Why I’ve done away with Star Ratings for Reviews on my blog

This month’s topic is about our thoughts on rating systems. You can follow along on the discussion by checking #DiscussionAttic and #DAApril for our monthly topic on Twitter.

This is a really timely discussion topic for me because the subjectivity of star ratings has been on my mind a lot over the past few months. My approach to reviewing has always been rooted in my experience as a scholar in the humanities: I have an Overly Verbose Brand and a lot of feelings. I am much more of a qualitative thinker and have such a hard time distilling that into a simple rating.

It also doesn’t help that there isn’t a guideline provided to standardize the rating system, so it is open for a lot of interpretation. Back when I first started my blog, I put together a Ratings scale so that my readers (and the publishers I work with) understood my own personal scale. But over time I came to realize that rather than adapting to my rating system, readers defaulted to their own.

Read more

Required Reading: My Experience

This month’s topic is about required reading. You can follow along on the discussion by checking #DiscussionAttic and #DAFebruary for our monthly topic on Twitter.

Before I get started, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that I recognize that I am not the biggest authority on required reading for high school. I graduated in 2002 and over the last seventeen years (oh my goodness, I feel so old) the publishing landscape and educational system has changed drastically in the United States. I graduated before Common Core and three years before the SATs changed from 1600 to 2400. As such, I am don’t feel comfortable talking about required reading on a wide scale because I’m no longer in the demographic, and I feel that current teens experiences on how required reading should change would be more useful. 

I want to approach this month’s topic from the lens of my own personal experience oh so many moons ago and the lasting effect that it had on my reading habits. So first, a little bit about me!

Read more