Rating Books

I know that reviews are the lifeblood of authors.

However, I tend not to review books. I’m on two sides of a fence, and I’m really unsure about what’s right for me. I feel like I should review books, but at the same time, I feel like it’s a stumbling block. I don’t want to leave a bad review if I don’t love something. I don’t want to write a summary or have my review sound like a book report, and I don’t want to want to spoil anything for any readers.

The hard part is, for the most part, I don’t read reviews of books either. I find books by reading the blurb, and I find blurbs by recommendations through various facebook groups of authors I’ve liked. Some authors, I don’t even bother reading the blurb.

I do rate every book I read, but that’s mostly for me. I have a mental system of what number of stars to give books.

  • 5 stars being absolutely blown away will tell everyone I loved it.
  • 4 star being a great read that I’m probably going to hunt down more books by that author, or maybe all the books by that author.
  • 3 star is for books that I enjoyed and that I will probably finish the series to keep going with the thread — most books are 3 star books.
  • I don’t really use the 2 star rating unless I didn’t like the book for a lot of stylistic reasons, but the story was compelling just enough to keep going.
  • 1 stars are for books I can’t even finish, there’s not many of those.

So, what to do? If I publish someday, I’ll need other people to read it and then review it just so that more people will find it. That’s how things work. I can’t justify asking for reviews if I don’t leave them.

Reviews just feel like a lot of mental energy. It’s a different mindset, and a skill all its own — one I’ve neglected.

I’m still torn. What do you think about reviews? Do you read them and do you base your book buying on the reviews that are left?

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