Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tough Critic?

Thanks to a post by Jenni Elyse, I recently discovered the stats feature on Goodreads. It has lots of handy little things, but what I really liked was this:


It's all the books I read, and how I rated them.

And it's almost freakishly normally distributed, which is kind of a bad thing. Looks like I read a whole lot of 3 star books last year. In fact, you'd have to add together all my 2, 4, and 5 star reviews to equal my 3 star books. (well, with one extra) (and yes I know it's not really normally distributed, but still)

Which begs two questions:
1. Am I just much harder on books than the average reviewer? It seems like most people are highest in 4 star books.

2. Am I not very good at judging which books I'll really like? I stopped reading 6 books (the ones with no star rating) because I could tell I wouldn't like them. Maybe I need to do that more? If I'm reading more but enjoying less, that seems like a step in the wrong direction.

So, dear blog readers, what say you? What's your average star-rating for books? How did you get good at picking books for yourself?

13 comments:

  1. I think you're a tough reviewer but I love that about you. Truly I do. You're tough without being a Debbie Downer or negative. That's pretty awwesome. Don't change a thing.

    I usually have more high rated books because I ditch books that are just blah.

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    1. Thanks Juju. :) This year I'm going to try to be better about letting go of a book that doesn't really grab me. Maybe I'll have fewer "meh" books that way.

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  2. I don't know. I'm curious what Jenny's (Alternate Readality) would show since she's more critical. I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it's just that you're tastes are different. I'm really easy to please--insta-love doesn't bother me, love triangles annoy me but they don't change the rating as long as I love the story, I don't see plot holes, etc. I often wonder if I should be more critical. I think we all wonder if what we do is normal, lol. And, I guess my best answer is that it's normal for us.

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    1. I thought about Jenny, too. :) I feel like I am harder to please now than when I started reading, although I'm not sure why. I don't think you should be more critical. I really like your reviews.

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  3. How do you find that? I'd like to see. I don't think it means you're extra hard, if you look at what it says for 3 stars, it says it's a good book, just not great. And honestly, 3 would be average, so that makes sense. Like you if I quit a book because I know I won't like it, I don't rate it. And I have decided there are just too many books I want to read, to waste my time reading ones that are not grabbing me.

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    1. If you go to the "My Books" tab on Goodreads, it's on the left side (one of the last green links).
      I think that's a good way to look at it. I'm going to try to be more selective about which books I finish this year and see if my ratings are different.

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  4. Yeah, I rated most mine 3 stars too...but since I'm so picky maybe that doesn't make you feel better. ;)

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    1. But you are picky in a good way. :) I think I really am going to start dropping "meh" books after 50 pages. Maybe that will help.

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  5. Whoa, that Stats thing is awesome. I found I gave the same number of 3 and 4 star ratings, which were pretty much the majority of the ratings I gave. But then, I vet my books pretty hard before I read them, so I'm not really surprised I gave out so many 4 stars.

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    1. I need to get better at that. Maybe you can tell me more about how you pick which books to read at book club.

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  6. I had a lot of 5 and 4 star books. Some were re-reads that I love, so maybe that is why.

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    1. That's a good point. I didn't include any rereads because I don't know how to do that in goodreads. If I had, there would have been another half dozen or so 5 star books.

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  7. Most of mine are three-star, too. I think it's just that most books are good but not great or not terrible. You know, just average. So seems pretty honest to me.

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