The Weekly Debate (5): Everything's Relative - Oh Really?

(Pain rating scale because I'm sadistic like that. mwahaha.)

This week's debate: Do you rate your books according to strict rating standards, by comparing one book to another, or simply not rating by a scale at all? Is there a way you feel books "should" be rated?

As I've started reviewing more and more books, I noticed I've gone from rating books through a checklist of qualities to relating them relative to one another. At first, it was the strict: plot? check. relatable characters? check. beautiful writing? *bzzz* NO - there we have it, ladies and gentlemen, this book deserves 3 stars! Technically, that should work, right? But as my reviews progressed, I noticed that I would occasionally give an extra half-a-star just becuase the plot was awesome, and there went my standard ratings. Instead, I would compare my book to previous reviews and think "hm, I gave this book 3 stars and this book 4 stars, therefore (book I'm reviewing) should get 3.5 stars because it lacks such-and-such qualities while it has such-and-such aspects." Again, technically, that should work too, right? Everything' relative; you know how I review and judge my ratings accordingly - in an ideal world, that is. But then I started confusing myself. This book isn't as good as this 4-star book, but it's not as good as this 3.5-star book either! What to do, what to do? My compromise for now is that I'll add the .25 plot stars after my rating (you might have seen this already in my review of Dirty Little Secrets) and rate based on how the book compares to others, regardless of how awesome the plot was.

My final stance: Ideally, strict standards are easy to follow. However, my ratings are based on comparisons though, because I had the strict standards originally in place, my ratings match my original rating descriptions (see "my ratings" on the right sidebar) anyways. Everything's relative in my world. ;)

As for how you "should" rate books, I think that's all personal preference. Though, if you're a new blogger, I would strongly recommend starting off with a firm checklist to make it clear to readers how exactly you rate books. If, once you get the hang of it, you decide to change your rating method, that's entirely up to you.

It's your turn to voice your opinions! If you have a question you'd like asked in next week's debate, please feel free to mention it in your comment.

And what do you think of the shorter debate versus the usual longer one? Thoughts are loved, honesty is appreciated. Thank you!


Interested in more questions, more fun? Check out Eleni's latest Monday's Question of the Day! Head on over, and you know what to do. Press the "Post a Comment" button, of course! :D