Returning to Posting

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been absent from this blog since the middle of October. This is very bad form from me, and something I’ve been beating myself up about for the last few days (definitely hasn’t helped me to get back into it).

There are quite a few reasons why I’ve been slacking when it comes to posting, chiefly due to being generally overwhelmed. Combining university work with job applications, sports and trying to have a good work/life balance has proven too great a task for me, and as a result I had to let this go for a bit.

I’m hoping I can get back to posting consistently now, and start afresh going into November. I have some content ideas that I’m really excited about, and I’ve got some good reviews coming out soon, so keep an eye out for those!



Posting Schedule


I wanted to write a short post explaining my posting schedule, so that the followers of this blog know when they can expect to see new posts from me.

I have finally settled into a schedule at university as lessons have now started, so I can create more of a definitive schedule for when I will be uploading posts to this blog. I will put in every effort to keep to this schedule (I know how important consistent posting is in blogging!)

Unfortunately I can’t commit to a blog post everyday, but I have huge admiration for anyone who does. My schedule will instead be four posts a week, uploaded on:

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Friday
  • Sunday

If you want to stay updated with my blog, please do give it a follow. I’ve really enjoyed it so far, and it’s been really exciting seeing it grow.


How I Rate my Books

I’ve been writing this blog for around two months now, and I thought it would be interesting to give a break down of how I rate the books I read! Obviously you can tell from the reviews I give individual books, but there is a rough overarching scale that I use to assign ratings to books.

I think it’s really interesting to read how other people rate the books they read, and what elements they prioritise when deciding this! We all have very different qualities that we look for in books, and I think it helps you get to know the reviewer when you can see their thought processes.

So without further ado, let’s get started! I will only be looking at full star ratings, but I do sometimes give half star ratings, so if it would be helpful for me to do a blog post about how I make that decision let me know in the comments.

One Star

This is a rating I really don’t ever give, because I don’t tend to read many books that I really dislike anymore. I think I’ve fine tuned what I like to read in my head at this point in my life, so I tend to pick out books that are at least a two star read.

However, a one star read for me is a book that was very disappointing. Maybe it was a genre that I was interested in trying for the first time and it didn’t end up appealing to me, or maybe it’s a book in a genre I love that just fell flat.

I’d say that one star and DNF’ing a book almost go hand in hand, but I rarely find a book so bad that I can’t find any redeeming qualities in it. There’s usually at least one section or element of the writing that helps me to carry on and gets it a higher rating.

Maybe I’m too generous with my reviews, but I do think looking at books from an academic standpoint also helps you to see the better aspects as well as the bad. Even if the plot was dry and the characters were awful, there was probably a choice of writing style or narrative voice that I really liked.

I would just like to say that if I DNF a book, or I find it offensive and don’t want to read anymore, I would give it zero stars. For me, even a one star book has to have at least one small redeeming feature, even if that’s just me being able to read until the end.

I can’t give an example of a book that I’ve given one star too yet. I’ll update this post if I ever do, but hopefully that will never happen

Two Stars

Much like my one star rating, two star reads tend to be books that were disappointing. They were probably very hyped up online, and I just didn’t share everyone else’s enthusiasm for them.

This tends to be books that were from a genre that I like and fell short of the other books I’ve read. Not the worse book I’ve ever read, and I can appreciate some aspects of the book, but overall I wouldn’t really recommend it unless someone loves the author or the genre and is really interested in it.

Sometimes I think two star books are sometimes worse than one star books because I always have more hope for them. There’s nothing worse than getting a book with a really interesting premise that just doesn’t amount to much.

I also think that two stars reviews are often more because of personal preference than the book being objectively bad. If I’ve given something a two stars, I definitely don’t think it’s a bad book, it just wasn’t for me.

An example of a book I’ve given a two star review is The Watsons by Jane Austen.

Three Stars

We’ve finally broken into the more positive reviews! Three stars is, of course, a book that was middle of the road. It was an enjoyable read, but not something I’d necessarily rush to re-read or recommend to everyone unless it met their personal tastes.

For me, a three star book perhaps is one from a genre I don’t normally like and that surprised me by being enjoyable, or a book that I thought I’d quite like and it met those expectations.

I always feel boring when I give three star reviews because it’s such a neutral standpoint in my opinion, but quite often that’s what fits the book! I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, I enjoyed it for what it was but it didn’t change my life. I probably give out the more three star ratings than any other rating, maybe because I’m trying to make sure I’m not being too generous when reviewing.

The writing and characters are usually good in three star books, and it was interesting enough to keep my attention throughout the whole thing.

An example of a book that I’ve given three stars to is Pine by Francine Toon.

Four Stars

This is another rating that I rarely give out, and I think it’s because I struggle to differentiate between books that I really love, and books that I like a lot. Nevertheless, four star books are ones that I really enjoyed, but just had an element missing to stop it from being one of my favourite reads.

This usually tends to be a book that is from one of my favourite genres, or really surprised me in enjoying it so much. The plot and characters were really interesting to me, and I never felt bored or like I was struggling during the reading process. There might have just been one small problem with the premise or the ending that made me wish something was slightly different.

I think there’s a really big drive to not give all books you enjoy a five star review and to think critically to identify which books were really amazing and which fell slightly short. I’m definitely going to try and give more four star reads in the future.

An example of a book I gave four stars to is Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

Five Stars

And finally we reach the pinnacle: the five star rating. These are the best of the best, the books that you finish and just want to start over again straight away. I try not to give too many five stars out, so when I just can’t resist I know it’s worth it.

For me, five star books are almost always from my favourite genre, and probably my new favourite book within it. I would recommend this to anyone, regardless of their taste in books, because I’m sure it’s that good.

They’re the type of books that you can’t think of a way to make them better, which is so rare but so great when you find them.

I really think that people shouldn’t shy away from rating books five stars. I get why you shouldn’t give every book you like five stars, but honestly I think it just encourages others to give those books a try, which in my opinion is the whole point of book reviewing! I definitely am not scared to give books five stars, as much as I try to keep things critical and not be too generous!

An example if a book I gave five stars to was Mythos by Stephen Fry.

Thank you for reading! Let me know what you use to choose how to rate the books you read in the comments!


About the Blog (and Me)


“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

C.S. Lewis

C.S.Lewis’ problem is one that is very familiar to me, as I’m sure it is to you.

I caught the reading bug at a young age. I used to stay up past my bedtime, huddled up under my duvet with a torch, reading as late as I could. It didn’t really matter what I was reading, whether it was a prescribed reading from school, a borrowed book from a friend, or an old favourite from years before. A far more simple judgement was passed on the books I read- either I loved it, or I forgot about it.

As we get older, however, it becomes far more important to assess whether a book is worth reading before starting it. We have less time to read, and what time we can give over to this hobby needs to be used in a way that is valuable to us. We need reading as a respite, not an addition to the boredom of daily life.

This point became even starker to me as I progressed through my undergraduate degree in English Literature. Suddenly, it wasn’t just my enjoyment that mattered when deciding whether I should read the book. External ideas (fuelled by my imposter syndrome as a first generation university student) about the academic worth of books began to influence my reading decisions, forcing me to create quite a pretentious reading list for about a year. By this, I mean, I read War and Peace just so I could say that I had read War and Peace.

I’ve just graduated, and I’m about to start a masters course in English Literature in September. After submitting my dissertation, I began to read for pleasure properly, probably for the first time since I was 18. I went to a book shop, I scoured the popular fiction section and I looked at what was popular on social media (TikTok advocates very strongly for certain books and I couldn’t just ignore that). I went home with some books that I thought would be interesting to me, rather than books I thought would validate my position as ‘the reader’.

This blog is going to try and offer book reviews that can speak to both the simplistic enjoyment of books, and a more academic assessment of them. I’ll be reviewing books that I’ve read for pleasure, and ones that are part of the reading lists for my modules at university. I think that offers more of an accurate picture of how we read as adults, half for our entertainment and half to serve a higher purpose, maybe to educate us or offer different perspectives on a certain place, topic or issue that we might not encounter in everyday life.

I hope you enjoy these reviews, and maybe find some inspiration for your own reading in them.

The Bookworm