How exactly do I decide how many stars to give out in my reviews? And why are most of my reviews four stars?

Well, I’ve seen a school of thought out there that 2½ stars out of 5 should denote an “average” book. Having written a novel, I like to think that the achievement in putting out a full-length readable book is laudable in itself. If I took a college course and got 50% of the material right, I would fail. So in my mind, if I a book has succeeded in being readable enough that I finish it, that’s basically a pass, which is 60%, or, on the star scale, 3 stars.

If a book is not good enough to hit 3 stars, it’s unlikely I would even finish it. I don’t think it’s fair to post a review of a book that I haven’t finished, so, unless hate-reading starts being a thing with me, I doubt I’ll ever put out a 1 or 2 star review.

If it’s 3 stars, it was decent enough to finish, but not particularly noteworthy to recommend. Since I’m usually more interested in actually recommending something on my website, you won’t see many of these either.

At the other end of the scale, to get 5 stars, I think a book needs to not only be good enough to recommend, but it needs to be an all-time personal classic. So that is why most of the reviews I post on this website end up in the 4 star range.

Here’s the simple summary of my ratings:


This book should never have seen the light of day.
☆☆ A significant change is required before this book becomes readable.
☆☆☆ A decent enough read but nothing I’d recommend to anyone.
☆☆☆☆ This book is good and I recommend it.
☆☆☆☆☆ An all-time classic. Only a chosen few will get this.