints; it just didn’t quite hit the level of amazing.
- Would I recommend it? Oh yes. I’d recommend it to anyone interested.
Curious? Here’s the list of books I’ve rated as excellent.
- On a scale of 1 to 5: An enjoyable book would receive a 4.
- My reaction, in a nutshell: I really liked this book. I had one or two minor issues, but overall, a great book.
- Would I recommend it? Yes. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to most people.
Curious? Here’s the list of books I’ve rated as enjoyable.
- On a scale of 1 to 5: A mediocre book would receive a 3.
- My reaction, in a nutshell: This book was pretty good. A couple of things bugged me. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was fine.
- Would I recommend it? Depends. If the book appeals to you, go for it. Otherwise I’d probably say don’t bother.
Curious? Here’s the list of books I’ve rated as mediocre.
- On a scale of 1 to 5: A book that’s lacking would receive a 2.
- My reaction, in a nutshell: This book left something to be desired. I had more complaints than compliments.
- Would I recommend it? No. You won’t hear me pushing this book.
Curious? Here’s the list of books I’ve rated as lacking.
- On a scale of 1 to 5: A lousy book would receive a 1.
- My reaction, in a nutshell: I strongly disliked this book. It’s possible I didn’t finish it. (In fact, you won’t see many books with this rating because I usually abandon them partway through!)
- Would I recommend it? Definitely not. Read it if you want, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Curious? Here’s the list of books I’ve rated as lousy.