Random Thoughts on Books: The Goodreads Rating

September 21, 2012 Random Thoughts on Books and Blogging 28

PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new Friday feature.  It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related.

 Rating Goodreads books before they are released.

There is nothing more frustrating to me than looking on Goodreads and seeing books rated before the book is released with comments such as “Can’t wait!” “I’m so excited!” “(Insert Title Here) is going to be so good!” and of course they are all 5 star ratings. Then you also have the opposite where someone will rate it 1 star because they didn’t like the first book in the series or they don’t like the author.


See what I’m talking about? The third book in the Divergent Trilogy (which doesn’t yet have a title) has 376 ratings and 136 reviews.

All the 5 star reviews are “I’M SO EXCITED!!!” and the like.  Only two of the 1 star reviews had comments, and both rated it one star because they had to wait for the third book to be released.

When I see a new book I always look at the Goodreads rating to kind of get a feel for the book. I know that there are always going to be some ratings that will skew it a bit, but this book is skewed already, and it doesn’t even have a title!

Am I the only one that finds this irritating?


28 Responses to “Random Thoughts on Books: The Goodreads Rating”

  1. Christina

    You are not. That is SO IRRITATING. Additional concerns:

    1) When the book is released, if they don’t get to it, will they remember to go remove the 5 star I’M SO EXCITED rating?

    2) It skews the results, making those averages, which could be used as a bit of a diagnostic tool so unrealistic.

    3) What really gets my goat is when it’s someone’s debut novel and the only rating on it is a 1 star with NO EXPLANATION WHATSOEVER. That’s going to scare people away from the book, and it might be their angry neighbor or someone who just thinks the book sounds lame. That one makes me madder than anything. I hate the ratings without having read at least part of the book, but the ratings for an unreleased title WITHOUT EVEN A WORD about why it’s been rated!

    • Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

      1. Of course they won’t remember to go back and change it!

      2. Agree! I’m a bit of a math nerd and I love looking at the numbers.

      3. Grrrr, that’s just as bad. I firmly believe you shouldn’t rate a book without reading it (or attempting to, I don’t have a problem rating a DNF 1 star)

  2. fakesteph

    THIS MAKES ME SO FRUSTRATED. I have a friend with a second goodreads account for all her TBR (she doesn’t like her total count to be inflated by her tbr…. yeah….) and apparently, the books won’t display right if she doesn’t rate them, so she ratees all her tbr as 3 stars. Her rationale is that it is in the middle, so it won’t skew anything, but it makes me CRAZY.

  3. Chrisbookarama

    I hate that too. I’m not sure how they can fix it since reviewers get galleys and want to rate them, so disabling ratings until release date won’t work. There has to be some way to fix it though. Goodreads is so annoying lately.

  4. Kah Cherub

    Argh, that is pretty annoying. I know a girl who rates every single new book by Maryjanice davidson badly because she doesn’t like the author anymore, without reading them… even the ones that aren’t published yet! O.o what’s wrong with these people?

  5. Annette

    Wow. I didn’t know people did that. I wonder if Goodreads could block the ability to rate, at least until the ARCs are available! Or, it needs to be marked as “read” before you can rate it. I can’t imagine rating a book I haven’t read. I would never do that. And, given that I know Goodreads won’t change because of what I think, I really don’t put much stock in their ratings.

  6. Bittner

    To be honest it doesn’t bother me simply because I’ve never experienced it before. But now that you have brought the problem to my attention I am totally on your side man! Let’s take those bitches down!!!

  7. Jenny

    Yep, I hate this too! I don’t get it. I never rate a book unless I’ve read it…all of it. If I don’t finish it I don’t rate it.

  8. Alexia561

    No, you’re not the only one bothered by this, as it’s crazy! I like the suggestion of no rating unless you mark it “read”, but I don’t know if that would stop anyone.

  9. Erin

    I’ve missed reading up on what you’re up to! Life is just too busy right now. :( I COMPLETELY AGREE with this. “I can’t wait to read this book.” “Ian Somerhalder would so perfect as the main male character” (I mean, he’s hot and all, but everyone things he should be every semi- to all-out bad boy) are not actually reviews, they are comments. I wish there could be a little more moderation for this on goodreads. It’s caused me to stop considering their star-ratings. The only time I actually take them seriously is when they are really low. I figure if the random “commenters” and actual reviewers have given this a low enough rating to cause a three star or less, then it must be pretty bad. :)

  10. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

    Oh, I SO agree with you. I don’t even rate books that I DNF, so I can’t see why people would rate a book if they haven’t even read it yet! That’s ridiculous! Why???? Why do they do that? There is no point! Stupid. Stupid. Dumb. Dumb. Okay, rant over. ;)

  11. Roberta R.

    I noticed that, and it’s insane of course. Also, you don’t need to rate a book in order to share your I-can’t-wait’s or I’d-never-touch-it-with-a-ten-foot-pole’s. What helps is, if there are many ratings that are not real reviews when the book is still in ARC form or such, you can tell it at first glance, because only the real reviews are automatically moved upwards, and you get to spot them easily. But when the book has been released, who knows how many mere ratings are there, buried in the mass of comments and reviews that stretch for pages and pages?

    Did I mention I love this feature? :)
    And sorry for deleting the previous comment – I had to fix a couple of mistakes. I’m picky that way :).