Rating Books We Haven’t Read (Newsflash, it’s Bad)

March 15, 2017     erinthebooknut     Rant, Uncategorized

Edit: Since I seem to have not gotten the point across, I am NOT commenting on how the book is not bad or racist. I used Black Witch as an example but this applied to ALL rating without reading a book. I believe in posting your opinions, just without a rating. I believe that it’s dishonest. If you think differently, cool beans. But I ask you to think about it from the other side. That’s all. Peace, ya’ll.

Ok y’all, here we are again. Twitter has exploded once more about a book they’re calling racist. I’m not here to comment on that right now. I haven’t read it, I don’t know enough to have an opinion on it, but I do want to talk about this habit I’ve seen every time something like this happens. That being? One starring books we haven’t read.

You are offended by a book. Fine. Tell the world. Offended by something you HEARD about in a book? Ok I guess that’s fine. You do you. Everyone has their own opinions and perfectly valid rights to feel however they feel. But you shouldn’t rate a book you haven’t read. Comment about it all you want, I don’t care, shout to the entire world. But tanking someone’s ratings based on a book you didn’t read is wrong.

You are assigning a value to something you have not experienced. You’re telling someone that you had a negative experience when you didn’t have an experience at all. You had a negative experience about what you heard I’m sure, but you did not have that experience. You were told. I’m sorry, but I’m not ok with that.

Did you know that goodreads allows comments without a rating? Feel free to do that to your heart’s content. Tweet it, blog post it, put it on a billboard and paste it to your forehead. I really don’t care. But rating a book without reading it is dishonest. I’m sorry, but it is.

This goes for 5 starring a book you haven’t read as well. Or giving a good review to a book you haven’t read to get on a publisher’s good side. Wrong. Nope. Stop that. If you read the book, rate to your heart’s content. Until then, keep it to comments.

My point is rating without reading is a crappy thing to do. And one starring a book because of things you’ve heard on the internet is vindictive and immature. By all means voice your displeasure but let’s leave the ratings out of it?

From my shelf to yours,


3 responses to “Rating Books We Haven’t Read (Newsflash, it’s Bad)

  1. Liz

    Thank you for sharing this!! I’ve been avoiding Twitter in some regards because I didn’t want to have to read through people giving up on a book because something was shared out of context or based on someone else’s commentary. Also, it was scewing my own reading experience.

    I agree to your whole statement though. If you haven’t read a book, not even a chapter, then you shouldn’t rate a book. Doesn’t matter if it’s your favorite author and you’re anticipating the love for a book that doesn’t come out for years, or if it’s one that who’ve heard uncomplimentary things about published years ago. I just hate when people make statements then you discover they have no basis or personal experience to justify them.

    Thanks again!

  2. Anonymous (unfortunately)

    FINALLY!! Thank you!! If you don’t like it, complain about it in a comment. But don’t rate a book you haven’t read! It’s not honest period. I’m so happy someone has the ability to share this: I’m already seeing this post as “white excuses.” And I’m not white. So I guess my opinion still doesn’t matter.
    Thank you so much. I think you made your point and you were fair by saying that people can hate and not support the book, but messing with a star rating is just wrong, even if you hear the book makes better kindling than firewood.
    The sad thing here? I can’t even feel safe enough to say this and post my name bc I’ll be singled out and bullied for feeling this way! And that’s why I applaud you even more. We say anything back, even if we agree with a principle, and all of a sudden we are racist enemies. ?

  3. Stop policing how people react to something that hurts them. It’s like saying “you shouldn’t avoid this murderer until they’ve murdered you, how do you know they will or not?”

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