Let’s Talk About: Do You Rate Before You Read?


Hello!!! It’s Friday and I hope I’m somewhere in Barcelona right now, maybe eating Ramen and preparing to go and watch Deadpool or something :D, but today I wanted to talk to you guys about something that kind of bugged me a few weeks ago and I wanted to hear your opinion on the matter.


As soon as a book is announced on GoodReads, a rating appears. People comment on it and rate it, sometimes based on their excitement, or because they liked the blurb or the title. Sometimes because they didn’t, which was the case that brought this to my attention. But my point is:


Some people defend that GoodReads allows people to rate based on their excitement level for any given book, but do they? I was checking their Review Guidelines, and they do allow rating prior to the book release, but not for excitement purposes:

Pre-publication reviews. Many of our members receive advance copies of books to review, either through Goodreads giveaways or another source. We have no way of knowing the exact date that review copies are available. As such, each book is eligible to be reviewed as soon as it appears on the site.

I for one am of the opinion that you can comment all you like on a book, but rating should be reserved for after you read said book.

A while back I posted a comment by Patrick Rothfuss to his 5 stars reviews for a book that doesn’t even has a publication date yet, and I’ll leave that comment here again:


I understand being excited for a book, or underwhelmed by its theme or synopsis, but is it ever OK to grade something that you haven’t read?


83 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: Do You Rate Before You Read?

  1. Cátia says:

    You already know my opinion on this one. I can’t understand why people rate books without reading it. I understand that they might be excited or they don’t like the blurb or the author but you don’t have to rate the book because of that. I understand if people comment on that book but rating?? How can someone rate a book without even read it?

  2. Anna @MyBookishDream says:

    I don’t either. I really don’t get the rating before reading no matter how exited you are about the book. I would express my excitement through text and gifs.

  3. Word Wonders says:

    I can’t even wrap my head around it ! HOW ? I have been thinking a lot about this lately especially since “Harry Potter and the cursed child” has been announced and I can’t understand the logic behind it because YOU PEOPLE HAVEN’T READ IT YET, CHIIIILL !! But then again maybe time travel really does exist , yes? No? K.

  4. ariastuckinwonderland says:

    Great post!

    I personally don’t rate a book unless I read it. And sometimes, I don’t even rate books that I didn’t reach at ;least 50% in. If in case I DNF I book and haven’t read a huge chunk of it, I prefer not to give it any ratings because I feel it would be unfair for the book. I would write a review of the parts that I have read, but no ratings I guess. But that’s just me.

  5. JAH says:

    It’s so frustrating to see ratings and then when you go to the comments and it’s how excited someone is or whatever. Now I don’t even look at the ratings anymore; I just skip all the reviews that don’t mean anything and look at the comments that talk about the actual book!

  6. Sara @ freadomlibrary says:

    I hate when people do this. Especially when they negatively review a book before release. How dare you judge something that isn’t even done yet?! You’re already giving it such a bad reputation and its probably still being revised. I feel like you can’t judge a book unless you’ve read it, completely. If you DNF, you shouldn’t place a rating because you didn’t experience the entire thing. That’s why even if I want to, I don’t leave a book unfinished. I want to be able to complain to the full extent of my abilities haha

  7. cat says:

    Yeah I agree with you, I’m on the “no” side. Maybe they should have another rating system for prerelease ratings. And then when the book comes out, it goes back to normal rating.

    I’m sure authors aren’t complaining when they see the 5 star reviews.

    Also Patrick’s post is really funny. Time travelers must exist.

  8. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    Great topic! I have to say, I like people expressing their excitment for a book with gifs and craziness in Goodreads comments. BUT when a book is rated almost 5 stars, while it’s not even out yet, well, that kind of annoys me, I’d rather for the ratings to be only valid when the book is out. That way, we’re sure all the ratings are from people who actually read the book, I don’t know, ahah.

  9. A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

    NO! I find it really strange that people do that. I’m as surprised as the next person about the Cursed Child book, but you don’t see me rating it a five star book. It can discredit the book as well as people may just think a book is popular because there is hype and not because it is genuinely good.

  10. Chloe Lauren says:

    I have seen this happen quite a lot and I seriously do not get it. It makes no sense to me! Oh and I went to the library and picked up Anna and the French Kiss 😀

  11. readersandmore says:

    I think you should read the book and see if you like the actual characters,plot, setting etc. Don’t just base it off a “beautiful cover” or creative title. I personally rate books AFTER I finish reading the whole thing.

  12. lostwithinwordsx says:

    Rating books before you read them just doesn’t make any sense! I totally get that you may be excited for a book or the author, but that doesn’t mean that you should be hyping/dismissing a book before you have even read it. I have seen this a lot for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I’m also excited for because HP duh!) and it is kind of frustrating and bugging me every time I go on goodreads.

  13. Aldii says:

    I rate books after I read them. The only thing I made out of excitment was once and it was a comment, no rating so it didn’t affect in anyway. I agree with all that you said.

  14. Ashley says:

    Rating a book before reading it sounds crazy! It’s also a little misleading in a way, especially for those that base their decision to pick up a book based on the ratings.

  15. bookersblogger says:

    I can’t rate before reading a book…no matter how good people say it is! You’re making me jealous, I want to eat Ramen too! 🙂

  16. Kendra says:

    The whole thing doesn’t make sense to me. Why would you rate a book before you read it? That’s like telling a chef you love their food before you have even tried it! Then, if you don’t like it, you can’t tell them. Grah, this bugs me! I have never rated a book before reading it. No way! This was a great post.

    • My Tiny Obsessions says:

      I honestly don’t understand the logic behind it either. but books that won’t even be out for another half a year or more, that aren’t even ready for ARC stage, and they already have ratings… it bugs me

  17. thedaydreamingbookworm says:

    I think people who rate books before reading them are ridiculous, especially those who give low-ratings for no reason. They take “judging a book by its cover” to a whole new level. Like are you just hating on the author because I thought we were rating books, not author personalities LOL.

  18. Kelly says:

    Rating a book before reading it has never made sense to me- even if you’ve read the synopsis, you don’t know how the story will be executed, and there’s so much the synopsis doesn’t say.

  19. Natalie says:

    This is a big pet peeve of mine. It really makes me think the rater is a childish twit. It’s fine to make a comments about excitement or expectation, or even disapproval but you shouldn’t star rate things you haven’t at least tried to read. I completely understand rating something that’s a DNF, so technically you haven’t completed it but if it’s so bad you can’t finish that’s a legit rating. Star rating something on speculation is obnoxious and arrogant.

  20. Michelle @ The Writing Hufflepuff says:

    I love that comment of Patrick Rothfuss haha. I don’t rate books before I’ve read them and I don’t understand people who do. Even if the blurb sounds awful, that doesn’t mean the book is? The author doesn’t even write the blurb themselves, so it could be completely wrong.

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