United States

Message to Readers

These are all my opinions. I mostly wrote this because when I say "Wow, that book was a 7/10 for me!" people are like "What, you didn't like it that much?" And then I realized it fit SomeFormOfWriting's prompt fairly well, so I added the hashtag.
If you have any thoughts, or a way that you rate books, tell me in the comments! I'm interested in hearing.

When People Say a Book Is 10/10, What Do They Mean? - How I Rate Books (SFOW21)

November 3, 2018


No form of art will ever be perfect.  Ever.
Such is the very definition of artwork.  As the Ernest Hemingway quote goes, "We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes the master."  No book can be as good as it ever will be, because we have no way of knowing what that really means.

I personally have a very specific taste in literature.  I believe that around half the books I read are utter trash and only a quarter of the remaining books are solidly worthy.  What with all of the judging, I've created a system for rating each book that I read.  It's a 1-10 system.

I listed what I think each rating is to my mind, and an example of a book with that rating for me.  Obviously we won't all agree on what books belong in each categories (most of them are kids' books, as those are what I have the strongest opinions about); this is my personal opinion.

1 is the worst rating.  If you rate a book at a 1, you probably have some personal issue with it.  No book truly deserves a 1 to a unbiased person's view.  A 1 book for any person is a book that seriously irritated them for some reason.  An example of a 1 book for me is The Swap by Meghan Schull (we had to read that book for fifth grade and I wanted to burn it).

2 is the worst logical rating.  If you rate a book at a 2, you logically think that any person that reads it would also strongly dislike it.  For me a 2 is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (I know it's kind of young, but those books teach children how to be mean).

3 is a trashy book.  You knew as you were reading it that it was trash, but you don't dislike it as strongly as you would dislike a 2 book.  An example of a 3 for me is Divergent.  Don't kill me; I've never liked that series.

4 is a slightly disappointing book that didn't really satisfy the reader.  It wasn't horrible, but there was much to be improved.  An example of a 4 for me is The Fourteenth Goldfish; the plot wasn't satisfactory.

5 is a solid book.  You didn't leave with any strong feelings when you finished it.  A 5 for me is Little Women; there were ups and downs.

6 is a solid, good book.  It's a book that you genuinely enjoyed reading.  The plot was good.  Maybe it had some flaws, but the book resonated with you.  It's one you could read multiple times.  Examples for me are The Hunger Games or The Fault In Our Stars.

7 is a GOOD book.  Like, if you kept your own stash of books that meant a lot to you, 7s would be there.  An example of a 7 for me would be Of Mice and Men or something that's widely accepted as good literature.

8 is a GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD book.  Maybe it made you cry or left you with really strong emotions.  8s are often the highest rating a person could give.  My most recent 8 is Flowers For Algernon, which I just finished reading.  IT'S SO SAD.

9 is so good that it surpasses the logical criteria and means something special to you.  Lots of people don't have 9s, and 8s would be the highest rating they could give a book.  Like 1s, no book truly deserves a 9; it has to have some really special meaning to you.  An example of a 9 book for me would be the Harry Potter series because they mean the world to me.  For lots of people, 9s would be religious texts.  Bibles, Torahs, Vedas, Qurans, and others are good examples of 9s.

10 can never be achieved.  It's like the square root of a negative number; it exists, but it's impossible to get to.


See History
  • November 3, 2018 - 9:41pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • JadeAndSerpentine

    My rating system is pretty much exactly the same!!!

    I love your square root analogy, though. It would be much easier for me to explain myself when people ask me why I never give 10/10s. I always just say, "perfect is an unachievable idea". I hope your don't mind if steal it :)

    almost 2 years ago
  • SomeFormOfWriting

    Ooh, this is fun. As it's not really a "review kind of piece," I'm not going to review this, and just comment my thoughts. This is a very interesting scale, and I kind of like how no book can ever be a 10.

    almost 2 years ago
  • paperbird

    Yeah, sure! I'm happy people could find this system useful.
    Also, thanks, @LunaLemon! I agree, sometimes the Wimpy Kid books are oddly tempting to read.

    almost 2 years ago
  • Kahasai

    That's a good system. I might use it, if you don't mind.

    almost 2 years ago
  • Luna Lemon

    This is very interesting! Of the books I've read, I definitely agree with where you put most of them(strangely I still sometimes get a weird enjoyment out of an old Diary of a Wimpy Kid book no matter how stupid they are, XD). This was very thorough and I like all the examples. 10 is basically impossible but sometimes nostalgia and the sheer, pure, enjoyment of a book can at least make it come close;) I like the analogy of the square root of a negative number, it's very true and a super creative comparison.
    Great job on this ranking, I can tell you spent a lot of time on it!

    almost 2 years ago