{Aside} Rating On Goodreads Before You’ve Read It.

Aside Posted on Updated on

A very wise, important and thought-provoking post about rating books before one even reads them. Thanks to Bentley for sharing this on his blog… I am re-posting it for others to read.

Book Bastion

Fair Warning: Unpopular Opinions Incoming!

I’ve been debating writing this post for quite some time now. I’ve titled it “Unpopular Opinions” for a reason. I’m fully expecting this to spark a bit of discussion and yes, disagreements, but given that we’re all civilized people with strong opinions that are all worthy of merit, I felt more and more compelled to share my thoughts.

I wanted to talk today about the state of Goodreads; in particular a disturbing trend I’ve been witnessing of people maliciously rating books before they’ve actually read them.

For the record, I also take issue with people rating upcoming books that they’re looking forward to 5 stars before the book has even been published, but that’s really not what I want to focus on here. Yes, that equally skews the ratings of any book, but I think it’s more pressing that we talk about the…

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7 thoughts on “{Aside} Rating On Goodreads Before You’ve Read It.

    Nel said:
    May 6, 2017 at 11:29 PM

    Great post. I’ve noticed that before on books that haven’t been released yet and I’ve never understood why people rate anything before reading. I’ve only just started writing actual reviews on Goodreads because I learned how much a review is valued more than just a rating. That’s pretty sad but what can you say in the face of internet trends? Negativity, unfortunately, is more attractive these days.

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 7, 2017 at 8:03 AM

      Exactly. Frustrating. I’m OK with posting a pre-review, not rating, and saying what you heard about it before you read it. Then updating afterwards. But not rating it. Bentley had a great post.


    Valerie @ Valerie's Musings said:
    May 7, 2017 at 9:08 AM

    Wow. That was a great post. Thanks for sharing. I cannot imagine rating/reviewing a book before I’ve read it. To me that seems fraudulent and something that Goodreads should be doing something about.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with racist books (tho’ let’s remember that some of our most well-known “classics” are racist), don’t jump on a bandwagon. Read the book yourself and make an INFORMED decision. Like it or not, the world we live in is extremely racist. Books, even fantasy, are bound to reflect that. 😦

    Liked by 3 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 7, 2017 at 9:10 AM

      I completely agree. I love Agatha Christie, and the story of And Then There Were None, but the original two titles make me annoyed with her… Then I realize things were different back then (not acceptable) but it gets better with each passing year. Never good enough to have any level of racism. Thanks for responding. Bentley will appreciate it too, I’m sure!

      Liked by 1 person

    Valerie @ Valerie's Musings said:
    May 7, 2017 at 1:31 PM

    I don’t mean to imply that books should be racist over all. Nor do I mean to imply that it’s okay to be racist. But it is *realistic* to have a racist character, because let’s face it, we have racist people in everyday life. My main point was that you should judge a book for yourself, not just jump on a bandwagon because someone else said it’s racist and not okay.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 7, 2017 at 1:32 PM

      We’re in agreement. I knew what you meant! I was adding an additional example. And yes, we have too many racists in the world, I agree. Some day it will be different… I really hope.

      Liked by 1 person

    Lost Purple Quill said:
    May 7, 2017 at 2:42 PM

    Totally agree with this post. It bothers me to no end to see all these ratings on a book before it’s been released, and by people who haven’t even it, whether its done out of love or hate. A 1 or 5 star skews it so much! But like you talked about, so many of these unread 1 star ratings seem to be done out of a sense of righteousness or vengeance against the author. And it saddens me because it makes people afraid to rate it higher, or even read it, because they might get hate. I always like to think that bookish people are some of the most empathetic, because we read all sorts of characters, and it bothers me how people can be so quick to judge over a book review or a reading experience. We all bring our own experiences and understandings to what we read- which could make a book better or worse. But I love what you said here- “If I rate a book a 1 star, it’s going to be because I took the time to read it and loathed it myself, not because someone else told me that it was potentially problematic.” Haha, yes! I don’t give out a whole lot of 1 stars, and if a book gets one from me, it really has to earn it, lol. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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