Have you ever been judged by your rating average? I have. And let me tell you right now that it’s really bloody annoying. If you don’t know what a rating average is, it basically just gives you a number that represents how “high” you rate most of the time. The rating average is given to you by Goodreads, but you can easily calculate your own average.
While I was strolling through Goodreads one day, I found this reviewer who I thought was hilarious, thought-provoking, and the reviews were all lovely and always made me want to read the book. I realized we had the same reading tastes, too. What do I do? I immediately go to send in a friend request to this wonderful and amazing person! About half an hour later I receive an email that stated something along the lines of:
“Hello! I see you want to be my friend on Goodreads. I normally would accept your request, but seeing as your rating average is so high, I’m going to have to deny your request. It’s nothing against you, but I wouldn’t be able to trust your reviews. Have a great day!”
Honestly, I would’ve preferred you ignored my request instead of receiving this email. Not only did I find it offensive to insinuate my reviews weren’t honest, I also think it’s a bit snobby to judge based on rating averages, and here’s why:
- Every book reviewer has this period before blogging (BB), where if you compare how they rated books then and how they rate books now, it would be VERY different.
- If we’re going to talk about the Goodreads rating average, then let me tell you that I have about 100 books that I’ve rated BB, and almost all of them are 5 stars. I will not change my rating unless I read the book again, and I honestly don’t feel like justifying to you why my 12 year old self rated Twilight five stars.
- Yes, I have a lot of 4 & 5 star ratings even once I’ve started blogging, know why? Because I tend to choose books that I think I’ll actually like. Why the heck would I want to waste my time on a book that I know I hated? So I can rant about it later? No thanks.
- I understand that some reviewers pride themselves on only giving out 1 & 2 star reviews, but I’m not like that. I feel deep respect for authors even when their books are crap. I wouldn’t want to be one more person adding insult to the injury. So I just prefer to stay away. (I’m all for negative constructive reviews, though!)
- Just because I have a rating average does not mean that my reviews are not to be trusted. I will never lie in my reviews. Never. Part of being a book blogger means throwing out honest and unbiased reviews all the time, so insinuating that my reviews are anything but honest would mean I am not fit to be a blogger.
- If I’m going to be honest, I tend to rate books based on feeling more than technicality. Did this book make me want to hold it in my arms and never let it go? If yes, then here go the 5 stars.
- A five star review does not mean it is your favorite, just like a 1 star review does not mean it is horrible. It’s better to read the review to understand the rating better.
If I’m going to be level headed about this, I probably should realize that I’m better off without that person as my GR friend. It just really saddens me that there’s this kind of judgement inside the Book Blogging Community. I’m glad I’ve made some awesome blogger friends who more than make up for it.
Do you judge based on someone’s rating average? Have you been judged by your rating average? What do you think of this post? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!