Thursday Thought: Goodreads Ratings

Posted on Dec 26, 2013 in Thursday Thought | 20 comments


THURSDAY THOUGHTThis week we’re talking…



I love Goodreads BUT..

Every time I finish a book and submit my rating I know in the back of my mind, I can clarify my star rating by giving my test grade rating in my review on the blog. But what about the RATING of the book on Goodreads? Goodreads doesn’t know that my 3 is really a 3.5 or my 5 is really a 4.5.

All of our a bit lower or bit higher gr ratings translate into an inaccurate rating for the novel itself on goodreads. As someone (and I’m sure many of you do this as well) who sees a certain rating and runs from a book, I think that there should be something done about this.

And you may all be like, well, what can we do?


In my humble opinion half stars are the first step towards better more accurate ratings on goodreads. No more would we wonder if someone really gave it a 3 or 2.5 a 4 or a 3.5. This is the best step goodreads can take to ensure that readers are getting the best representation of a novel before diving in!

Not only that but some people that have similar reading taste to me can decide whether I pick up a book or not with their rating alone. So therefore having an ACCURATE rating from those people would definitely help decide what I do and do not read.

So what so you guys think? Are you okay without half stars?
THURS THOUGHT:What We Don't Talk About..DNF-ing



  1. Oh my gosh, yes, I want hald star ratings on Goodreads. There are so many books that I would really give a 3.5 too, instead od a 3.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Top Five Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing MeMy Profile

    • It’s so necessary’!

  2. Yes! I would be so happy if they added half stars. And if they let you mark books you’ve reread so they count towards both years goals.
    Melissa @ Harley Bear Book Blog recently posted…Stacking The Shelves & Sunday Post #45My Profile

    • Totally agree. I think it’s a practical addition!

  3. Omigosh — THIS. So, so, SO this. I have a mild panic attack sometimes when I mark a book as completed on Goodreads, and then it asks me to rate it. Most of the time, I hover between the 3 and 4 star mark … 3 seems too low, but 4 is too high. And it’s SO HARD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE TWO!!!!!

    • Right?! It’s so true!!

  4. I replied via Twitter to this, but had to check out the full post. I’m all in favor of the half star. There truly is something between “I liked it” and “I really liked it”. I really do try to stick to GR’s rating definitions, but it would be so much nicer with 1/2 stars. When I do have a half star, I tend to round up, and stick the true rating as the first line of my review. Putting it there only helps if someone is really scouring through reviews before deciding on a book, but it makes me feel more honest.
    Maria @ Reading the Alphabet recently posted…Parents in YA and NA BooksMy Profile

  5. Obviously I agree with this since we’ve had many discussions about what a pain it is to try and decide how to rate a book that falls in between stars. GET IT TOGETHER, GOODREADS!
    Hannah @ So Obsessed With recently posted…The Favorite Factor: LongbournMy Profile

  6. I have wanted half stars on Goodreads for forever! It would be so much nicer. It totally skews the overall rating of the book when some of us are rounding up and some of us are rounding down. I really hope that they change this soon though. Hopefully Amazon will get on it.
    Rebecca @ The Library Canary recently posted…Review: Impostors by Susanne WinnackerMy Profile

  7. I totally agree to this. Good reads please please please consider half ratings. :)

  8. It seems like a totally easy change for them to make! Why not?

  9. I, too, really wish Goodreads would give us the option to use half stars but they’ve said time and time again that they have no desire to implement them. So what I do is at the very top of my review I write in bold my actual rating. Like this:

    <B 4 ½ stars

    You can’t tell by looking at the book that I’ve given it 4 ½ stars but at least it’s in my review.

    Maybe if we start a petition….? :)
    Brianna (The Book Vixen) recently posted…13 of My New Year ResolutionsMy Profile

  10. I don’t know why I didn’t see this before. Anyway, I agree on half stars 100%. I hate trying to decide whether to give the book a star it doesn’t deserve or take one away that it does deserve. SUCKS. I usually write 2.5 or 4.5 above my review, but still…. doesn’t helped the overall rating of the book. It’s really annoying. You’d think goodreads would have realized this from day 1.
    Betty recently posted…REVIEW: Jet by Jay CrownoverMy Profile

  11. I’m not sure that I think half stars are necessary. Each individual rating might not be as precise, but since the average goes out to two decimal places, I think it will all work itself out in the goodreads average. For instance, if a bunch of people want to give a book 3.5 stars, odds are good that about half of them will give the book 3 stars and half will give 4 stars for the same overall effect. Of course, if I used half stars, just the individual inaccuracy might be enough to bother me. I could see where you might want to be able to represent your personal feelings about a book more accurately.
    Katie @ Doing Dewey recently posted…Non-Fiction FridayMy Profile

  12. Skewed ratings are the number one reason why we NEED half-star ratings! Otherwise there is a ±0.5 margin of error in overall ratings :(

    What do you think are the odds of a major petition finally changing the minds of the GR team?
    Joséphine @ Dudette Reads recently posted…Book Beginnings: GENESIS by Lara MorganMy Profile

  13. I am SERIOUSLY waiting for Goodreads to make this happen. I don’t see how half stars could be such a difficult thing to integrate into their rating system! (Though I obviously don’t know anything about programming, and such) Still, it would definitely portray more accurate ratings overall. I know that I have a tendency to round up and round down depending on my mood, and I wish I could be more transparent with the people who follow me on there and even the ones who don’t.
    Alexa S. recently posted…Unleashing Mr. Darcy – Teri Wilson (Review)My Profile

  14. You’re absolutely right; Goodreads NEEDS to add half stars!! It really bugs me that they don’t.
    Sam recently posted…How Fast of a Reader are You?My Profile

  15. I SO WISH Goodreads had half stars. It doesn’t happen ALL that often because I can usually convince myself of a solid star rating, but sometimes it really is a half star and it makes me so mad. I generally round up, although sometime I don’t because the book really isn’t strong enough to pull that off. So then I round down and whine because it’s not accurate. Life is SO HARD. >.<
    Gaby @ Queen Ella Bee Reads recently posted…Winter Blogging BreakMy Profile

  16. I am definitely with you on that one. My site platform has half stars, but Goodreads doesn’t for some reason. I know librarything uses half ratings which I hope Goodreads will transfer to eventually soon because it would help with recommendations for other readers. Half ratings can make a huge difference. But normally in my rating, I always round up normally.


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