Friday, February 26, 2016

A Brief Explanation of My Book Review Scores

For book reviews on this blog I will be using the scoring spectrum as follows: 
Very Good 
Now to most of you that may look a lot like a five point system. Actually, it’s more akin to a four point system. Let me explain. 

Imagine a three story office building. Okay now imagine that building also has a basement. The basement represents ‘bad’ books. The basement is not a place where people work but is more like a storage space, a place where you would put things that you might as well have thrown out since no one will ever come down to retrieve what was stored there. Moving upward to the first floor we find the ‘okay’ books. There is nothing wrong with the first floor, its nice, a waiting room or lobby of sorts. It has some nice decorations and certainly has a purpose but it’s mostly empty and serves only a limited purpose. On up to the second floor we get the real work, the multiple use and purpose, the richness of the work that comes out of the building. The second floor represents the ‘good’ books. Most books I review may fall under the overall score of ‘good’ and though according to mathematical definitions that would make these books average for me the score is a reflection of quality. These books are good, above average. Better than okay. Now for the score of ‘very good’ we start to see the four point system. Very good books are represented by a balcony/rest area midway between the second and third floor. This is an area that allows people to relax and see the world around the building in a better way than through a window. This is a place only open to those that are already on the second floor but restricted to those who excel in the work done there. To put more simply if ‘good’ is a 3 on the four point scale then ‘very good’ is a 3.5. And finally we get to the third floor, the ‘great’ books. This floor is as large as the others but is only occupied by a scarce few. These are the folks who set the standard for what work should be. The quality that books should try to reach. These few do have access to the balcony between floors but choose rather to ascend to the roof where they might see the entire world instead of a balcony only facing one way.

This is the building.
Now that was a long explanation for what could be summed up simply as: bad=1, okay=2, good=3, very good=3.5, and great=4. For those of you who see things better if there is a number attached to it then please use those numbers to help you understand my overall score of a book. For me, I’m a words person, so I like to use words to describe the quality of a story hints the long metaphor versus a short number scale. My goal for this way of showing the quality of a story was to have a spectrum that has more positive nomenclature than negative. I think most books are worth reading even if they end up with a score of ‘okay’. There will be less books with a score of ‘bad’ for me than those that have a score of ‘great’. This might make me seem too optimistic or maybe too easy on books that you might give a less favorable score. I’m okay with that. We are all going to have strong opinions about what is good and great, and what is bad or worse and I am no exception. We all have swords.


  1. We all have swords, yes, but what is a sword?

    Actually.....what is art? :)

    1. In the context of this blog a 'sword' is the strong opinion about a story (or any form of art) a person cares about so deeply that they will defend said story strongly to the point that their words could turn on a person who does not agree with them and become hurtful. Their words become like a weapon.

      As to what art is, well...