Monday, May 18, 2009

New Rating System

It would seam that I am unable to fail a book.  Give it shoddy writing and a plot that is easily shaterable in that the characters don’t act in regular human nature, or even un-human nature in an explainable way.  I still find a way to pass the book.  I still look for the silver lining amidst the clouds.  A way to say it wasn’t so bad if this.  At that point I generally give it a border line pass. 

I generally pick up well known authors, so the ability for a book to be a complete failure is next to impossible. 

I keep thinking I might like to switch to the five star system.  At first I didn’t want to do that.  Either a book was good or it was bad.  But it seams that I am unable to say outright the book was absolutely filthy no good.  I can’t do it.  It goes against my Bambi ingrained nature.  The reason I avoided a five star system in the first place, was to avoid having to come up with a ranking from 1 to 5.  Maybe I see it as I 1.5 and someone else sees it as a 3.5 or even a 5.  You know.   Or perhaps I gave a book too high of a rating, proven by the fact that I just read a book that knocked my socks off even more.  It would be unfair to go back and re-rate something in comparison but if I gave the previous material a 5 and the new material kicks its arse, and I am working with a 5 star system then I have nowhere to go.  Some may suggest adding stars at that point, but then I would be graduating to a whole different level of stars and anything rated before then isn’t given a fair rating at that point.  Some might suggest only ever handing out 4 stars on a 5 star system.  As I need an up from there, a place to go still.  But then what???  It all gets so complicated.  Thus why I didn’t want to get into that grey area.  But it seams that now I think I want that grey area. 

And to me an outright fail would have to be something bellow a 1 star.  It would have to be a negative star.  And honestly unless it is some dry textbook with the theory all wrong about a subject I can barely stand the likely hood of me being able to give it a negative review is next to impossible.  It goes against my nature as an optimistic individual. 

So it is with begrudging reluctance I opt out of my black and white world into a world of five stars.  I might rename it to something else that suits me better in the future, however for now we will use the tried and true method of stars.  People understand that.  I get that.  I need variation in my ability to review a book. 

Although I think I will still maintain the pass of fail grading and use it in conjunction with the stars.  That still makes me happy. 

Also I will judge books in their genre of fiction, sometimes even subgenre if I feel it appropriate.  It would be unfair to judge a romance novel against a Science fiction novel as the intended audience is different, and the level of writing reflects that. 

All things I am learning along the way.  Little tweaks as I go.  Hope this helps improve the reviewing process not just for me but for those who will be reading this as well.