Cecilia Lyra published an interesting article on Book Riot yesterday. Many of you may have read it since it is making the rounds in book circles. The article, The Perilous Process of Rating Books on Goodreads, talks about the difficulties of rating books that you don’t finish. Are you allowed? What does the rest of the Goodreads community have to say about this? She doesn’t rate all the books that she reads.
I mark the books that I did not enjoy as Read without rating them
I take issue with this. This is the exact reason that goodreads exist, to rate books. If you don’t like it and you belong to the community you should rate it. But what about books that you really didn’t like. I mean so much that you didn’t even finish it. You didn’t read the whole thing so, should you rate it?
A book is meant to be judged in its entirety. It isn’t fair to read part of it and give it one star (or five). An argument can be easily made that it is a disservice to the Goodreads community to have overall ratings be compromised by readers who only partially read a given book. What if the book has a very satisfying ending?
So says “Charlie” a member of Cecilia’s book club when posed the question above. I can see where Charlie is coming from, but I would argue that if the book is so bad in the beginning that you just can’t bring yourself to finish it, then that is deserving of a rating. If I already know that this book has put a bad taste in my mouth after only say 50 pages, then why should I have to suffer through the rest. It’s going to put me off reading for a while. I’ll be afraid to pick up another bomb like that book.
We already know we didn’t like it: after all, we did give up on it. Besides, Goodreads may be an online community, but it provides its users with customized recommendations. And when we give a book a one-star rating, we are sending the Goodreads algorithm a clear message: this book was awful. Brutal, but also useful.
I agree with “Jenny” who says the above, she is also in Cecilia’s book club. Plus as Cecilia mentions in the full posting, then I won’t get other books like this recommended to me.
I don’t give up on many books, but it does happen. My solution for this is to create a custom bookshelf called “abandoned”. This is my compromise. I get to rank a book I could not finish, but I will let you know that I didn’t complete the book by putting it on this shelf. This shelf is the worst of the worst. Marked read, given 1 star and put on the abandon self. Done and done.
Do you rate the books you don’t finish? Let me know below in the comments.