Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Argh. I Can't Grade ANYTHING.

Giving books ratings or grades or whatever is hard. Because in a way, it's like you're branding them with something that'll be the first thing people look at - a C sometimes looks too bad, an A sometimes looks too good. An F? Let's not even go there. (I only went there once in all these six months, too. Quite the feat, considering how persnickety I am when it comes to books. Or people. Or anything really.) 

I don't know how to explain letter grades. A C might be a mean one, or it might be a nice one. Some Cs are worth reading, but when you get critical about it, they're worth that indifferent grade. Sometimes I like the A- book better than the A or A+ one. The difference is so subtle, so subliminal, and so befuddling that it sometimes makes you wonder if you should do ratings at all. 

But here's why I do: it's a nice onset for the rest of the reviews. As some people have pointed out, many read hundreds of blogs on the RSS feed. To expect that they would read my entire rambling review would be a little rich of me, no?

Then there's the question of mood. Any given day I might think I was too harsh with the rating; others, too forgiving.

And that's where the problem lies: I feel like I need a preface to my commentaries, thus the ratings. By the same token, those prefaces are sometimes not adequate at all. 

So, the point of this post is: When you can, try to at least read part of a review with a rating. It'll probably give you a better feel of the novel and the reviewer's opinion than an insignificant star value or ornamental letter. Just saying.

And now, I shall nap. Because my head is exploding. I fear this post made no sense whatsoever, but ya know what? I think I'll risk it.   


Brooke Taylor said...

I like the grades. I think they help put the review in perspective.

Kelsey said...

I agree with Brooke. Plus I think it's kind of enjoyable to read negative-ish reviews.

Alea said...

I used what I think was my first start rating on my last review. I thought it might help make it so it doesn't look like I'm completely in love with everything i read, which i fear it was beginning to look like.

Amee said...

I had the same issue with star ratings/letter grades so I don't do them anymore. In some ways they're good but the bad made me decide to stop using them.

I like both reviews with grades/star ratings and not. Either way I read the thoughts of the reviewer instead of just relying on their grade. They could give it a C for a reason I would only give it an A-. Or not even care to lower the grade because whatever it is doesn't bother me.

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