Lit Talks: Do you check the goodreads rating?

Lit Talks

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? 

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6 thoughts on “Lit Talks: Do you check the goodreads rating?

  1. I do check the goodreads rating and sometimes I glance at the amazon rating too before I read a book. It may not influence whether I read the book, but it does influence whether I check a book out from the library rather than buying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachana says:

      It’s good to hear I’m not the only one! 😀 That’s interesting…Sadly, I don’t have much options at my HS library (especially in terms of books which were released in the last few months) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bookolympus says:

    I check the goodreads rating when I’m deciding on which book to buy. I usually purchase books with 4 or more stars – I mean… it’s kind of bad to judge the book by other’s ratings, but I’ve got so many books on my wish list! I want to read those that are generally recommended by other first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachana says:

      Yes I know what you mean..It’s hard to decide what to buy and guess whether you’ll at least enjoy the book you’re paying for 🙂 I usually take more risks with library books and I sometimes discover some gems. Anyway, thanks for commenting! 😀


  3. Marwa says:

    I don’t really focus on the average rating as much as the ratings from my friends. I usually don’t read a lot of reviews, so I just skim through the reviews of the people I trust and have similar taste of mine and determine whether to read it or not.
    But usually, I take more risks if I’m borrowing a book from the library or from a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rachana says:

      Interesting! I don’t actually have many offline friends who love reading like me but I do take recommendations from one of my best friends who has similar tastes as me. I usually take more risks with library books too 😀 But since I’m really picky, I often end up searching the book up on goodreads..which defeats the point of being adventurous I guess but I can’t help myself.

      Liked by 1 person

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