Lit Talks is a series of discussion posts where I discuss anything that has caught my eye. I aim to take a new angle on old and new topics alike.
Today I want to talk about how the goodreads rating determines whether I read a book or not. I know, I know…It’s a terrible thing to judge a book based on its average rating. But let’s be honest, even if you don’t base your entire decision on the rating – seeing it does affect your thoughts about the book in some way or another. And for me, if I’ve read the blurb and can’t make up my mind – I turn to the overall rating.
Recently I’ve become aware of my obsessive habit of checking the goodreads rating before reading a book. (And with the distribution of ARCs, I can make up my mind even two months before the book is released!) The only time I don’t check the rating before reading a book is when I see a book at the library and “test-read” the first few pages of a book. At that point, if I know I want to borrow a book – then my decision will be based on whether those first few pages hook me or not.
But the fact of the matter is that later when I go on Goodreads and see that the book has a really low rating, I’ll feel disappointed…And maybe if I’m not finding it interesting enough, I’ll DNF. Ideally the only reason I did not finish the book should be because I got bored. But in cases like this, I often wonder whether it could just have been the realization that I in some way have “permission” to quit reading the book because so many other readers haven’t enjoyed the book and DNF’d too.
But in the end a bad goodreads (average) rating is not necessarily enough to ensure that the book will be avoided. After all, I’ve known myself to read books with “bad” ratings and really enjoy them (and vice versa!).
So what do you think? Does the Goodreads rating determine whether you read or don’t read a book? Do you think the Goodreads rating is relevant?