Do Goodreads Ratings Matter To You?

Book tag


Are you ever really excited about a book you bought, go to goodreads to add it to a shelf or link it to your blog, only to find out it has a 3.5 reading or less? What about when you read a synopsis about a book, go to goodreads to add it to your TBR, and see the poor ratings? This happens to me far too many times. I know everybody has a different opinion, but I can’t help but feel deflated.

There are times I read this AMAZING synopsis then discover the poor reviews on goodreads and become reluctant to add it to my TBR. Or the book I bought and was so excited for sits on my shelf untouched, collecting dust. Much like judging a book based on the cover, I find myself judging a book by its goodreads ratings.

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I know this isn’t fair. There are many books I have read that I absolutely LOVED that have a 3.5 rating (the spectacular now has a 3.52, I gave it a 5 star). There are also many books I felt meh about it that have over 4 stars (the hunger games has a 4.33, I gave it 3 stars). I find myself being put off by the negative reviews because I start thinking “well if so many others dislike it, I’m going to dislike it too”.

Then I start to feel bad. Just because a book has a lot of negative reviews doesn’t mean I’ll dislike it, too. I haven’t gotten myself to ignore the ratings, but I am trying to read books before checking on goodreads.

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I’m tired of being beyond excited to read a book just to neglect it because of what OTHERS thought of it. I know it’s human nature. We don’t want to waste our time reading something that might not be good much like people rely on reviews before going to a store or a hair salon or a restaurant.

I guess overall what I’m trying to say is I get mad at myself for letting a goodreads rating effect my desire to read a story I’m beyond excited about. I’m sure I’ve missed out on way too books because of this. 😦

Do the goodreads ratings effect whether you read a book or not? Please let me know I’mAmber (1) not alone D: 


8 thoughts on “Do Goodreads Ratings Matter To You?”

  1. In general if I have doubts about the book, I usually check the general rating and some reviews, but if it sounds like something I’ll love then I don’t care much.😊
    But it’s a super interesting discussion, without a doubt. When you’re excited about a book and you go to adding it to Goodreads, but then seeing all the negative that surrounds it, that can be quite disappointing 🥺


  2. Hmm when I saw book with low rating, it doesn’t really affect me if the synopsis is really awesome. But if it seems like any other book, I’ll go down the review sections and filter it to the low ratings (1-2 stars). That way I can see why people gave it low rating- sometimes they pulled quotes from the book too- and then think “can I tolerate this things or will it make me dislike the book too??” and if the answer is the latter, I’ll remove the book from my TBR 😀


  3. I think it’s important to know exactly what you do/don’t like in a book and to pay attention to patterns in reviews.

    There are a small number of tropes and plot twists that I really don’t enjoy reading about. Any references to them in a review are an automatic “no thanks!” from me. (But they could be another reader’s favourite things ever, and that’s totally fine. 🙂 )

    If multiple negative reviews mention the same major flaw in a storyline like a humongous plot hole or racist/sexist/homophobic content, I take note and go read something else instead.

    But there’s a lot of grey area, too, because of how subjective reviewing is. So I definitely don’t toss a book off my TBR because a few people didn’t like one small part of it.

    Not trying to give you unsolicited advice here, but I love reading 1-star reviews of classic novels and bestsellers. Every book is going to have its critics and its fans no matter what it’s about or how beloved it is. So I don’t focus on what that one specific reviewer said so much as I do on the big picture.


  4. I love this discussion, and I relate to it 1000%. It’s so hard to not be affected by the goodreads average of a novel, especially when I’m trying to keep my TBR as low as possible. I need to get rid of books based on something, and that something frequently turns out to be the average rating. A year or so ago I even did an experiment on the blog where I tried (i.e. read the first few chapters of) the books I owned with the lowest averages. The experiment went well enough… and yet, it didn’t really change me, I still judge books by their average rating. One thing I always try to do, though, is to check out the reviews, see if the problems they list are problems I would dislike, and decide based on that. Great discussion! 🙂


    1. That is such a brilliant idea! I also like the idea of reading some chapters of your books with the lowest ratings! I love this comment so much. I think im going to start trying to adapt these into my life so maybe I have better experience being excited for a book🙈

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