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Not a Hard Grader

We'll call this first post a rough introduction to me and my general opinions on books and reading (for, as we all know, buying books and reading them are entirely unrelated hobbies).

I'll start with the title; I am not a hard grader.

I know there's some pretty contentious debate in the book community about rating in reviews and what that should mean vs what it accomplishes.

My view is pretty uncomplicated. I read for enjoyment. I only read academically when I must, college took all my analytic urges and ground them into dust. (yes, it rhymes, no I didn't mean it, and clearly I'm not changing it.)

Thats what it comes down to for me. Did I enjoy the book? It's a yes or no question but rigid binaries make me uncomfortable. That's why I still use stars and not a simple thumbs-up/thumbs-down system. I don't like the idea of setting myself up as the arbiter for whats good and whats bad. Just because I didn't enjoy a book doesn't make it a bad book.

I also dislike the idea of the Unattainable Five Star Rating. If I only gave five stars to those book which well and truly impacted me, altered the trajectory of my life, blah blah blah, well then I'd have only given five stars to like four books, maybe, and that doesn't seem right. There are millions of books. Many of them are incredible. Whether or not they impact me is a personal matter, not a measure of a book's quality.

But Bax, you're probably thinking, why bother writing reviews if you can't commit to strong opinions?

No idea, really. But you're here, aren't you? You're probably more qualified to tell me.

We've now arrived at point number two. What are my qualifications? Well, what are any of our qualifications? We're sentient meat suits on a rock spinning madly through space trying and failing to understand ourselves and each-other. Okay, I'm kidding. Well, I mean, it's true but nobody likes to start their day with an existential crisis.

Now, I uncomfortably slip in that I have a bachelor's in English (with a focus in theatre; I love billy shakes) and a minor in studio art. So I can think critically and creatively. Also, I've been reading nearly non-stop since I first could. I think thats all the qualification anyone really needs.

I am also, as many readers are, an amateur and failed writer. It's hard. I am well aware.

Now, my reading apatite. I'd love to be able to honestly say "I read anything I can get my hands on!" but thats not true. I'm pretty particular and I'll DNF something if I'm really not jiving with it. I avoid non-fiction. I feel that it makes reading ethical work with a moral imperative. Now, I'm not averse to a good NF sometimes but it's a very rare occurrence.

Mainly, I like fantasy. And specifically, I like magic. When those two boxes are checked, I'm here for it. I'll read Middle Grade, YA, New Adult, and Adult. Good stories are rarely limited by audience. I'll also read most fiction with a fantasy slant. I'm usually not a fan of Lit-fic. Or Slice of life. Or Romance.


I'm sure theres amore aI could and should share. But I'm closing up shop here. Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading!

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