From what I can tell, I use Goodreads in a way that may require some explanation. My star ratings never drop below three, for example. There’s a reason for that, and it isn’t that I love every book I read, nor is it that I’ve gone ahead and slapped three stars on books I dislike. It’s just that I don’t finish books I dislike any more. I used to, but then I decided life was short and there were far too many books I would never get around to reading, even without having finished the ones I disliked. To me, Goodreads is a place where I can share what I’ve read and enjoyed with people who care to know. I also add books I may have read in the past, if something reminds me of them and I want to share them.
About stars: I have a love/hate relationship with star ratings. I always wish there were more choices: half stars, ten stars, constellations—I don’t know. But stars are an easy way to categorize, so that’s how I use them.
Here’s my personal star rating system, including what I would do with one and two stars if I ever decided to use them:
* One star would be what I might give to a book I disliked, and felt was poorly done.
** Two stars are what I would give to a book that was not for me, but I felt was still well done.
*** Three stars means it held my attention. I liked it well enough to finish it. Something about the book was interesting to me.
**** Four stars means I liked it quite a bit and would recommend it to friends I think would enjoy it.
***** Five stars means I LOVED the book. I likely own it, or it haunts me in a good way. I probably talked The Other Lamm’s ear off about the book all while I was reading it, and now I’m going to try to get him to read it, too.
So that’s it. I’m sure there are other people who use Goodreads the same way I do—lots of people, even—but I thought I’d do a little post on it anyway. I just think it’s a great way to share books with friends who aren’t neighbors, like a gigantic book club, only no one’s dictating what you’re supposed to read like they usually do in book clubs, which is why I’m not in one.