Do You Rate Books You Don't Finish?


Our friend Amy recently talked about her struggles with assigning star ratings (which we completely, wholeheartedly agree with), and it got us thinking about whether or not we should rate books we don't finish. 

Here's the issue: I put down books I don't like pretty routinely, and I want to be able to say what precisely made me walk away from it, but I also don't want to be unfair to a book I didn't finish.

To be perfectly transparent, we generally don't talk about the books we hated so much that we couldn't even finish them on here. Personally, I don't particularly feel obligated to give them a platform, nor do I want to spend more mental energy on a book I couldn't even tolerate finishing. We use this space to talk honestly about our reading lives, but we would both rather spend our time and energy gushing about what we loved rather than dwelling on a book that was lame or frustrating or badly written. 

On a platform like Goodreads, though, it just takes a click to assign a book 1 star and move on, no mental energy needed. But is that fair to do? Just assigning a star rating doesn't tell a viewer anything about why I abandoned the book, nor does it contain any kind of nuance. I also know that since I abandoned a book, there's a chance that if I had finished, it could have redeemed itself. The alternative to giving it a rating would be to just delete it off my Goodreads entirely, or maybe shelving it with it's fellow abandoned brethren on a dedicated shelf of shame? I'm conflicted about it.

So what do you think? Should we rate books we DNF or just quietly let them slip away into the abyss of our memories?