Parker Malenke

A New Year and a New Book Rating Scheme

A few days ago I completed my goal of reading 35 books in 2013. I’ve logged all the books I’ve read for the past three years now (on Goodreads), and it’s kind of nice to look back at my recent literary history with ease. When I started rating books I didn’t really have much of a plan for which books got which ratings. And I felt bad about giving books negative ratings, meaning I rarely gave out one or two stars. This paradigm doesn’t have much expressive power, so starting with books I read in 2014 I’m going to use a new rating scheme, specified here:

I absolutely loved the book—wouldn’t change anything about it. There’s a good chance I’ll recommend these books to most people.

A very good book. Stood out as an above average read that I enjoyed a lot. Still, some aspects of the book could use improving before reaching five star status.

Solidly average. No real negatives, but nothing truly outstanding either. Worth spending the time to read, but not necessarily worth re-reading.

Below average. Some redeeming qualities, but my time would probably have been better spent elsewhere. Might still recommend to others if I felt they could enjoy it more.

A bad book. Didn’t enjoy it, and didn’t really find anything beneficial in it. Wouldn’t recommend to others.

My new rubric doesn’t necessarily depend on the re-readability of a book. There are some fantastic books that I would never really plan on re-reading, either because the style of the book doesn’t lend itself to that or just because of logistics. (How many times can one read Infinite Jest?)