Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Library Thing Tuesday (40) + pictures of Emmy

Today, not only does Wendi reference the 898 5 star ratings of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, she also asks:

Do you use a rating system on your blog? How do you feel about using the rating system provided on sites like Library Thing and Amazon? When looking up information on a book you are interested in, do you use the ratings provided by these sites (or similar sites) to help you make the decision on purchasing the book?

Let me address Outlander first. Apparently it has an average rating of 4.41, so I had to go and add my rating which is a generous 1.5 stars. I picked it up a few years ago because of the time travel element and I did manage to finish it despite being very disturbed by the beating and raping scenes.

And now rating systems. I don't use one on my blog, and I probably never will. I do rate books on LT, Amazon and GoodReads and my ratings are very subjective to my personal tastes and sometimes my mood at the time of rating. I really like that LT lets you give half stars - I find that VERY useful.

Here is the key to my review site ratings:

1/2 star-1 star:
Why did I waste my time?! I'll burn it. (j/k - I've never burned a book though I have rated 2 books only 1 star on LT)
1 1/2 star: I didn't like it, but others might. I'll donate it.
2 stars: It was ok, but had some flaws. I'll donate it.
2 1/2 stars: It was ok, flawed, but with something special about it too. I'll donate it.
3 - 3 1/2 stars: It was good. I will donate it, or give it to a friend I think might like it.
4 stars: I really enjoyed it. I may keep it or I may pass it on to a friend.
4 1/2 stars: It was an excellent book. I will most likely keep it and let friends borrow it.
5 stars: I loved it. It goes on my keeper shelf. I might loan it out, but I'd expect it back in perfect condition.

Due to all the problems with Amazon's rating system, I don't really take their ratings seriously. But I will look at ratings on LT and GoodReads to gauge general satisfaction. A few low ratings aren't necessarily going to keep me from getting a book, but if all the ratings and reviews are low, it will definitely make me think twice.

***************************
Emmy never plays with store bought cat toys. She likes ribbons, elastic hair bands, balled up paper, bottlecaps and other non-toys. On Saturday we got a free helium ballon, so I hung a hair band on the end and she played with it for hours...until it flew out the window while we were airing out an unfortunate "cat play spray" accident.



24 comments:

susan said...

I use a rating system on my blog and Shelfari but I don't provide an explanation so not sure my is all that useful. My lack of explanation in part reflects the amount of value I put on ratings: I look at them, but I pay more attention to what the reviewer actually says about the book rather than what rating they assign.

bermudaonion said...

Emmy is hilarious! I'm glad she didn't go out the window with the balloon. I like the half stars on LT, too.

sharonanne said...

awh! Last year Lilly did the same thing with my birthday balloon. So cute!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

omg, i love how she's literally standing on the back of the couch. That's so cute.

I don't do stars a lot of the time, unless it's for Teens Read Too or something. It's SO hard.

-Lauren

Meghan said...

I only hope that my future cats can be more easily amused by many hair ties I drop than expensive toys! Hehe.

I like your rating system for other sites. I agree that they're very subjective and that's why I don't use them on my blog either. They could change over time, but usually I'll still be feeling what I said in the review.

beccaajoy said...

I admit, I use ratings to partially guide whether or not I buy a book. On any given book, I read a couple of the best and worst reviews . . . and then read several in-the-middle reviews. I've found most of the lowball reviews usually don't say anything constructive. I find a lot of, "Don't waste time on this book," or "I hated this book," without telling me WHY I shouldn't waste my time/money. Which is why the in-the-middle reviews are so helpful. Most reviewers are very open about what they like/don't like in a book, and they'll come right out and say, "I was disgusted by the rape/beating scenes." Which can be extremely useful when I'm deciding which books to buy. Whew! That was long, wasn't it? In short, yes, I use reviews. I prefer stars or grades (A+, B- for example).

Kristen M. said...

One thing that I try and not do is rate a book that I haven't read in a long time. I only rate my books on LT if I can really remember my final impressions of the book. That way it's not just an arbitrary "I think I liked this one" rating. Needless to say, this has set me up for a huge round of re-reads!

Lenore said...

Susan - I agree. What the reviewer says is the important part. Sometimes ratings are just distracting.

Kathy - Fortunatly, we took her out of the room. Which is what we also should have done with the ballon.

Sharon - I thought it would be something that cats would like.

Lauren - It is very hard.

Meghan - I hope so too!

Becca - Clever reference to my Outlander mini-review ;)

Kristen - Yeah, that's why there are a lot of books in my LT library without a rating...

Anonymous said...

I agree with shooting stars!
I don't have time to rate books anymore, and feel stupid for realizing halfway through (such as in the book I am reading 'Does my bum look big in this?) that the book is not worthy of so much attention, yet I am compelled to finish such books anyway! Don't know why.

jlshall said...

I don't seem to have a problem rating books at LT or Shelfari or Good Reads. But I've never started a rating system on my blog, for some reason. I pretty much agree with your system, though. And I really have to love a book for it to rate 5 stars! (But Emmy definitely gets my highest rating.)

Serena said...

Emmy is adorable!

Shalonda said...

I love these pics of Emmy!

Yvonne said...

I love your kitty pics! I felt the same way about Outlander, although I know it's a very popular series.

Stephanie said...

Awww, my #3 cat Reba likes rubber/hair bands. Between 8-10 pm at night, she always carries me something in her mouth. Sometimes it's a hair band (THAT'S where they all keep disappearing to!), but more often than not, it's a sock. Why? I have no clue. LOL

Emmy is just so sweet! My Clover is constantly batting at posters we have up on the walls, just like Emmy. :)

Alea said...

How is it possible for the pictures to get cuter! LOVE IT!

The Bumbles said...

Thanks for stopping by our blog and for presenting us with funny pictures of your kitty.

I am sad to hear you did not like Outlander - I think you are the first person I have come across that did not like it. I have it in my to-read pile. I feel like it will be a good book to branch out with - not my usual genre.

I so wish Goodreads had 1/2 stars - they keep promising. I always rate and review immediately after finishing a book before I have talked to anyone about it - don't want my honest and true thoughts to be influenced by popular opinion. That doesn't mean I can't be talked into a higher or lower opinion than I originally felt, but I rarely go back and change a rating/review unless I re-read the book.

Jenn said...

Greetings from Pittsbugh!

I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing pictures of Emmy. I recently read Outlander. I rated Time Traveler's Wife on another site and it popped up as a recommendation because of time travel. For time travel and historical fiction elements, I would give it about 3.5 stars but for the romance and vidid depiction of that rather uncomfortable scene 1 star.

Beth Kephart said...

This adorable Emmy will soon be the subject of a Daniel-Lenore book, me thinks.

Dar said...

Oh man, those are awesome pics of Emmy. Could she stretch out any further there-is she up on the top of a sofa? These pics never fail to brighten my day Lenore. Thanks for posting them. Give Emmy hugs from Canada.

Anonymous said...

Eww... no, I don't like rating systems and I rarely look at them.. only if it is a book I have already
read.

Melissa said...

I love the half stars on LT and do rate my reviews on my blog. I'm surprised at how many people don't rate them...

Marie said...

Great kitty pictures.
I don't use a rating system on my blog but maybe I should start. Might make things easier for my readers as I do tend to ramble on and on in my reviews!

Ladytink_534 said...

Aw cute! My cat loves those little balls with the bells in them but the things that make her most happy are her big stuffed turtle (which is a little larger than she is) that her dad won in a claw machine, strings, and of course by hair bands!

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads in Seattle said...

Emmy is amazing! Stretching up like that!! :)

Thanks for the comment on OUtlander - don't think that I'll pick it up. Not really interested in beatings and rapings, and never been really interested in time travel. . .

I love your rating system! I was originally planning on doing a similar one on my site, and just never got to it. I like that you added the half stars, and that you have very specific criteria for each star or partial star!

Thanks for stopping by and participating in Thingers last week! I've got the post up for this week. ~ Wendi