Hey guys! Today I’m coming at you with a new discussion and today I’m talking about whether or not we should let rating influence what we read! Because y’all know we let our blogger friends and Goodreads influence our tbr!


If you are anywhere in the bookish community then you know, book ratings are everywhere! Even if you don’t go anywhere near bookish social media, your local bookstore probably has little staff reviews for books on their shelves which have been known to even steer my book buying at times.

So, should we let ratings or reviews influence our reading? Is it a good thing to take a book off our tbr because a few people said it was bad or are we saving ourselves from a dnf?

I’m kind of torn on this tbh. If a bunch of reviewers say a book is hella problematic and/or offensive to a particular group of people I will 110% take it off my tbr, but what if my favourite reviewers/bloggers say they just felt meh about a book? Honestly, that influences my thought on it too. Maybe next time I go to the bookstore I won’t bother to even look at the book, whereas, if I hadn’t read those reviewers I might have bought the book at the store.


books booksStalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)  Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)  Caraval (Caraval, #1)  Lost Boy

Rating: 4.02                  Rating: 3.87                  Rating: 3.94                  Rating: 3.87

So, contrary to my massive 2018 book haul (coming late December because I need Jesus), I don’t actually buy books that often, and I especially don’t buy full price physical books pretty much ever. So, I usually check Goodreads before I purchase a book I haven’t already read or I just get them out from the library.

I think for me, now that I check reviews and other opinions on blogs or Goodreads, I am definitely a lot more selective about what I read and even more selective about the books and comics that I buy.


books booksThrone of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Carry On  Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)  The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)

Rating: 4.23                  Rating: 4.21                  Rating: 4.13                  Rating: 4.08

So, what are the reasons for and against being influenced by the ratings others give to books?


  • So many different/mixed opinions and different views on a book!
  • Easy access to #ownvoices reviews! + therefore, it’s easy to find out about problematic content.
  • So much variety of review types and experiences reading, also everyone describes a book differently.


  • A book could totally be up my alley, but what if I didn’t pick it up because a bunch of people didn’t like it???
  • I usually check Goodreads before purchasing a book I haven’t already read. Is there something really wrong with trusting ppl I don’t know over my own gut?
  • The whole what if situation


books booksThe Mermaid  Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #3)  Girl Made of Stars  The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Rating: 3.78                  Rating: 4.6                  Rating: 4.26                  Rating: 4.14




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  1. I do not give star ratings on my blog because they are just so subjective!! I try not to put too much weight in to ratings on Goodreads but I will admit that if a book has a ratings below 3.5 it does give me some pause and I will read more reviews than normal before picking it up!

    I also did not get along with Carry On which was so disappointing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s honestly so smart! I would love to stop using them, but for me, I do find star rating quite helpful, even though they may not always line up with everyone else’s ratings.

      Carry On had so much potential, but fell so flat!


  2. I think ratings definitely have some influence on my tbr, when I saw unheard books I am interested in the bookstore, I would check goodreads to see its rating and read some reviews. But if it sounds like something I really like, then I would read it anyway, regardless of ratings. So I guess it does affecting what I read, but not that much? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I try not to let star ratings sway me too much, though reviews sometimes will (mainly if it’s being reviewed as super harmful, or if people I have a LOT of reading likes/dislikes in common with hated or loved it). That said, when I’m purging my TBR, if there’s a book I don’t own and don’t really feel enthusiastic about, I’ll check the average, and if it’s below 3.5 I’ll usually purge it off of my Goodreads shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do the same thing. If I see it was harmful to a few people (depending on why) I will probably unhaul or take it off my tbr and whenever I purge my shelves I will definitely be more critical and refer to other people’s star ratings.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right! Yeah, to be honest, sometimes I see a book being called harmful and I feel like I have to see for myself – especially if there are lots of people saying it’s NOT harmful, in the other reviews – but there are some scenarios where I just let it go immediately (especially if there are quotes/passages to support the review!).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Unless they’re super low, I don’t usually pay much attention to the ratings on goodreads. I generally pay more attention to the actual reviews and what people say about the books because like you I’ve read some highly rated books that I hated and low rated ones that I loved… I dunno, I mainly go off peoples recommendations nowadays and I have people whose tastes I trust so that means more to me than goodreads ratings. Awesome post! Definitely gave me something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t really look at the star ratings, I look at some individual reviews (both from low and high ratings). This usually tells me a lot more about if I’m going to like it. Because sometimes a person brings up points that they disliked, that I actually see as really good points.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You make some really good points! I usually check goodreads just to get a feel for what other people think. I have found that there are some criticisms that are highly personal so even if other people comment on a book being too plot heavy (for example) I will still read it because I know from past experience that I won’t be bothered by it. But if I read that a book is lacking in character development in a lot of reviews I’m far less likely to pick it up because that’s something that bothers me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I agree, what one person might really dislike, I might really like – like character-based stories. I try t just use reviews as a base for what I know about the book and whether I would be interested in it, but sometimes a review will just really make me dislike a book and I just won’t go near it.


  7. I take EVERYTHING into account when picking up a book.
    Checking Goodreads before buying a book I initially thought I was going to love has saved me from books that had dangerous rep that could have really hurt me before.
    I tend to steer clear of books below 3.8-3.7 average rating unless reviewers with similar taste in books to me have rated it high (4-5 stars)! And I look out for key words that I know will indicate a good or bad read for me as well.
    I don’t like wasting my time and I can’t afford to waste my money so I depend on other people’s thoughts and opinions to help me know which books to try and which to avoid, but I will ignore everything if I have a gut feeling that I’ll like or dislike a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find that Goodreads can be pretty up and down in terms of reviews, but it’s a pretty good way to find trigger warnings and summary reviews!
      I often depend on other people’s reviews too, they will often push me to pick up a book or take it off my tbr!

      Liked by 1 person

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