A short post to end this crazy month with. I have in the past few years joined a couple of reading groups down here in reality. I have also joined Goodreads up here on cyberspace. One of the things that are required is a mark of approval. Some sign of opinion of the worth of the book just read. In the book groups we mark out of ten, and it is understood that it is only our opinion of the book. On cyberspace the star system seems to have lost its way.
Even in the groups, down here, I have noticed that many times only a gut opinion is offered. ‘I didn’t like it’ with no attempt to say why not. I find this distressing and strange. One should be able to work out what you dislike if you have read the book. Give a reason. Maybe I go too far in my attempt to be fair; if I don’t particularly like a book I will say so but I try and work out if it is a good book for its type. Cosy mystery? does it deliver cosy mystery? Chick lit (what a dreadful name) does it do what it says on the tin? If they do then they should not be marked down to zero just on a gut dislike. Well in my opinion they shouldn’t. Every book I have ever read deserves some mark. Maybe I have been lucky.
This problem becomes worse when up here in cyberspace. Here everything is universal,not local. Everything up here remains as long as radioactive decay, maybe longer:) Up here the star system appears to be all over the place. Many authors lament anything less than 5 stars. 5 stars would mean perfection and while I appreciate that is a wonderful thing to be told that your book is perfection, however it is just not possible to write a book that is perfection for every reader.Giving 5stars for a book that has room for improvement begins to make a nonsense of the star system.
On Goodreads, 3 stars means the book was enjoyed. 3 stars does not mean the book is being trashed, does not mean your life as a an author has slid down the side of a pit. It means someone enjoyed the book. What a wonderful thought, someone enjoyed your imaginary world.
I have given 5 stars for a few - they have mostly been books that have travelled through many decades with me and are still great reads after the 2,3,4th readings. I mostly give 3 and 4 stars.
I have given a 2 star for books I really didn’t like at all, because, unless it is impossibly bad, there is always something I can enjoy in a book.
I began entering all the books I could remember reading before I realised the importance too many of the star system. I am now in the process of adding the stars, it may take some time but one thing I am sure of when I have finished there will be no zeros. There is always something worth a star in every book.