I love Goodreads: tracking my progress in the books I’m reading, writing reviews, finding new books to read, and seeing what others are reading. But I don’t like the descriptions they give their rating stars!

As you hover your cursor over the stars when rating a book in Goodreads, the descriptions are as follows:

    1 Star = Didn’t Like It
    2 Stars = It Was OK
    3 Stars = Liked It
    4 Stars = Really Liked It
    5 Stars = It Was Amazing

I prefer Amazon’s model:

    1 Star = I Hate It
    2 Stars = I Don’t Like It
    3 Stars = It’s OK
    4 Stars = I Like It
    5 Stars = I Love It

Goodreads only has ONE option for books you truly didn’t like. But shouldn’t I be able to differentiate between books that were bad and books that were horrible or even loathsome? And shouldn’t the middle position, three stars, be the IT WAS OK/MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD rating as opposed to “I Liked It”?

More importantly, Amazon has been a popular destination for non-professional book reviews for over a decade now. When Goodreads launched in 2006, they either weren’t paying attention, or they specifically said “We think our 5-star rating system is so superior to Amazon’s (and common sense’s) that it’s worth making our users’ rating not able to be easily compared to Amazon (and other services’) users’ ratings”.

Sadly, they can’t easily change it now. If Goodreads fixes their star rating system, the thousands of ratings already made by its users will need to be updated or else be made invalid. But I’ve found Goodreads’ competitors to be lacking, and I already have friends using Goodreads too. So I’ll keep using and promoting Goodreads (it really is a great service), but with this one tiny reservation.