3 star the new Blackball?

Since when did a 3 star rating (out of 5) spell "Run away" "Piece of crap" "Waste of time" ? I've always been under the assumption that a rating systems should rank (from 1 to 5)

Hated it
It's ok

Every blog and review site I visit follows relatively the same rating systems, yet from what I observe, a three star rating is the new messenger of death; equipped with a sickle and black cloak. Is it that readers are becoming more discerning? And therefore is "good" is no longer acceptable? Is it that the fantasy (urban, romance, or sci-fi) genre has become so popular that readers only search out the very best?

So, I ask you... If when you find a book "out there" and the ratings are in 3 star land, will the book still find a home in your TBR pile?


  1. Absolutely! The books I give 3's and 3.5's were still enjoyable reads, they just had a few problems for me. I think there needs to be a definite scale, books aren't just "good" or "bad", there are degrees. It's the 1's and 2's that never make it into my pile:)

  2. Oh good! I feel the same way... a 3 star is still enjoyable

  3. When I rate a book 3 stars, it means that while I was reading it, I really truly enjoyed it (even though there were a few little flaws) but I really don't see myself ever wanting to pick it up again.
    I don't see how anyone can use a 3 star rating to say a book is bad. That's just weird!

  4. Julie: Well Im glad to hear that I'm wrong, and 3 stars aren't the kiss of death!

  5. I think this is a great point!
    I think I'm a harsh reviewer. I hardly give 5 stars on my blog but 3 stars to me means I enjoyed it but there were one or two things that bugged me about it but I would recommend it to others. But like Julie stated above I most likely won't pick it up again.

  6. Ally: I think it's good to hardly give out 5 stars. They should be saved for only the best :)
    I'm glad to know that from you a 3 star still equals a recommendation. :)