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Old 12-30-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
issybird
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2013 Ratings Distribution

Fbone's post rating 2013 books in the five-star reads thread had me look at my own ratings for the books I read this past year. Counting the ratings I know I'll give for the last two books I'll finish (coming in just under the wire at 100), this is my distribution:

Five stars......7
Four stars.....21
Three stars...41
Two stars.....26
One star........5
Abandoned.....2

Not counting the abandoned books, this averages to 2.99 stars. This seems about where it should be, as each book starts out at a mental three stars and its rating is adjusting up or down from there. The distribution around three stars is nearly perfect; I could wish I were reading slightly better books, however. Not every book can be five stars or even four stars, but I'd like to do a better job of weeding out the clunkers, those which are not quite bad enough to abandon but which are worse than the baseline.

(Another goal for 2014: Pick better books!)

I'm curious to see how others' ratings averaged out.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
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1 star: 6
2 Stars: 16
3 stars: 40
4 Stars: 30
5 Stars: 8

3.18 average.

For my last 100 books. I tend to save 1 and 2 stars for real stinkers.

Last edited by mcrow; 12-30-2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:29 PM   #3
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I am to reluctant to give a book five stars I think. It must be a book that I get so much oout of it that it becomes I book I will read in whole or at least in part over and over.

So my distribution for 2013 has been:

Five stars . . . . . . 1
Four stars . . . . 27
Three stars . . . 36
Two stars . . . . 19
One star . . . . . . 2

So that averages to 3.08. Like Issybird my average seems about correct, though I read too many books that were only worth two stars or less.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:35 PM   #4
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I tend to rate things fairly high and use my own definitions for things but here are my counts and the descriptions I use to rank them. It is roughly a 1-5 scale with a "favorites" tacked on which covers those books that I know don't deserve a 5-star rating on their merits, but I really like for some reason.

0 - Bad - Bad...just bad, probably didn't finish.
2 - Meh - Waste of time, but likely finished.
12 - Ok - Enjoyable, but probably won't read again.
52 - Good - Good read, might read again.
20 - Excellent - Great read, will likely read again.
0 - Favorite - Personal favorite, possibly rated for nostalgia.

Averages out to 4.0 if 1=Bad, and 5=Excellent/Favorite. My overall average since 2011 is slightly lower at 3.9.

My ratings are skewed toward the upper end this year because I intentionally tried to read a bunch of well-reviewed and award winning books rather than the "whatever sounds interesting" hodge-podge that I normally read.

Last edited by Dazrin; 12-30-2013 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:40 PM   #5
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1 star: 1
2 stars: 0
3 stars: 9
4 stars: 17
5 stars: 10

Average rating = 4.02


The high average doesn't surprise me. I usually have to really dislike a book before giving it a lower rating.

The single star book was actually a "DNF", but there isn't really a "0" star option. I did count it as "zero" when calculating the average, however.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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My totals end up very top lofty. Even after eliminating the rereads, I still had more 4 and 5 star books together than 1, 2 and 3 star combined. I have to give credit to joining book clubs on Goodreads for improving my successful reads. Not surprisingly, many are the first book of an established series.

5 star: 42 One of the best reads this year, would likely read again
4 star: 29 Better than average read, might reread
3 star: 34 Average, enjoyed.
2 star: 14 Didn't suck. Something wrong with story
1 star: 5 Not my style, didn't finish or hated

Last edited by Tarana; 12-30-2013 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:07 PM   #7
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Five stars......3
Four stars.....16
Three stars....21
Two stars.......4

I very rarely finish a book that sets a one-star pace (and I won't rate a book I didn't finish).

For perspective: a book that I found at least a few things to like (and never felt the urge/need to set it aside) is a solid three.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I very rarely finish a book that sets a one-star pace (and I won't rate a book I didn't finish).
For clarification of my ratings, I will rate some books that I didn't finish, but not all of them. If I have given a book what I feel is a fair chance and there are too many major problems with the plot, characters, or writing that make it too bad to finish, I will rate it "bad" (1 star). If I abandon it for other reasons, such as not caring about the characters or just not being engaging enough for me, I won't rate it and will just abandon it.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:15 PM   #9
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Don't get me wrong; I don't have a problem telling someone that I thought a book I wasn't able to finish was absolutely horrible (and why) if I'm asked. But I'm personally uncomfortable giving them an official "score." I usually just toss those books onto my "Unceremoniously Dumped" shelf and grab another.

I harbor no ill will towards those who rank a book they didn't complete, I just can't do it myself.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 12-30-2013 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Don't get me wrong; I don't have a problem telling someone that I thought a book I wasn't able to finish was absolutely horrible (and why) if I'm asked. But I'm personally uncomfortable giving them an official "score." I usually just toss those books onto my "Unceremoniously Dumped" shelf and grab another.

I harbor no ill will towards those who rank a book they didn't complete, I just can't do it myself.
Completely understand, I just wanted to be clear on mine too. If you know that someone does or doesn't rank books that they have abandoned (for whatever reason), it helps to get the complete picture of how their scores end up.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:23 AM   #11
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No 1 or 2 star ratings for me this year. This was a year mainly reading non-fiction and a few Star Wars short stories thrown in. I very rarely give those low ratings as I love the story-lines.

3 stars: 11
4 stars: 10
5 stars: 2
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:38 AM   #12
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My distribution:

5 stars: 28
4 stars: 57
3 stars: 53
2 stars: 11
1 star: 2

I won't choose books to read that are likely to be 1-stars, but sometimes I surprise myself.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
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5 - 4
4 - 32
3 - 29
2 - 6
1 - 0

3.479. Probably a little high, but I've only had three 1 star books over the last three years. I research books I read a lot and I tend not to abandon because I generally believe there is something I can get out of the book before I even start it. If it's really only a four star scale then 3.479 is about midpoint between 2 and 5.

The problem I have with a five star scale is that it limits sorting things out. Not all four star books are equal. Depending on what I was thinking about that day with respect to the book could cause it to be a high three instead of a low four.

Detroit: An American Autopsy was better than Glimpses was better than Broken April, but the first two got four stars and the third got three. In my arbitrary rating system. Detroit got an 8, Glimpses got 7 and April got 6.

There is lots of scholary literature on the problem with limited scales (five-point versus seven-point versus more-point). The consensus tends to be that smaller scales are easy to implement, but users are often forced to choose the next best option. The book was actually a little less than average, but it comes out as average since two seemed too low for the book. There is a diminishing return though. Adding more points will create confusion. Seven point scales seem to be a pretty nice balance at times. I use a nine-point for mine here, but that is broken out as follows.

9 I cannot recommend this book enough (if one is interested in the subject)
8 and 7 varying levels of really good
6 and 5 varying levels of average to decent
4 and 3 varying levels of poor
2 and 1 varying levels of literary atrocities

It lets me bucket things in the five categories, but gives some leeway to say this was more enjoyable than that. In the end, I want to read books that get 8s and I want people, if they look at my ratings, to understand which books are higher within a given category.

Now that I've bored everyone, I shall go back to the junkyard and reseach more books to read.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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I like your 10 point scale. I wouldn't mind the 5 star option as much if 1/2 stars were implemented. I tend to include the ".5" in my reviews (on Goodreads).
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:50 PM   #15
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I've been so long in dealing with book club thread titles that when I saw this thread I first read it as "2013 Rotating Distribution" and I thought, "Huh?"

Here's my 2013 numbers:

5 star - 7
4 star - 5
3 star - 12
2 star - 5
1 star - 0

However, I list everything even if it's very short. If I removed items less than 100 pages, I'd remove 2 5-stars, 1 4-star and 1 3-star.

That does make me wonder - would rankings averages change if they had to factor in page count? For instance, if one person read a 100 page book rated 1-star and a 1000 page book rated 5-star, in normal rankings that would give their reads a 3-star average. But if page count were factored in, all the sudden their average would jump to a 4.6. I suppose for most people there may not be much of a change anyway.
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