|Yes, yes I am, Watson.|
The other day, I was going through my Goodreads reviews and noticed how rarely I give out five stars--most of the time going the more safe route and giving the book 4.5 stars. And when I looked at my rating statistics, only 18% of my books are bestowed with the honor of 5 stars, while 26% are given 4 stars.
(In all honesty I believe the 18% to be a bit inflated, because when I love a series, say Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, I give the entire series five stars. So if it weren't for that, the percentage would most likely decline.)
Even books that I find flawless and immeasurable in greatness, I sometimes hesitate in giving them full stars. Why? I *think* I have a reason, but first, here's an inner look into a conversation I've had countless times in my head with an inner voice:
(Tip: Read in Eddie Murphy voice for accuracy)
Me: This was such a lovely book. The writing! The characters! The feels! *dies*
*fingers hover over 5-star Goodreads rating*
Voice: What do you think you're doing?
Voice: No you're not. Are you seriously giving a book like that five stars? Does it even compare to your other five-star books? Harry Potter? The Book Thief?
Me: But the character development! The prose!
Voice: I don't care if the writing has Shakespeare fuming in jealousy. This book does not deserve five stars!
Me: Well, I guess --
Voice: Besides, it's not like five-star ratings grow on trees!
Voice: Just give the dang book 4.5 stars.
(Please forgive me. I am writing this at midnight and after midnight I'm sort of... crazy.)
The above scenario is actually happening more often as I read more books. Case in point: This year, I have only rated four books with five stars, not counting my binge of Ally Carter books recently (to be discussed in another post). After some pondering, I think I know the answer as to my apparent conservationism.
If I were to give every book that I thought was at least mildly entertaining five stars, the rating would lose its meaning. Most of us can agree that we reserve five stars for books that touched us deeper than any other book ever has; it has left an imprint on our hearts and there isn't a week, maybe day, that goes by without us thinking of said books. It's a way to document which books have affected our lives, and which books will probably be forgotten in a week or two due to an overabundance of reading material. Essentially, it's how we distinguish between amazing books, and books that you would physically thrust at every person in the world to share the immense love you feel for them and would kiss the floor that the authors of said books walked on.
That, I think, is why I am so stingy in giving out five star ratings.
What about you guys? Are you as stingy as me over giving five-stars, or would you rather be more generous in your ratings? Comment below!