9 out of 10 Penguins Prefer My Blog (The 10th Penguin was Eaten by a Leopard Seal.)

December 27, 2012 Blogging, Humor, Personal 37

Hello my Bookworms!

I know, I know, I’ve been absent. I’m sorry. I’ve been rolling around jovially in a potent stew of holiday spirit, thousands of cookies, and more than a few drops of liquor. It’s been a magical experience, to be sure. I’ve been trying to keep up with my reading, but you try to read when there is so much visceral fun to be had. Seriously.

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Did you not see this? Crazy fun times!

Anyway, I’ve been pondering some things. It’s a little bit unusual for me to be running a “review” site and not have a ratings system. There are so many cute and clever ratings systems out there. There are ye olde “stars” to be had, cups of tea, thumbs up/down, and the like. I suppose if I had a ratings system it would consist of penguins, because I love them. Then I could say things like “This book was so bad, all the penguins got angry and pecked it to shreds! Or perhaps they pecked it because it was about the ocean and they got confused thinking it contained tasty penguin snacks.”

wedding cake

My wedding cake had a penguin topper, you guys. This is a lifelong love affair with the penguin I’ve got going on. No joke.

But alas, I feel I am incapable of a ratings system. I’ve noticed my Goodreads ratings are completely arbitrary. I feel stingy with my 5 stars, so something has to be AMAZING to get that 5th star. At the same time though, I feel like an ass to give something a mere two stars unless it had no redeeming qualities. Just because I didn’t like something, doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Then I get this horrible miasma of books that DO NOT belong together thrown into the 3 star crowd. Like, The Hobbit, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Wuthering Heights all ended up with the same rating? What the what? That’s not right at all!

And yet, with my random “eh it wasn’t my favorite, but it had a dragon and Bilbo is totes adorbs” or “it got a lot of people to read who otherwise wouldn’t have” or “I can see why it’s a classic but it wasn’t my cup of tea because I wanted to punch Heathcliff and Catherine all the time” every last one of these got three stars. This is why I can’t do ratings. I have to be overly verbose and TALK ABOUT IT.

How do you all feel about ratings systems? Are you more likely to see a movie with two thumbs up? Are you more into a book with stellar Goodreads feedback? Do you wish I talked more about penguins? (I can make the penguin thing happen. Seriously.) Talk to me. Bookworms!

37 Responses to “9 out of 10 Penguins Prefer My Blog (The 10th Penguin was Eaten by a Leopard Seal.)”

  1. Jayne

    I have a problem with star-type ratings as well. You get a lot more out of a review when someone actually describes what they do/don’t like. I may see a 3 star review and think I better stay away from the book, but then maybe they describe what they didn’t like and it’s something I do like so I would give it a shot. That being said, I’m terrible about actually writing reviews but I definitely read other people’s. So keep up the long descriptions!

    And on the penguin note… I too love penguins (but probably not quite as much as you!) and was inspired by you to start a separate penguin Christmas tree next year. I hope to get a good price on an artificial tree during the post-holiday sales and will continue to build up my penguin ornament collection (I already have several… I was told Pier 1 has tons of penguin stuff this year). And my other mission is to find a cute penguin tree skirt for a small tree before next Christmas… so far I haven’t had any luck online, so I may have to make one myself if I have time! I say bring on the penguin talk all you want :)!

    • Words for Worms

      You have no idea how excited I am to have inspired a fellow penguin enthusiast! I found my penguin tree skirt at Hobby Lobby several years back. But… In a pinch, a yard of penguin print fabric can be jauntily draped as a passable tree skirt. Happy hunting!

      • Jayne

        I never thought of just using fabric draped around the tree… that’s so logical (and probably why I didn’t think of it, I like to make things too difficult)!

  2. The Leopard Seal Society of Greater Texas

    I represent the Leopard Seal Society and we find your insinuation that Leopard Seals eat delicious penguins disturbing. We ask that…hold on…let me get this beak and flipper out of my mouth…ok here we go. We ask that you cease and desist your baseless accusations immediately. I also suggest that you use the mighty Leopard Seal for your ratings system. We are open to licensing rights. That is all.

  3. Daddio

    I suggest a fish scale (all puns intentional) as fish appear to be a preferred penguin food. 5 fish for a humdinger, 1 fish for a stinker, 0 fish for Jane Eyre.

    • Words for Worms

      Dad. You are no longer allowed to post about Jane Eyre. Ever. Ever. Ever. You have terrible taste in books, Old Man! Charlotte Bronte is going to rise from the grave just to smack you around. Seriously. She called me. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, Pops.

  4. didibooksenglish

    Ratings are just someone’s opinion. They really don’t mean that much. However, there are certain people whose ratings I respect. Essentially, I like to make my own opinion about books. Henceforth me reading all of the Fifty Shades of Grey serious (almost finished). I like reviewing books and I try to rate them as honestly as I can without being insulting. People read my blog for that. If you rate, just explain why you’ve put that particular rating. That’s what I do. Sometimes it may appear harsh like when I gave The Paris Wife two stars, but I explained why. So, no I’m not against it.

    • Words for Worms

      Sometimes I’m probably insulting, but that’s why I won’t review self published works. I figure I’m small potatoes compared to the big publishers, so whatever I have to say isn’t going to ruin anyone’s life.

      • didibooksenglish

        I agree. I’ve been doing reviews from Tribute Books and it’s been interesting. Some good and some bad. There are so many books out there as well as good book bloggers. We all add to the fabric of literary passion and it’s all good.

  5. Cindy

    I go more off of the actual review than a rating system. Probably because my ratings would end up similar to yours. I keep forgetting to check out Goodreads, but my Netflix ratings have the same problem.

    On another subject, I saw The Hobbit this weekend, and in the middle of the movie all I could think was “walking in the mountains, walking in the mountains, walking in the mountains…”. I blame you 🙂 and poor editing. Yes, middle-earth is huge, but seriously, get out of the mountains already!

  6. JoulesDellinger

    Ratings, schmatings. Unless they’re silly ratings of course. Like 5 Happy Penguins vs 1 Pukey Penguin that has a hangover. Hope you’re having an awesome holiday and I’m sorta kinda sticking with my no technology thing, so we’ll catch up next week!

  7. Rhian

    I think your reviews are just fine without ratings. However, if you wanted to introduce them, instead of the same scale (e.g. 3 out of 5 penguins) you could make the scale relevant to the book. So for Harry Potter it could be something like 4 out of 5 horuxes. And then for The Night Circus it could be 4 out of 5 red scarves. I’d like to claim credit for this idea but I totally stole it from the movie reviewer on the radio station I listen to.

  8. Sarah Says Read

    I do a combination of review/blabbing, and a star rating. I think the stars reflect my general feelings about a book, no matter what genre they are. I have given 5 stars to Bet Me (a romance), Harry Potter (YA), and Austen & Bronte classics. Sure a contemporary romance might not go down in the literary hall of fame like Austen, but I have very happy feelings for both and they both are awesome in their respective genres.

    Does that make sense? Lol.

    BTW, I totally support a penguin rating system. “Penguins attack this book and leave it to die because it was so bad.” “Two penguins high-fived because this book was so fun.” Imagine all the hilarity!

  9. Kelly

    I don’t have a rating system either. I don’t think they sum up my opinion of a book well enough (because I’m so full of wisdom, ratings just can’t handle me *cue snooty face*), and I’m the same way with the Goodreads ones (especially the three stars). I wish GR at least had half stars to make me feel like I was breaking things up a bit better.
    As for penguins. My husband ADORES penguins. For his birthday a few years ago, I bought us tickets to a Penguin Experience session at the Mystic Aquarium (in CT near where I grew up). We got to spend an hour with a REAL LIVE PENGUIN. I got the wife Certificate of Awesomeness times eleventy billion.

    • Words for Worms

      Your husband is my kind of people. I’ve heard about programs like that- I think the aquarium in Chicago has a penguin experience like that. I want to do it, but I have anxiety that meeting and smelling a penguin in person would somehow ruin the mystique. How did the husband handle it? Was there pecking?

  10. H. Stern

    For some reason, I couldn’t comment via my iphone, so I had to sit there all day (ALL. DAY!!!!) and stare at your post, thinking of all the witty comments I would make. But now, they’ve flown out of my head. So, here are my main points, in order of how I can remember them at 8:3pm;

    1) Your dad is hilarious. I can’t believe he comments on your posts. HI MISTER -FOR WORMS!!!

    2) Don’t bother with the “82 out of a centipede’s 100 legs liked the setting, but only 76.3 thought the pacing was up to par.” I’d much rather hear your thoughts, than run through some numbers and try to figure out if we like the same things.


    • Words for Worms

      My Dad will be commenting all up in 2013- he’s retired and likes to make Dad jokes. He’ll be excited that he has a fan base! I’ve toyed with the rating idea, but everything I came up with that I liked would involve me either drawing (which is a terrible idea) or making amusing tableaus with stuffed penguins. While adorable, that’s time consuming. Happy New Year to you and yours! Wishing you many more Sunny Days!

  11. Charleen

    I like ratings, and while I do occasionally long for half-stars, overall I kind of like the “don’t have to think about it too much” quality of GR ratings. “I liked it” is such a broad statement, so yeah there are a lot of 3-star books, but I feel like if I narrowed it down to half stars (or rated out of 10, or whatever), I’d be putting way too much thought into “did I like Book A better or worse or the same as Book B” than I care to. Ratings are a nice at-a-glance indication, but reviews really do say so much more, especially since ratings can mean different things to different people.

    I would LOVE “ratings” that describe how the penguins reacted to the book. Even without accompanying cartoons, they would be hilarious. Everything’s better with penguins.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.