I've been trying to tidy up the blog a bit lately, as it's feeling a little bit ignored, and as I was thinking about how I'd like it to be, I reached a decision. I'm giving up my rating system.
Lately I've kind of hated the idea of assigning an amount of stars to a book, unless I really really loved it. It feels like I'm trying to simplify the experience of reading it too much, and I'm finding it very restrictive. Therefore, I've decided to stop doing it, to scrap ratings altogether, and instead to have a page that contains a list and links to the reviews of just my favourite reads of the year. All the books I would without a doubt give five stars to on the old system will be on here. The others will remain in the archive of stuff I've read this year, but this way I hope I'll feel less pressured and more able to explore my thoughts in a less restrictive way.
I know a lot of people have been saying similiar things lately, and I'm trying to understand what it is that makes us want to give stuff a mark out of five/ten? I think maybe as a kid it helps you to sort things out in your head. To maybe clarify the degree to which you loved or hated something, and I know that as a kid reading, I usually did either adore something or despise it. There weren't a lot of grey areas for me, but as I've grown up (ish) that's changed. This year I've read books that I've been completely meh about except for maybe one scene that was just beautiful, and I've read books that I loved except for one particular character that I just couldn't stand. It's not black and white. For the most part, I can't say that I loved a book or hated it - I can say 'I loved x about it but disliked y'. It's a balance; often a discussion with myself when I'm writing a review, and a working through of all the things I felt and thought while reading the novel.
Anyway! That's why I'm giving up on ratings. Does anybody else have any thoughts on what makes us want to rate? Do you rate things, and if you do, do you find it helpful?