As a reviewer, you’re almost always thinking about the rating of books as you read them. Is this book a five star read to you? Four? Three? Two? One? As you continue the story, you’re continually thinking about this and how you feel about the story you’re reading. On top of that there seems to be this atmosphere and craving for five star reads. So today I want to talk to you about amazing books and some of my thoughts surrounding them.
The Five-Star Read
I love stumbling onto a five-star read. I love being immersed in a book. I love the feeling of true inability to stop reading; and to always have the book on my mind when I’m not. There is something so unique and special about these five-star reads. For me, they have to have that spark. That feeling that erupts inside of me and makes me exclaim – usually from the start – YES. THIS. When you find a five-star read, you remember why you bother reading in the first place. You’re reminded that reading is something that can, and often does, make you feel more alive. But do all the books we read need to be five stars?
The Comfy-Easy Read
There seems to be a lot of ice around three-star reviews. If someone you know has given a book three stars, you may be put off and think it’s not worth your time and this has left me very curious. Personally, I really enjoy three-star reads. I enjoy the feeling that while I may not be feeling that spark and alive-ness I get from a five-star read, I know that I am still enjoying reading more than anything else at the moment. I like knowing that I can open a book and know that it won’t be anything spectacular but that I will enjoy myself for a few hours. It will be a nice escape for a little while. So is it okay to just like a book sometimes?
Why I Read
All of this has made me question why I read and I think that is the key here. If you read only so you can feel alive and crave books that hook you from the get-go, then you may only want to read five-star books and nothing else. But for me, I read for enjoyment. I read to escape for a little while. I read to feel less alone and to feel, ironically, like I really do belong in the world. So for me, it doesn’t matter if the book is riveting and amazing, as long as the book helps me with the above reasons, then I’m glad I picked it up. I no longer want to feel guilty for putting up a three-star review because a three-star review to me means that it has been a successful read – and I think this is the most important part of it all.
The Balance of It All
Lastly, I think that reading a wide spectrum of books, ones that are easy, comfortable three-star reads, exciting and intense four-star reads and mind-blowing five star reads makes reading more enjoyable. It makes those five-star reads more special because you’ve waited for them for so long. They’re treasured more because they’re so much better than everything else you’ve read in a while. But we can only know this feeling, can only know to put it above all the rest, if first we know books that are only okay. Therefore, to me, every book, even those pesky one and two star reads are important. They help to make me realise the potential of all the amazing books. Afterall, one doesn’t know happiness until they’ve experienced sadness.