3 Stars: Is that a “Good” rating? – Let’s Talk Bookish

Hello friends!! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week! Welcome back to another Let’s Talk Bookish post. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Is 3 Stars a “Good” Rating?

This is Dani’s topic, and I’m super excited to discuss this! I’m also so so happy with all the participation that we have this week!! So, without further ado, let’s get started.

If you haven’t already noticed, ratings are very subjective and can be useless if you don’t know the reviewer’s rating scale.

4 stars for me could mean 3.5 stars to you. 1 star for me could mean 3 stars to you. It all depends on how we all personally think of the definition of each star, and how we feel about the book. For me:

  • 5 stars is “I loved this book so very much, it has a powerful message/pulled at my heart strings/has the most amazing characters, etc….”
  • 4 stars is “It was a pretty good book. I really liked it but there’s something that made it less than 5 or I just didn’t have that 5 star feeling”
  • 3 stars is “Not bad. It was an interesting story but it was either extremely mediocre or there were some issues”
  • 2 stars is “Extremely disappointing/Why did I read this?/I don’t think I “got” the point of this book”
  • 1 star is “Somebody please give me back my time and brain cells that I burned by reading this book”

I also use half stars which probably complicates things a little bit more. But for me, 3 is not a bad rating at all.


Do you hesitate to pick up books that seem to get a lot of 3 star ratings?

Yes, sometimes I do hesitate to pick up a book that gets a lot of 3 star ratings. It’s not that I think the book will be bad, it’s just: why bother reading a book that’s left so many people just feeling “good” when I can go read a book that has the potential to leave me a blubbering gushing mess?

It’s not a pretty sight when I’m a blubbering gushing mess, but I like the emotional heartache of it.

Of course, the book that can lead me to being a blubbering gushing mess can also leave me as an angry salty porcupine. But really, would you want to read a mediocre book or one that can become a new absolute favorite?

Just because a book has many 3 stars doesn’t mean that I won’t read it at all. I’ll probably just be more wary of it and less inclined to add it to my TBR immediately. You’ve got to admit, reading reviews that are mostly like, “it was good, but it could have been better” is not going to make you super excited to read the book. But when you see a review like “askjafhsjka READ THIS BOOK NOW” or “I hated this book with every. fiber. of. my. entire. being.” you’re probably going to be a lot more interested to see on which side of the spectrum you’ll fall on.

I definitely would.


To Conclude…

3 stars is not a bad rating, unless it is personally for you. I rate most books I read either 3 or 4 stars and I will probably still recommend them. Maybe not as much as I’d recommend a 5 star book that I loved, but as far as I’m concerned it isn’t a bad rating at all.

This Week’s Participants:

Dani @ Literary Lion | Evelyn @ Evelyn Reads | M.T. @ The Last Book on the Left

Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink | Rian @ Dogs and Books | Abby @ Beyond the Read

Aayushi @ My Bookish Banter | Kristina @ Books and Dachshunds | Allana @ Simply Allana

Breanna @ Paws and Paperbacks | Amena @ Nerd in New York | Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

Sammie @ The Bookwyrm’s Den | Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads

Can someone please explain to me why they updated the Editor like this?? I mean, it’s nice, I like the look, but when I type /, I expect to see my most used blocks, not just a random list of things!!

Is 3 stars a good rating for you? How often do you rate a book 3 stars? What kind of reviews do you prefer reading? What book did you hate with every fiber of your being? Did you check out some of the other awesome discussions that I linked? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

23 thoughts on “3 Stars: Is that a “Good” rating? – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. I can’t understand how people think 3 on 5 is a bad rating. It literally is 60% and it is more than average. Having said that I rate books on sites like Goodreads and Amazon only. And I have stopped rating books on my blog since I did not have in me to justify my scores anymore like this.

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  2. Loved reading this – it’s always so interesting to see how others rate books so this meme was so fun. For me 3 star is a pretty average rating that isn’t bad but not really good? If I was to give it a % I’d say 3 stars is probably 50-60%. Often 3 star books tend to be pretty forgettable for me, even if the reading experience itself was good.

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  3. Omg yes, exactly! A lot of times I don’t pick up 3 star books because why not spend my time on 4 or 5 star reads? Personally, in the past 3 star was a good rating for me and the way I gave out ratings but more recently it has usually come to signify an average book which isn’t necessarily bad but yeah it’s not usually a very good rating either.

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  4. Rukky your blog looks amazing!!! I love the new theme and colors and everything!! It’s so pretty 😍
    Also, I feel like so many people are doing LTB these days which is amazing so congrats on that 🥳
    And I agree that 3 stars is sort of the middle; it wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad either. Usually for me a three star rating means that I liked the book, it just wasn’t for me, and there were some flaws.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you so much on all of these points! I usually rate books 3 stars if they were okay or if I wasn’t sure what I thought about them (I rate a lot of books three stars). I used to not care about the star rating on Goodreads, but now I try to read ratings and reviews before I pick up a book, and I’ve definitely started to read less books that have an average three star rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For me, three stars are just kind of middle of the road. I didn’t love it; but I also didn’t hate it. I wouldn’t necessarily avoid a book that was rated 3 stars; but I also wouldn’t make it a priority if I had other books I was more excited for.

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  7. For me a 3 stars is a good rating. I liked the book, but I didn’t love it, there were perhaps a mix of things I did and didn’t like. I don’t give 5 stars very often, so most of my reviews tend to be 3 / 3.5 / 4 stars.

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  8. 3 stars for me is a good rating! Lots of the books I read are given 3 stars by me and I also use half star rating too. But I agree with you about picking up books where lots of people give it 3 stars. Unless I’m very curious about the book, it’s less likely for me to pick up and read it. But if my library has a copy of it then maybe I’ll give it a chance. Then again, like you mentioned, different people has different definition of what the 3 stars mean to them so it’s the reviews that accompany the rating that can help clarify the meaning of the 3 stars they gave to the book.

    I love this discussion topic! I have the idea to write a post like this too on my blog but seeing that it won’t happen any time sooner I’m happy LTB did it first!!

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  9. I love this discussion! I always had a hard time picking up a book with a lot of 3 stars but I never knew why. After reading this I finally understand I have a hard time picking up a book where so many people thought it was meh. I want to read a book that blows me away or as you said, turns me into a blubbering mess XD Every time I would rate a book 3 stars I pictured myself giving it a C or a 70%. It wasn’t terrible, just average. It could have been better! 😀

    -Amber

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree that I tend to hesitate to pick up 3 star reads. Just like I don’t want to binge a TV show that was “fine” or see a movie that was “okay” I don’t rush to pick up a book that was “sufficient”. I strive to find those 4 and 5 star reads that impact you for a long time. 1 and 2 star reads can be fun to pick apart in a review and figure out what exactly worked or didn’t. A 3 star read just feels like a slog most of the time. There’s nothing to hate but also nothing to love. Unfortunately most books sort of fall into the average category…sort of how average works I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I mostly read books based solely on what they are about, but I check the goodreads ratings which aren’t the most reliable source of ratings but… When a book has majority 4 and 5 stars I feel confident about reading them a lot more. But the rating that I give to majority of the books I read is definitely 3.

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