Discussion: Do You Judge Someone Based On Their Goodreads Average Rating?


Welcome back to my weekly Sunday discussion! This week’s topic is one that I think many people haven’t thought of before, so I’ve decided to bring it up to see what people think about it ๐Ÿ™‚

Goodreads is quite a glorious tool. You can track what books you’ve read and when, add books to your TBR, and sort them onto shelves to your heart’s content. As I’ve recently learned, it also keeps track of how you rate the books you read and tells you your average rating. I didn’t think much of it, until I saw a conversation about it pop up on my twitter feed (this is literally how I get all my ideas for discussions, it seems).

My question is, would you judge someone based off of their average rating?

For example,ย I’ve read 247 books so far on goodreads and my average rating is currently at 3.80. I think that’s pretty high, considering how many books I’ve read. I was a little surprised when I realized how close to 4 stars it was.ย Do I really rate books that high?

Let’s break it down even more. Here are all the books I’ve read, broken down into categories with percentages.

goodreads ratings

As you can see, I give nearly half the books I read 4 stars. Now that I see the numbers, it baffles me (granted, a lot of books are from like when I was 12, and my reading tastes haveย definitely changed since then). Am I really that generous when it comes to rating books? A lot of the books I rate 4-5 stars are books in series that I love, so it’s not necessarily that I love a lot of books, it’s more like I love a couple series, which happen to have a lot of books in them.

My question for you is this: would a person’s average rating affect if you follow them or trust their reviews?ย 

For example, lets say someone had a really high average rating, of 4+. Would you assume that they’re too easy on books and aren’t critical enough? Or would you assume that they only read books that they like, and DNF books they don’t like? What if someone had a rating of 3 or below? Would you assume that they areย too hard on books, or that they just happen to read a heck of a lot of bad books?

I haven’t noticed this before, but now that I know this exists, I guess I’m more aware of it. I find it more interesting than informative, but that’s just me. I know some people also have different tastes; some people like to read good books only, so they might prefer to follow someone who has a higher average. Or maybe someone whoย doesn’t want to waste their time on a bad book might follow the person with a lower average. The goodreads average could be a good tool to gauge what kind of reviewer the person is, and that could help a blogger potentially connect with more people who would be more interactive with their reviews.

The title might imply that “judge” has a negative connotation, but I don’t mean it in that sense (of course, if you do, that’s okay!). I’m curious though–what doย you think? Do you judge people on their average rating, or have you never noticed it before but are aware of it now? Or do you not even care about it?

Of course, a simple average rating has no saying on how good a blogger is at reviewing. For me, as long as I enjoy their reviews and learn something about the book, they’ll earn a new follower ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you judge people based on their average rating? Were you unaware of it before, but conscious of it now? Would you be more likely to follow someone with a high or low average? Let me know in the comments below!



20 thoughts on “Discussion: Do You Judge Someone Based On Their Goodreads Average Rating?

  1. Briana says:

    This is an interesting question. I honestly can’t remember if I’ve ever looked at someone’s average! That said, I think I’d find it odd, if it were around 2 or 4, but someone in the 3-ish range seems to be the norm. I don’t think I wouldn’t “trust” the person if they still had thoughtful reviews.


  2. Sam (@rebelbooks) says:

    My average GR rating is something like a 4.12. Tons of people would probably be annoyed with that, thinking that I rate all of my books too high but I don’t like to read bad books. I don’t request ARCS of books I’m iffy on and I certainly don’t spend my money on books I think will be anything less than amazing. This is usually why my average rating is so high. I would never judge someone on their average rating unless it was something around a 1. If someone was only reading books they hated or hating every book they read I wouldn’t trust that person, but I guess it could go the same way for people not trusting those who like every book they read, just like you said. This is a very interesting discussion!


  3. Elizabeth H says:

    I didn’t know that the average rating was a thing until a few weeks ago- I was interested to see that mine was around 3.7. But I think I would be more interested in looking at which books a person really like, and actually reading their reviews than just looking at their average rating. I like to keep track of people with similar likes/dislikes so an in depth view works better for me


  4. Mara @ Mara Was Here says:

    I don’t really judge a reviewer’s rating much. I mostly pay attention to their review and read about what they liked and didn’t like about the book, so I’d know why they rated it that way. By doing this, I won’t feel bothered by their ratings, and I’d judge the book by how the reviewer explained their feelings about it and not by how many stars he/she gave it.


  5. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms says:

    I did a discussion a few years ago on this, because someone had once told me that I wasn’t a trustworthy reviewer because of my average rating (4.09 I think). I try to always seek out books I’ll like, and if someone I know and trust hates a book,I’ll be staying far away from them. I don’t like to seek out books I know I’ll hate which is why I think my rating average is so high. Plus I think Goodreads should get into the half-star ratings because they’d definitely lower my average rating as well haha.


  6. Sara @ freadomlibrary says:

    I don’t really notice it either way. I follow people who share at least some books in common with me so I know they’ll review books I’m interested in. Though I have seen people judge someone for having a high rating which I don’t think is okay


  7. Tamara @ Tamaraniac says:

    I don’t really look at average ratings. Though, for my own, I know my ratings fluctuate. Like last month I felt like I was really inflating some ratings. And, sometimes, I do change ratings later. Though I also know that lately I’ve been reading more books that I really like so many of my rating have been higher. It really just depends. My average right now is at about 3.2, out of 420 books… And most of my ratings are either four stars or two stars, which is interesting.


  8. Brooke Evans says:

    Wow, I’ve never thought about this question. I feel like the rating don’t really count as much as the reviews. Also everyone has a different definition of what star means what. My rating is pretty high I think but that’s only because I only rate the books that I liked.


  9. Melanie Noell Bernard says:

    Hmm… this is quite the interesting question you pose and I had no idea that Goodreads compiled our ratings to show an average rating. That’s very interesting.

    Though, to be honest, their rating would be irrelevant to me because I don’t generally follow people on Goodreads or look at their reviews unless I’ve already read the book and am looking to discuss. I like to choose which books I’ll read and what I’ll think of them without any outside influence so as to not be biased one way or the other. That way I can have my own opinion and review the book solely from my point of view. (which apparently makes me a massive hipster :p but whatever)


  10. Kat Impossible says:

    This is a great topic for discussion! I don’t think I would judge anyone because of their average rating though. It would just make me think that they are very enthusiastic about what they read and that’s not necessarily something bad.


  11. novelcravings says:

    I didn’t know about these stats but I think even if I had it wouldnt effect my choice to follow them. I might check out what they have been reading, because it seems like a good list! Lol. Everyone has different tastes. Take my reading choices from the past few months. I haven’t read anything less than 3 stars and I only DNF’d 1


  12. MC @ Blame It On The Books says:

    Love this discussion. I check my average rating every so often, and it used to be over 4, but now it’s 3.91. Don’t really know what to think about that! I wouldn’t say that I really pay much attention to what other people have for their average rating, and I don’t think it would affect my trust in their reviews (unless they have reviewed 100 books and still have a 5 star average). It’s definitely fun to think about our average ratings though!


  13. Anissa @ She Reads Too Much says:

    This is such an interesting post, Alex!! I never look at a reviewers average actually – I just looked at mine, and it’s pretty high! Haha. I think it’s because I haven’t read *that* many books, and a large things like Harry Potter and The Mediator (long series) which I rated without thinking when I first made my account are on there. I also tend to read books I know I will enjoy, and research quite a bit on them before I read them (time is precious hehe), so I guess that also bumps up my average but I’ve definitely become a more critical reviewer over time, and perhaps should reevaluate my old reviews. I don’t really mind if a person has a higher than average rating score, as long as I enjoy their reviews – that’s the most important! ๐Ÿ˜€


  14. Brianna @ Listful Booking says:

    To be honest, their average rating isn’t something I’ve ever really paid attention to. If anything I’ll use the compare books feature to see how our ratings of specific books compare to see if there are similar tastes, but that is pretty rare as well. I think an average of 3 is pretty good since according to the Goodreads rating system 3 stars means “liked it”. It is interesting to see where people fall on the spectrum though!


  15. Sarah Cone says:

    Yep, it’s me, the noob.I apologize for being repetitive but I’m also new to all the outlets that bloggers use to review and I didn’t even know you could see this info on GR. That said, I don’t think I’d judge a reviewer on their GR ratings and would just focus on individual reviews and attitude/general good feeling I get from the reviews/posted/blog.


  16. Veronica says:

    I really like this post. I personally like both critical reviewers and the ones who give books higher ratings. Personally, if I am not enjoying a book, I will put it down. I think that is why I give books pretty high ratings.


  17. SJ Bouquet (@SJBouquet) says:

    I never knew that existed either! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ My average is 3.7 something. I’m 45% 3 star ratings xD I’ve never rated a book 1 star either. I’m always just kind of in the middle. For me, I guess I kind of do judge people based on ratings. I know there is this one blogger who I follow and love, but they rate almost all of their reads as 4 or 5 stars! After a while I thought they were to generous. I still follow their reviews and read them all, but I guess I did build up a judgement on them. I’ll never actively follow people based on averages, but I’ll notice trends in a bloggers reviews. If they rate things too high or too low, that’s okay. I just like to hear their opinions ๐Ÿ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s