3 star ratings…Good or bad?

Of the 12 books I read in April, I rated 7 of them 3 stars. In addition, the audiobook that I listened to for much of April and finally finished this week was also a 3 star book for me.

I can sometimes feel like I’m in a rut when so many books turn out to be 3 stars, but someone said something interesting on my blog lately.

In the comments for my review of Imaginary Things, Stacy @ The Novel Life wrote:

“Sometimes it’s just nice to read a book we can escape into…without expecting fireworks or that rush of adrenaline that comes with reading a thriller at break-neck speed.”

That comment made me stop and think. I often consider a 3 star rating a disappointment. I’m bummed I didn’t like the book more. I’m sad that it’s not one I can recommend highly to other readers. I won’t likely want to feature the book in an upcoming Top Ten Tuesday post or some other meme or tag.

But Stacy is right. I did enjoy reading the book while I was reading it. It’s not a complete waste. It was still entertaining to me at the time. Or it may be a great book for someone else. And if I write my review right, then it could still inspire someone else to read the book if it might be a better fit for them.


How do you feel about 3 star reads? Are you often disappointed when a book turns out to only earn 3 stars? What do you do when someone else rates a book as 3 stars? Do you still the review? Will you still consider reading the book?

I know I am hesitant to add books to my TBR list if someone rates them below 4 stars, mainly because there are so many books out there. I try to save my time for books I’m going to love.

Am I just a book snob? šŸ™‚

On the blog last year…

I’ll do anything for a little time ALONE

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  1. "I know I am hesitant to add books to my TBR list if someone rates them below 4 stars, mainly because there are so many books out there. I try to save my time for books I'm going to love." This is pretty much my opinion in a nutshell!

  2. This is so timely! I was just thinking of how I gave Kindred Spirits three stars, but I really did like it, and wouldn't want someone else deterred from reading it by my three star review. I've recently given three stars to Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I liked all of them and thoroughly enjoyed reading them, just not in an I-need-to-shout-from-the-rooftops-and-tell-everyone-how-awesome-this-is way that I reserve for my four and five star books. I don't think three star reviews will always deter me from reading a book…sometimes people have different taste, etc. If I had taken the many three star reviews of JKR's The Casual Vacancy to heart, I never would have read it – which would have been a shame because I loved it!

    1. You're right. I should at least read people's 3 star reviews because then I might notice what about the book made it 3 stars for them. It may not be 3 stars for me. šŸ™‚

  3. I totally know what you mean. A 3 star read for me wasn't bad. I liked it well enough just not enough to gush about. I try to really highlight what I liked and what I didn't in my reviews because I know something that may bother me won't bother others. I will always read 3 star reviews and it really depends on the blogger on how much weight I put on it. Great post!

    1. Thanks! I think lately I've just been overwhelmed by the size of my TBR list. I've been skipping some reviews if the cover or title doesn't appeal to me just so I don't end up adding another book to my list. I think I'm relieved when I see a 3 star rating because then I can skip it without feeling bad. Does that even make sense? šŸ™‚

  4. I know what you mean! It's interesting because I do the half-stars and, for me, there's a difference between 3 and 3.5. If I do 3 stars, the book disappointed me a bit. If it's 3.5, it's good but just not great. There's a fine line I think! But definitely a good point – 3 star ratings aren't really a BAD rating, but they're not a great recommendation either.

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