Book Discussion

Discussion Time- Do You Feel Bad For Giving Books Bad Ratings?

I was looking at the books I read of 2016 thus far and out of all seven, I gave three 2 stars, two 3 stars and DNF’d one. Yup, 2016 has been a great year as far as books go. Now TV shows, they’re a whole other story, but I’m talking about books here. Books.

When reviewing books I know they’re just my opinion. A two star book to me could be a five star book for someone else. I’m fine with giving a book a low rating (because it’s my opinion) but I do feel bad at the same time. Why, you may ask, because of several things.

One. A bad rating could mean less people will read the book, or give it a try. When you see the average rating and it has two stars, are you still going to buy that book? Are you even going to try to read it? Maybe, I guess it depends on the book. But the less people that read it, the less money for the author. And this makes me feel bad because authors spend so much time on their books, and I’m an empathetic person, so when I put myself in their shoes, I feel bad. It would be horrible to know a book you loved and wrote, the majority of people who read it hated it. It makes me feel bad (but like I said, it doesn’t stop me from rating a book as I feel.)

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And Two. I also don’t want to discourage people from reading a book. If they see my review and decide not to read it, then they could be missing out on a book they could love. I know for a fact that sometimes, a review will talk about how awful a book was, then I pick it up and ADORE it. Everyone feels differently about books……….

Anyways, those are just my thoughts. I still give books the ratings they deserve, and I know I shouldn’t feel bad, but sometimes I do. How do you feel about giving books low ratings? Are you okay with it, or do you feel a little bit bad like me?

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Discussion Time- Do You Feel Bad For Giving Books Bad Ratings?

  1. For me, it depends on how I came across the book. If I picked it up with (largely) no external pressure to do so then I don’t feel so bad giving it whatever I think it deserves. But if it’s been referred to me by a friend or when I do guest reviews then I do feel bad and might even give it some time before I write the review/rate it so I can dig for some good things to even the scale. Despite this though, I actually have no problem with giving super-hype books a bad rating. It doesn’t make sense but on other levels, it does…

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    1. Yeah, I get what you mean when it’s refereed by a friend. I feel so bad when I don’t like a book my friend loves, but everyone has different tastes in books πŸ™‚ so maybe they’ll show me another one that I love! I find that I don’t like super hyped books, I think it hightens my expectations so much that I can never really enjoy them, and then I’m the outcast giving it two stars when everyone else gives it five xD Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

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  2. Never! It’s my one little opinion & certainly not enough to end a career. Least I hope not. I don’t concern myself with people seeing my review or rating and not reading the book. I believe people find the books they’re meant to find and my take won’t deter that.

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    1. That would seriously stink if one bad review ended a career, there would be SO much pressure and probably, not a lot of honesty. I think that’s what’s great about blogging in general, your opinions are your own πŸ™‚ I agree when you say that you believe people find the books they’re meant to find, I think that’s super true! Thank you for the comment πŸ™‚

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  3. I think I used to feel more bad than I do now. I guess you get used to it over time. And I’ve come to peace with the fact I’m not going to like everything I read; that’s expected and fine.

    The key, I think, is to be polite about it and to be specific about what you don’t like. Leaving a bad rating on Goodreads probably won’t really matter because once the book gets 1000 ratings, yours won’t skew the average. But if you’re worried about people not reading the book because of the rating on your blog, it helps to be clear about why you gave it a low rating. Maybe someone won’t care about the things that bothered you, or maybe they’ll think they’re good characteristics.

    I get the argument about wanting to be kind to authors. I agree they put a lot of time and effort and heart into their books. I certainly haven’t written a book, so I can respect that. But I try to remember that their effort earns them my courtesy, not my five stars. Unfortunately it’s possible to put a lot of time into something that…just isn’t that good, no matter how hard you tried. (I can think of a lot of school projects where this happened to me.) And at the end of the day, we’re rating the result, not the effort that went into it.

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    1. I think you do get used to giving bad reviews over time, and it makes those great 5 star books you find seem even better xD! Too bad we don’t end up loving everything we read…now that would be a great world, wouldn’t it? You bring up a good point when you say one rating doesn’t matter when it comes to 1000, I never really thought about it like that. And being polite is important, I don’t think people need to be rude when it comes to reviews. What you said, you try to remember that their effort earns them your courtesy. I LOVE that. That’s SO quotable! That’s so great, so so great. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the comment!

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  4. I understand what you mean when you say it makes you feel bad for the author since you know they worked really hard on their book. Nevertheless, I try to be as honest as possible when I give my reviews even if that means it gets a low rating from me. I’ve been lucky so far this year, most of the books I’ve read deserved 4 or 5 stars and I only DNF’d one book.
    When I see a book that has a low rating, I try to read several reviews before making up my mind whether to give it a try or not. It’s unfair to decide because of one poor review, since like you said reviews are often subjective. What didn’t work for someone might be the story you love. πŸ™‚

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    1. I know, I think I’m a compassionate/empathetic person so I really feel bad. I get how much their books mean to them so sometimes I feel bad, but my honesty still remains. Even if a book has low ratings I tend to get it anyways because if it sounds good to me, then I want to decide if it’s good. Usually, I end up agreeing with the low ratings πŸ˜„ but at least I give it a shot. Oh well…And ohhh nice that’s good you’re having a good year so far πŸ™‚ my years hasn’t been that great for books, but I’m hoping it’ll get better! Thanks for the comment πŸ˜€

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  5. I see things from the point of the view of the person who will spend money to buy the book. If it’s bad, there are plenty of other titles out there that are good. Also, if it’s bad, maybe the author needs to rethink a career as a novelist. Sometimes, a story can be good, but the writing — the telling of it — is awful. A rating shouldn’t depend on story alone but on mastery of craft.

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    1. You have a point when you said if the reviews are that bad then authors need to rethink their career. I get what you mean, but it would be hard to face, especially if you liked writing : but there’s always room for improvement! Thank you for the comment πŸ™‚

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  6. I feel bad if only because I want to enjoy what I read and all of the books that I chose to read are books that I’m expecting to enjoy, so it’s disappointing if you don’t enjoy a book as much as you are expecting to. But the way I see it, I want to be honest about how I felt about a book and I think that’s better for people reading your reviews because they will be able to make a more informed decision about whether they want to read the book or not.

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    1. I wish we loved all the books we read xD wouldn’t that be great? But then, it’d be less special. I think, so maybe that wouldn’t be so good. Anyways, honesty is always the best policy even if it isn’t 5 stars. Right? πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment!

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      1. Yeah you’re right, if we did like everything we read then the 5 star books wouldn’t be as special. Yeah I agree, honesty is always the best policy. No problem!

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  7. Yeah, I feel bad. Mostly for reason number one. Because I KNOW someone worked so hard to write it, and here I am basically saying it sucked. But then… I guess I kind of DO want to warn readers, in a way? I mean, I would want to know if a bunch of people hated a book. So it’s hard. I DO rate low when it needs to be done, and I DO feel that twinge of guilt, pretty much 100% for the author. But I guess at the end of the day we don’t have a choice- and really, if we’re in the minority and most people love it, our ratings will just be a drop in the ocean. And if everyone hates the book… well, guess we weren’t alone πŸ˜‰ Love this post, it’s such a good discussion topic!

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    1. It does stink rating books low :/ … the whole author’s spending so many hours finishing their novels and not liking them thing really STINKS. It’s awful honestly, but like you said, it doesn’t change the honesty of a review. Thank you for commenting πŸ™‚ I love hearing/reading everyone’s thoughts on this topic. Everyone is so different when it comes to this discussion haha, have a great day πŸ™‚

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  8. I absolutely feel bad, especially if I know that I hardcore hated it. Since I write, I know I would be devastated if I poured my blood, sweat and tears into a book, fought to get representation and then published, and then had someone hate what I made. But that’s also kind of the name of the game. Not everyone is going to like what you put out there, and it’s their right to say so and advise others.

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    1. YES! I it like 1000 times worse if you hated the book :/… I write too, so I totally understand that :O writing is hard work and tons of dedication, reading negative reviews would be VERY hard :/ especially if they are all negative reviews. And true O_O it is the name of the game… well, thank you for stopping by πŸ™‚ have a lovely day!

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  9. I only felt bad once and that was when I reviewed an ARC of some dystopian novel, and I just murdered the book in my review. I tried to be as constructive as I could be, I gave my reasons, I explained why I thought the book needed more work, why I had been so frustrated while reading it, I tried to soften the bite as much as I could, but it wouldn’t have been fair to lie. I didn’t worry too much about the ratings because, surprisingly, it did really well with other readers (god knows why, seriously, it’s like we didn’t read the same book !), but yeah, thinking that the author had probably read my review made me feel a bit awkward, like “no offense, you’re probably a great person but your book was bad, sorry !”. But, I understand how scary it must be for authors, I definitely would hate to be in their positions !

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    1. That’s understandable! It’s stinks when you don’t like a book and you can’t think of good things to say about it at ALL… But at least you tried to soften it a bit, the truth is important. It would be scary for authors for sure O_O. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day πŸ™‚

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  10. I try really hard not to read any reviews about the books that I am reading before hand. If I do see an interesting review that I come across blogging I typically add that to my TBR list because you never know. I agree with you everyone has there own opinion so something that I love other people might be like that is awful so I try really hard to keep an open mind while reading. If it doesn’t work for me it doesn’t work for me. I had a DNF recently that I felt bad it was all hyped up but about 50 pages in I was like this is not for me. I do agree I feel bad for the author so that is why I try not to read the reviews and count something out that other people might not have liked. Great post! I hope you find a great book soon for 2016!!

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    1. I so understand that! I really think reading reviews before reading a book has a huge impact on how you felt about the book after you finish it :O. I only read reviews for books I’m unsure about or have already read :). I agree! Just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean you wont like it :D. Recently I gave 1 star to a book everyone loved, I literally saw no reviews under 3 stars XD. And sorry that book didn’t work out for you :[ that is always a stinky feeling. Anywho, thank you for stopping by πŸ™‚ HAVE A GREAT DAY!

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  11. I am not personally a fan of writing negative reviews, but I know that they are necessary. It is really impossible for every book that you read to be a 5 star book, so everyone is going to end up reading less than stellar books at some point. Negative reviews can really be harmful for an author is they are gone about the wrong way, like insulting the author and nasty stuff like that. Just because it is a review for a book you did not like does not mean that you have the right to bash the book and the author. But, if a negative review is written well, it can actually help the author. Like they say, any press is good press, right?

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  12. I do sometimes feel bad but I think the most important thing is to be honest and you can do it respectfully — I appreciate that much more than someone trying to smooth something over or make a book seem better than it is

    Great post!

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  13. There are many people who have been through what you are feeling on this discussion and they can all help. Me? I feel that it is important that life is, and should be, fun. Citalopram can return fun to life in my uninformed opinion.

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