Thursday, March 29, 2018

Discussion: How Do You Round?


This Week’s Topic: How Do You Round?

It is a well known fact, that many people wish Goodreads would allow half star ratings. But let's be real, half stars wouldn't be enough. I have seen ratings such as 4.05 and 3.9 stars listed in reviews. So, we probably wouldn't be satisfied with just half stars. And, since we will never have anything but whole stars to deal with, we have to decide if we round up or down.


When I finish a book, I sit for amount, and then!


My star ratings come to me, like a vision. A majority of the time, I find myself "feeling" it's between two ratings. Thus, you see a ton of half-stars assigned to the books I have read. I normally round up, but I consider several things when I do this. I am especially apt to round up if the ending was really strong or I was left in an elated state once I finished the story.

I know it's just one rating in a pool of usually many, but I still think of it in terms of pushing the average rating up or pulling the average rating down. Do I want to make this book look better or do I want to make it look worse?


I am curious how other people decide, because I noticed most people round down. My question is why?

Now it's your turn!


How do you round? 
Let us know in the comments!

48 comments:

  1. I base ratings on a feeling too, just like you described. Except I always round up. Always. I like to keep it consistent, and I decided to go with up instead of down because I RARELY give the full 5 stars, and it seemed like it would kind of suck to only give 5 stars to like two books a year. This way, the 4.5 stars---which are amazing and very close to 5 in my mind---would still get credit for being exceptional. Also I give a lot of 3.5 stars, and it feels more right making those 4s than 3s. The worst though is when I'm unsure of my rating and am on the edge of, for example, 3 and 3.5, because then my decision is going to determine the GR rating, which will affect the overall rating, so I get all anxious trying to decide correctly lol.

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    1. I find I usually round up. I am also stingy with my 5-stars, though because I round up, it looks like I give them out a lot more than I actually do. Yes! That last part is totally something that weighs on me, and I have to carefully consider how that middling book made me feel or how well it entertained me.

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  2. I think I mostly round up on Goodreads. I give a of half stars in my reviews so I am rounding lot. Occasionally I do round down though and I have no idea why. I guess I feel strongly that it shouldn't be the rating up. Basically I am not consistent lol.

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    1. I am forEVER rounding. I feel like the queen of the half star. The few times that I have rounded down, there was a flaw that I was able to pinpoint. Usually, I struggle with identifying what I didn't like, but when I can, and it's major enough, I will round down.

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  3. Oh yeah, I'm totally with you on rounding books based on a certain feeling. I don't know if there's any method to my rating madness, but if a book really got to me on an emotional level even though it clearly had some issues, I'll usually round up half a star and if a book didn't technically have any issues but didn't really make me feel much of anything, I will sometimes round down half a star.

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    1. It astonishes me that I am such an emotional reader, and I know I forgive small flaws in book if they deliver on the feels.

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    2. I think I do what Suzanne said for the most part. When in doubt, I round down though, in part because a 3 is still a good book to me (and I don't do half points for lower scores). I always forget about the bigger picture of averaged ratings and so on, since I think of Goodreads as just a place where I track the books I read. Good food for thought!

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    3. I can understand rounding down if you have any doubt, because, rating inflation, but that would blow my whole thing out of the water, because though I am sure it is better than the lower, but not quite the higher, there must be some double since I didn't just give it a whole star rating, no?

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  4. I mostly round up erring on the side of generosity lol. It's tough, but I usually rate the book on different aspects (characters, plot etc) and then get the average so it's mostly calculated, but there are times when I have a gut feeling regarding the rating too! xD

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    1. Yep. I am like to be generous too. If I finish a book, that means I liked it and it entertained me. That is probably why I am apt to round up. I DNF and don't rate books I don't like.

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  5. Hmmm, I'm a big half-star rater too. I just can never decide between 3 & 4, and 4 & 5!! But I had to think about whether I round up or down on Goodreads... and the verdict is: I do both willy-nilly!!! I guess it's just how I'm feeling that day!!

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    1. Thank you for making me smile with your extremely honest answer. XD

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  6. I'm like you, I do a lot of half-star ratings. When I go to put it on Goodreads, it's really more individual as to whether I round up or down. Depends on the book. If I had a generally good feeling about it, I'd round up. If I was kind of on the fence to begin with, I round down.

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    1. I can appreciate that, because the few round-downs I can think of were books that I had an issue with, which stuck out for me.

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  7. I’m a cold-hearted witch, so this might be hard to believe, but I also round up. I’d rather make a book look good instead of bad. I’m a hard reviewer, so even my rounded-up ratings are usually lower than the average on Goodreads. Actually, I’m thinking about changing some of my ratings at the very end of this year. If a book can stick in my mind for months, I figure it deserves a higher rating than I gave it when I first finished it. Some of my 4-stars might become 5-stars.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. That is exactly why I do it. If I enjoyed the book and it made me feel good things, I want to properly pimp it.

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  8. I would say I typically round up, but occasionally there are books that felt closer to the lower rating to me, and I'll round down. Since it's more of a feeling than anything else, I can't say I'm completely consistent, but I try!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. The one thing that is making me feel good, is that a lot of us assign stars based on a "feeling". I am glad I am not alone in my methodology.

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  9. Now that I think about it, all of my star ratings also seem to come to me in a dreamlike haze. When the question is to round up or down I usually consider how the books left me feeling. If my problem with the book was detail based then I'm partial to round up, if the story left a bad taste in my mouth regarding certain events or characters then I'll round down.

    I've also seen ratings on books listed as 3.08 or 1.2. I find it weird because I have no basis for that rating. There's only so much that can go wrong for a book to be rated 1 star, what's the 0.2 for? :)

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    1. Me too. It's all about how I felt. I have never really finished a book which I felt had bad writing or a terrible story, so it really is about how it made me feel. I am amused when I see any decimal other than 0.5 on a rating. That's some serious precision, and since I rate based on a feeling, I couldn't imagine being that precise.

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  10. Definitely based on my feeling too. I wish GR would come up with half-stars already so I don't waste my time trying to decide how to round!

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    1. I would be satisfied with half stars, but I feel like there are too many reviewers out there who it would still not be good enough for.

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  11. I base my ratings on my feelings once I finish the book. I try and think about it a little while, but sometimes I can pick a rating real fast. Great topic idea!

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    1. Once I read that last line, I swear! I see stars, and I like capturing it right then and there, because I want it to reflect how I felt when I read the book.

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  12. Most of the time I know where I'm rating a book, but occasionally I feel like a book is between 2 ratings. I will use the same philosophy that you mentioned... if it has a strong ending or moved me emotionally I round up {this happens 98% of the time}. I generally round down if the ending left me wanting.

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    1. I think most of my half stars result from me being left wanting.

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  13. I tend to round down, I think because three and a half stars is a tricky rating and if I rounded up I would have a lot of four star ratings, and if I rounded four and a half up it would be five stars, but there is a reason I didn’t go all the way and give the five star rating to begin with, so I round down to four. If a book is really good and I Want to make it look better like you said, I round up.

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    1. I have a TON of 4 stars when you look at my GR summary, but in reality, a lot of those are 3.5 stars. So, I get that.

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  14. Oh nice! Yeah, I do half star ratings quite a bit and there have been the ever awkward .75 or .95 attached to a rating where it was just almost perfect except for a tiny thing or two that derailed said rating. So when it comes to Goodreads, I generally round up, unless it's that rare book that I wasn't totally thrilled with that thinking it might be more 3 than 4 when I said 3.5. Which for me a 3 = a good read. So I find no shame in 3 star ratings...what's bad is when Goodreads and Amazon say, "it was okay"...which no, it was GOOD! Because 2 is I didn't like it and 1 is I hated it. I don't like those kinds of ratings because really, why are you bothering to write a review if you hated it? Yes, I've had reads I didn't like, but I know other people might like them. Hate's a strong word, I don't like using it when it comes to books.

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    1. I also consider 3 a "good" read, and I think most bloggers consider 3 "good". Then we get that contradiction from GR and Amazon. And this brings me back to my discussion post from last year, where I emphasized the importance needing both the review and star rating to get a full picture of how I felt about a book.

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  15. It's so hard to rate a book. If I don't like a book, I give a 2. If it's okay, I give a 3. Four and five are for books I want to read again :)

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    1. That is solid criteria for rating. I would say 99% of my ratings are 3 or more stars, because I DNF books I am not enjoying, and it's very rare that it just all goes wrong at the end.

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  16. I always round up, and here is why: It is not the book or author's fault that Goodreads is a pain and won't give us half stars. Therefore, I cut it some slack. I often do put in my review text if it's a half star though. The only time I round down is when I forget- see, the WP plugin that posts my reviews to Goodreads automatically rounds it down, so I have to manually round it back up. And sometimes I forget and/or do not care enough to bother. And in those cases, they don't get rounded up. Oopsie?

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    1. Your plug-in is ruthless. XD But seriously, I like your take on the situation, and I pretty much do the same thing - round up and start my review with the "true" rating.

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  17. I don't rate books on my blog usually, so if I rate on Goodreads it's because I have an idea of what I want it to be. If I'm not sure, or I feel bad rating it low, then I won't rate it at all. hah I know ratings can help on Goodreads though, so I'm trying to do it more often. I tend to rate up though because I feel bad, and I don't want someone to avoid it based on star ratings if it's something they might really enjoy.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I need to see stars with a review. Unless the book is at the extreme, I find it hard to get a full picture of how the book really was for the reviewer without both parts. I don't like when someone just assigns stars and I don't like when they just write a review. I am needy, and I want both.

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  18. I don't rate with half stars. If I have any question on a 5 star book, it ends up being a 4 star book. 3 stars means I liked it, but didn't LOVE it. 2 stars means it is crap. 1 stars rarely happen because if it is that bad it ends up being a DNF. Great topic!

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    1. I think as long as you are consistent, your followers will understand how you felt about the book.

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  19. I don't use half stars. I did in the past but then I have to change it for Goodreads, Amazon, etc., so I stopped using them. I just kind of go with a gut feeling. I would say that I sometimes round up and sometimes down. I feel like I am pretty generous with my stars though :)

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    1. You are a truly discipline woman, Carole. I tried, and I cannot do it. I feel like I am cheating the book.

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  20. Fantastic discussion post, Sam! I was surprised to see a lot of people that round down on their reviews. I always round up. I'm not sure why I always round up, but I just feel like, if I spent the time to read this author's craft and if I felt strongly enough that it got a half, then it should be allowed to go up. Wonderful discussion!

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    1. I am so happy there are more people out there like me, who round up. I only seem to notice those who round down I guess. XD You pretty much summed up part of why I round up too - I enjoyed it, and I appreciate that the author created this story that made me feel.

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  21. I'm complicated and I usually round up on GR but I round DOWN for 4.5 stars. I don't like giving out 5 stars all willy nilly.

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    1. I can understand that. You don't want to misrepresent your love for the book. Giving 5-stars is a big deal.

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  22. I actually calculate my ratings by averaging my ratings of individual aspects, so then I would just round up or down as appropriate depending on what number I end up with. For example, if my final calculated rating was a 4.0-4.4, it would get a 4 on Goodreads; however, if my final calculated rating was a 4.5 or higher, it would get a 5 on Goodreads. Make sense? Lol.

    --Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

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    1. I have seen a few bloggers that have a formula type thing, mine is just a gut feeling. You would think with my background, I would have something a little more well thought out, but I don't. At least you seem to have really clear rules for your rounding (following the traditional method).

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  23. Star rounding is hard. It depends where it sits on the half star rating system. Some half stars are actually higher half stars than others. You know? I tend to round up in the grand schemes but some just don't quite get that, but if I'm rounding down then it probably doesn't deserve that extra half a star.

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    1. I know what you are saying. Like it was really close to the higher star or just somewhat better than the lower star. I am not that precise. I just know it is better than my average X read, but less than my average Y read.

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