Saturday, 22 November 2008

Rating System

For some time I have felt that the rating system of 0 to five stars was inadequate. All too often I dither between is it a 3 or is it a 4; can I really justify a five for this book and so on. As a result I have made things a little easier for myself by making the score out of ten. Broadly speaking, this can be equated to the following table.

10 ***** ***** – As good as it gets. As for example a George Eliot classic with good plot, fine English, an educational content, and fine character delineation. (In the case of non-classics an originality of plot counts for a lot.) Worth reading more than once.
9 ***** **** – A good read all round - especially those with some educational content rather then just a good story-line unless that story-line is exceptional.
8 ***** *** - A good all-round read
7 ***** ** - Enjoyable
6 ***** * - Enjoyable but nothing special – as, for example, the second or third of a series like M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin novels where the first one might well rank as an eight star but after that they may be great fun but not quite so special. This is a demonstration of how personal this rating system is.
5 ***** – Worth reading – just
4 **** - Less than average and not especially recommended as worth reading.
3 *** – Poor – just about finished
2 ** – Very poor – did not finish
1 * - Did not get past first few pages

I have also taken the opportunity to add the original publisher and, where this is different, the edition I have read follows in brackets.

Naming the specific edition I read will also enable me to comment upon the typeface which is becoming increasingly important as my eyes worsen. (The last Sharpe, for example was a Large Print which, whilst it makes the book heavy to hold, was such a lot easier on the eyes.) The minute print has put me off attempting a few books recently and I’m surprised publishers still persist in a font size which must be difficult for all but the most sharp sighted.

Whether I own or have boprrowed the book will also be noted (for the benfit of my RYOB challenge) when 2009 commences.

I’m also adding a note on the genre where this is obvious. Perhaps I should read an article about genres so as to know where the more esoteric novels fit.

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