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Old 08-16-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
texasnightowl
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An observation on ratings...how do you define your scale?

I've finally got my Calibre layout essentially how I want it with custom fields that work for me and metadata on all my existing books, etc.

So now I'm getting around to doing something I've been putting off...assigning ratings to books. Now, I use the Ratings field in 2 ways...when combined with a "Read" status, it means obviously how I rate the book. When combined with an "Unread" status, it indicates my interest in reading that book (a 4 or 5 * for example means it is high on my priority list).

That said, I just went thru a batch of 300 titles that I've read to assign their ratings. It first surprised me, but now doesn't that the bulk of my reading ends up with a middle of the road 3 star rating. 5 is rare, 4 is more common, 3 is the majority, then 2 is less common and 1 is again rare/unusual. But I suppose this is actually probably normal. It also surprised me that books I thought maybe I would give a 4 to were often downgraded to a 3 when compared to other books I was rating. But again, I bet that is pretty common.

Here's my rough description of how I define my star ratings:
5 - something I loved or something that strongly impacted me; a book that I know I will go back to time and again (I am a re-reader).
4 - something that was very good but didn't quite have the impact of a 5* book; most likely will re-read
3 - middle of the road; not good but not poor; probably liked some things about it and disliked others; probably will never go back to it
2 - a book I didn't like but not worthy of a 1*
1 - for those "how in the world was this ever published and why did I waste my time" books

And another question...besides Read or Unread, what other status' does everyone else use. Right now I'm using Read, Unread, Library, and z.Freebie. Library for those books that I may or may not ever read or aren't "reading" type books...like cookbooks or some Classical novels and literature. z.Freebie is for some of the items I downloaded from Amazon that I only downloaded because they were free. I have these states in their own custom field so that it is easier to set up saved searches to exclude the Library and z.Freebie books, etc. when I'm trying to decide what next to read.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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I have the regular ratings category and then a custom ratings field for 'status.' My ratings are only for books I have read and are pretty much the same as yours. My status tags are:

1- book is read and finished
2- book is not read yet but was read in paper (these are e-replacements)
3- book is an article, fanfic or other personal content
4- book was abandoned and never finished (it was bad)
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:43 PM   #3
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I am really stingy with 5's
1: Why did I even buy this? Yecht?Meets the MR category, never finished.
2: Remind me not to get more like this.
3: O.K. I made it to the end. Could be better.
4: Enjoyed , a book that gets read again
5: Yes! Had me entertained and chortling.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
4- book was abandoned and never finished (it was bad)
oh yeah, I forgot to include my DNF status
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
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I'd use the same scale I use for Netflix.

1 - Awful, just really bad, or offensive, didn't finish reading or watching
2 - Didn't care for, didn't finish
3 - Liked it well enough to finish watching or reading.
4 - Actually liked it, most good movies and books fall here
5 - Really liked, my favorite books and movies go here.
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:49 PM   #6
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I don't bother to rate my books. If it's really good, I'll remember it. If it's a real turkey, I'll dump it.

I have a custom column for unread. One star means unread, no star means read.
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Old 08-17-2010, 03:28 AM   #7
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I sometimes download parts of stories that are being published serially; I give them a status tag of WIP for work in progress. Combined with Unread, it means I'm waiting for all parts to be available before I start reading.

My star ratings are pretty much like everyone else's, with five stars being reserved for favorites that I will probably reread more than once and would recommend to friends. For the one and two star entries, I usually add a comment about why I disliked it and wouldn't recommend it, e.g. "Boring characters," "Plot makes no sense," or "Only for the gullible."
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:04 AM   #8
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Same here. My ratings seem to be like most of you. I don't rate in calibre by the way - but on Shelfari and Goodreads.

5: Great quality writing + I loved it! (I'm stingy with 5's) Almost definitely a book for re-reading.
4: Good to great writing, but perhaps lacked that something that made me love it. Probably a candidate for re-reading.
3: 'Nice' - interesting enough to enjoy and finish, but I doubt I'll read it again.
2: Boring, but not horrible. I may not finish.
1: Books I'd only finish because of a fascination of the horrible - books I can't believe is so bad and thus I keep reading.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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I kind of go backwards. 3 stars is something I enjoyed reading, but wouldn't search the author out for another books. 2 stars is less than that (sorry I spent the time) and 1 star is something I couldn't finish. 4 stars is something where I would search out the author again (Stephen King after Cujo). Don't believe I have any 5 star.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:52 PM   #10
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I follow the Goodreads method of ratings, which I use in Calibre, too:

1 - didn't like it
2 - it was okay
3 - liked it
4 - really liked it
5 - it was amazing

And I am also really stingy on 5s. And since I'm reading more library e-Books, I'm running into a lot more 1s and 2s than I did when I shopped in stores. The vast majority of my books are 3s - a 4 or 5 is usually a favorite author or something that kept me thinking well after the book ended.

If it is a 1, it almost never gets finished. I'm a lot quicker to abandon now.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:06 AM   #11
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ratings

Wow... okay so I find I'm in a minority on using ratings *g* I use ratings as such:
1 - wanted book
2 - no cover or comments
3 - needs comments
4 - needs cover
5 - ready to go
0 - read
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:13 AM   #12
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I surrendered the ratings to the social metadata download. Thus my ratings are whatever Amazon or other, have the books rated. Since I have a slew of books that I haven't read this rating helps me a tiny bit with possible book or series selection.

Most of the time I move to my next read based on my mood and the recommendations of mobileread.

Some publishing houses put out series written my many authors under a single pen name. Many of these series as long as you read the first book to get the basic history you can skip books that have a rating of 1 or 2 because the guest author had no idea how the main character should behave. In these instances I have gratefully allowed the wisdom of the masses to aid me.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:59 PM   #13
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I just use ratings for READ books - the undread books have 0 rating.

I just finished rating more or less 700 read books, and was surprised - opposite to the majority here - to find that the majority was in the 5 stars.
Feeling that I've been too generous I started reviewing my rating, but I finished downgrading not too many. Have I been just lucky in my readings?
At the moment I have 5 (250); 4 (120); 3 (110); 2 (6)
You will notice that I do not yet use 1 star rating - a 1 star book is thrashed at once.


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