I was thinking about the book I’m currently reading and deciding it’s likely to wind up as 3 1/2 stars at BookLikes. And it struck me that the visual representation of 3 1/2 stars really gives a different feel than seeing the numbers 3 1/2. A random recent example (easy to find, because I probably rate 75% of the books I read 3 1/2 stars):
When you see it like that, it’s very clear to me that 3 1/2 stars is on the positive end of the spectrum — it has more weight. Look how long the line of stars is! Look how close it gets to the 5! Why would anyone who isn’t a total egomaniac be upset about that?
The 5 star system as defined by GoodReads — didn’t like, it was okay, liked it, loved it, it was amazing — is actually very sensible to me, because it correlates with the visual weight of the stars. 3 stars is more positive than negative — you have more stars than not. 2 stars shows more weight on the negative side, but it’s not entirely negative — there was something there worth an extra star. (This thinking kind of falls down with 1 star, of course, and some people would really like to have 0 stars.)
It feels right to be able to get that visual, just the right visual for what I thought of a book. I think GoodReads screwed the pooch more than they will ever know in not allowing half stars.