Posted in Discussion

Why You Shouldn’t Rate Books Without Reading Them

OOOooo Hello my lovely reading raccoons! I’m about to rage today 😊

Question 1: What is the quickest way to make Elise want to throw you out a window?
Yes! You in the back with the raised hand!
“Um… insult her favorite character?” You mumble.
WRONG! It’s when people rate books on Goodreads without reading them!

“But ELISSEEEEE” I can already hear you saying, “what if said book is controversial, or has bad rep in it so really I’m just doing a good thing by giving it a one star rating without reading it.” NOPPPEEEEE. Personally, I don’t care if you decide to steer clear of a book because you’ve heard it promotes negative ideas, I’m the type of person that would much rather read the book and decide for myself, but gosh you do you. So, I’m completely on board with people having shelves on Goodreads for “NotGonnaRead” or if someone shelves something as “read” only to write a review explaining why they won’t read it. My only issue is when people decide to one-star a book they haven’t read just because other people say it’s harmful. I just don’t get people who decide to base their opinion of a book on someone else’s thoughts. Why not read it for yourself, then see if you agree with said person. You might even find that *gasp* you disagree with them or *even bigger gasp* maybe they misunderstood the message of the novel. For me, this is on par with someone rating Twilight one star without reading, just because it’s popular to hate. While I’ve heard many objective reasons why Twilight isn’t a good book, I’m still not gonna give it one star (unless I read it) because, you never know, maybe I’m the type of person who would enjoy it as a guilty pleasure read, or to laugh at. I’m not just gonna parrot what everyone else says, no matter how legit they sound, until I’ve read the book and made up my mind for myself.

“So ELisee,” You interrupt my already too long tangent, “what about people who rate books five stars without reading them? Do you hate them too?” Yeah pretty much. I find it just as annoying when people decide that because a book was recently hit by a bunch of one-star reviews (whether justified or not), they have to go and give a book they haven’t read a five-star review. This is just as annoying because they are artificially inflating a book’s rating just because they want to or feel an obligation to. For the same reason I don’t think you should one-star a book without giving it a chance, maybe don’t make up your mind about if you like a book or not before actually reading it… You never know, maybe you’ll read it and find yourself agreeing with those one-star ratings.

While we’re on the topic of giving books five stars without reading them, this also applies to people who five-star books BEFORE THEY EVEN COME OUT. Um literally everyone knows you haven’t read this book yet so why are you giving it a five-star rating?! I think there’s a way you can add comments (is it through the review function?) because I see a lot of people do it to comment on cover reveals and I love that, but don’t rate a book before it’s even released. This is just blindly loving an author’s stuff no matter what, which I just don’t understand. Yeah I always WANT to love my favorite authors’ books (I would like to love every book I read), but I’m never going to decide my rating for a book before it even come out.

Basically, I’m just saying to have an open mind and to give novels a chance. Don’t just form an opinion on a book completely based on what others say. Read it for yourself, and if you agree with what others have said, then by all mean go along with the popular opinion, but don’t be afraid to stand out too.

Now that I’ve covered the major cases that I see around Goodreads, I feel the need to address giving DNFs a rating. I know some people count these as read, and others don’t. Personally, I don’t usually count them towards my yearly goal, but I will give them a rating on Goodreads. I’m okay with this because it obviously implies that the person gave the book in question an honest shot and decided that it just wasn’t for them. This is exactly what I’ve been advocating for this entire post so I’m chill with it.

WOOP! Congrats you’ve made it through my stupid ramblings! At this point you’re probably wondering why you should listen to me and eh I don’t really have an answer (other than that I’m just a super awesome person who TOTALLY has all the right answers, just don’t ask me about math… or science…). BUT ANYWAY! I hope you enjoyed my thoughts and I want to hear what you think! Are you one of the people who one-stars books based on what other people say about it? Why do you do that? Or do you agree with me and think it’s a dumb idea? What about people who five star a book just because they like the author?


I spend my free time watching Netflix when I should be reading and writing. Then I go online and blog about books and TV shows!

6 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Rate Books Without Reading Them

  1. YES! YES! ALL THE YES!!! I hate when people jump on a bandwagon and either pump up or deflate a book WITHOUT EVEN READING IT!!! The entire point of reading is to develop empathy. To walk in someone else’s shoes. To imagine. To grow. You cannot do that if you decide on a book’s fate before even opening the cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree! It’s annoying that people take the time to rate books they haven’t even read. I won’t even rate a book if DNF because I just feel like it’s unfair to the system. Like I didn’t even finish the book so I don’t have a right to give it a star rating. I wish more people considered that when rating books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you agree! Yeah when people rate things without reading, it’s misleading to anyone looking simply at the star rating to see how most people feel about the book (which Ik you shouldn’t judge a book just by its rating, but it’s an easy way to just get an overall feel of what people think


  3. YES! 100%. I hate seeing people rate books five stars and it hasn’t even come out yet. Drives me freaking crazy. I didn’t realize people were rating books they DON’T want to read. That’s really stupid. I don’t. I don’t get that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yeah a lot of people rate things 1 star because they’ve decided based on other people’s opinions that they don’t like it. I really don’t understand why they just assume they’ll have the same opinion as all these other people who who even knows


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