Introducing my bookish experiment

The other day I came up with a pretty nerdy idea to try and help me read more good books and less bad ones. It might look a bit confusing if I just throw it all at you at once, so I’m going to throw it at you in smaller amounts. Building up to it also adds an exciting element of suspense. Hint: it’s involves one of the nerdiest things I can think of.

The three types of books I check out from the library

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Recommended: the books that I put on hold at the library because a blog/podcast/friend told me good things about them
Library acquaintances: the books I get because I recognize the author or because I’ve heard about it
Library strangers: the books I know nothing about but check out because the description or cover looks good

My method of classification 

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For me, this is probably the hardest part of the experiment. I find rating books with stars to be SO TOUGH, but it’s a bit easier to describe my feelings about a book in words. This is what the words mean and how they would roughly translate into stars.

Great: five stars AKA it was AMAZING and yep, that’s a new favorite
Good: four stars
Alright: three or two stars
Nope: one star AKA I didn’t finish it (Or, in reality, I skimmed through a good chunk of it and didn’t really read it. It’s hard for me to completely abandon a book because that tiny piece of my brain always asks, “What if it gets better??”)

Then I recorded the data…

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I went back and looked at the books I’ve read this year through Goodreads and only used those. I decided not to use any from last year because
1. Oh my goodness, rating books is hard enough. Rating books you read months ago is even harder.
And 2. I probably wouldn’t be able to remember what category all the books fell into. Arranging them incorrectly could cause error- ERROR, I tell you, in the whole experiment. I’m trying to be as scientifically correct as possible over here. (I don’t even think “scientifically correct” is a term.)

and added percentages…

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Then I used some of my very fancy spreadsheet skills and made it so I can see the percentages of how many Great/Good/Alright/Nope books I’ve read from each category.

and pie charts!

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 8.12.54 PM

My dad suggested these because it makes it easier to see the percentages at a glance and because who doesn’t like pie charts? They’re my favorite kind. Actually, now that I think about it, a bar graph might show the information more clearly. I’ll have to try that. Well, it doesn’t matter, I still like pie charts more.


This is what it looks like all together.

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Yep, it’s a spreadsheet.

A look at the current results

Right now Library Acquaintances has the best track record, which is a little surprising. I was expecting it to be Recommended. Recommended is actually doing somewhat worse than I thought it would. As for Library Strangers, it’s doing pretty terribly.

I will be adding in more data as I read more books. Maybe the numbers will change? Maybe they won’t? I’m hoping for the latter. It’ll be more interesting! Either way, there will probably be an update post about the whole thing.


What’s your classification method?
Dude, I can’t be the only one who struggles with stars. And HALF-STARS?? I can only imagine how long it would take me to be that exact. It’s hard for me to be so specific when gauging my feelings. 
A random question: when I say “quadrilateral,” what do you think of? 
Today in math class, my teacher said of course, you’re going to think of a square or a rectangle, and I immediately thought what? I think of a parallelogram. I talked about it to some people later, and they agreed. This is really of no consequence, I just think it’s interesting.


22 thoughts on “Introducing my bookish experiment”

  1. I love your geeky approach!! Now I am thinking to also apply something similar to the books I read during the past years, I’m really curious about the results 🙂 I personally do not give quantitative appreciations to books, as I prefer to simply state my opinion about it and also discuss the context of the book (including interesting facts about the author or how it was written, for example). But using your ranking (good, great, alright, note) seems a good approach for this exercise 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha, thank you!! Ooh, I’d be very interested in what your results would look like too. Do you have a guess what they would be? I KNOW. It’s so hard to measure feelings. Yep, I like interesting facts about books too. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay this is so satisfying to look at! It seems totally like something I would do hahaha, my friends like to jokingly laugh at me for saying that random statistics are interesting :)) I definitely struggle with rating books too…I feel bad giving books lower than like 3 stars…I’ll have to try this system 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I agree: random statistics are interesting- and important! This experiment has the potential to CHANGE my (reading) life. I know right? Ratings are hard. Haha, I have to say that giving books low ratings is not something I struggle with. I hope the system works for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE this!! What an amazing (and original) idea! I just write down the title, date, and how many stars out of 5😋 I can’t wait to see how yours changes/grows!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Out of all of the books I pick up at the library, most of them are library strangers- and that’s how I’ve found a majority of the series I love today. My tip-top rated ones are recommended- I’ve barely had a book recommended to me that didn’t become an ABSOLUTE favorite of mine, and Library acquaintances are okay. I’ve probably had the most let downs there, but recently it’s been doing moderately well.

    Star ratings have never really been an issue with me. With a combination of my intuition and decisiveness, I go with the flow and fill out the stars. Sometimes I bump into one that’s a little bit harder for me to decide, but I only flip-flop for a second before I also just go with my gut and pick the rating that’s best suited with my feelings. 😛 I’m probably a bad one to ask about this though. xD I think sensitive introverts might have a harder time with star ratings than sensitive extroverts do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH, I apologize for not responding to your comment until now.
      Ooh, that’s interesting! What are some library stranger series that you’ve discovered and loved? Wow, that’s so cool. For me, I take recommendations from everywhere without much judgement, which explains why I don’t always like them. Haha, it sounds like we have pretty opposite stats!

      Going with my gut instinct would make star ratings WAY easier. See, if I was to flip-flop over a star rating, it would take me much much longer than a second to decide. Haha no, you’re not! Thank you for your thoughts. Oh, maybe! I was thinking it might have to do with if you’re more judging or perceiving.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Woah! This is awesomely nerdy. 🙂
    I have never tried to give books star ratings, largely because I think if I did it would result in unending anxiety and regret. My book “ratings” are always vague phrases like “Yeah, it was ok” or “Meh” or “I….liked it?”.
    In a way in sort of makes sense to me that Library acquaintances would get higher scores than recommended because, for me at least, when someone tells me a book is really good I have more expectations and am more easily disappointing.
    Honestly, what I thought when you said “quadrilateral” what I thought was something along the lines of: “Quadrilateral, quadrilateral… should I know what that means? Sounds… mathy. So tired. Need sleep. Why am I still awake?”
    It will be interesting to see how the numbers change as you read more books and add more data. Cool experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU. Awesomely nerdy: haha, that might make a pretty good manifesto.
      I know right?? My standard phrase for most books is “It was pretty good.” If didn’t finish it: “I didn’t really like it.” If it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum- “OH MY GOODNESS IT’S AMAZING.
      I can definitely see what you mean. That very much makes sense, but for me, my expectations actually don’t get raised a lot. I usually go into books with a pretty blank slate.
      HAHA. That is absolutely hilarious, the best reply I’ve heard yet.
      Ahh, I’m interested too! THANK YOU.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Whoa, your experiment is so cool! It’s interesting that library acquaintances is winning, and I’m interested to see if it continues to win. (You should do an update post, I’m intrigued. 😉 ) When you say quadrilateral, I think of just ‘four sides.’ I don’t really see a shape in my head…now I’m thinking too hard about it. XD I think maybe a parallelogram too?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHH, why thank you! Haha, I’m intrigued too. Okay cool, I will be doing an update post. Thanks for the positive reinforcement. Oh, that’s interesting! WAIT, that’s what my dad said too. Hmmm. Would you say you’re a very visual person or not?

      Liked by 1 person

            1. I would very much like to say thank you for thinking about it. Ooh, that’s interesting! Another weird question: are the words in a specific font or anything? Because the parallelogram I see is tilted to the right, NOT to the left.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Haha! The words are in a font that I don’t think exists. It’s kind of like Arial or Times New Roman, just like an average computer font I guess.😂It’s so interesting to think about what I see in my mind! I see parallelograms tilted to the right when I picture them too.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Oh, interesting! I’m not completely sure, but I think I see my handwriting in its neatest form. I KNOW RIGHT. Oooh, COOL. Haha, now I’m curious about whether people see parallelograms tilted to the right or to the left.

                  Liked by 1 person

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