By now, we’re assuming the majority of our TeleRead regulars have probably noticed that we recently added a small but nevertheless significant new feature to our reviews: a five-star-style rating system.

We quietly introduced the feature in a film review by Joanna Cabot that ran on July 2. Two book reviews that ran this morning, one by Chris Meadows and another by Paul St John Mackintosh, also used the new rating system.

But since we’re of the opinion that books reviews, say—or film reviews, or app reviews or whatever—that are rated with a star-system is a pretty played-out journalistic cliché, we’ve decided to go one better by replacing stars with cool little e-reader icons, like these:


The image above, by the way (in case you happen to find it a bit odd or confusing), represents a rating of three “stars”—or in our case, three “e-readers”—out of a possible five. And so from here on out, if you see a product or service of any sort being reviewed on TeleRead, it’ll (most likely, unless we happen to forget, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility) be anointed with a rating that looks similar to the one above.

The highest possible rating a given product or service can receive, of course, is the brag-worthy five “e-readers,” like so:

ratingsAnd the lowest? That would be the shameful half-an-e-reader, which of course looks like this:


One last important note: Due to the fact that the “five-star” rating system has so much less nuance than the popular “ten-star” system, and certainly less nuance than the controversial “100-point” system that was first made popular by Pitchfork, we’ve decided to give our writers the option of awarding “half-stars” (or rather, “half-e-readers”) when necessary.

After all, there’s a very big difference between a four-star book and a five-star book. And that’s why you may occasionally see a review with a rating of, for instance, four-and-a-half e-readers, like this:


Or, for that matter, 0.5, 1.5; 2.5; or 3.5 e-readers. Here’s an example of the 1.5 e-reader rating:


Just in case you’re curious, yes: We stole the idea.

One of our sister sites in the Technology Tell Network, a blog for Apple and iOS enthusiasts called AppleTell, has been using a similar rating system for quite some time. But unlike TeleRead, AppleTell is lucky enough to have a cool little logo—a lower-case “a” that looks like an apple—that just happens to work perfectly well in their own version of a review rating system.

Here’s an example of a four-star rating (or rather, a “four-apple” rating, I suppose) that appeared recently on their site:


reviewSo, there you have it. Any questions? Comments? Concerns? Thoughts? Opinions? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

But first, a quick word of thanks to my North American Publishing Company colleague Albert Gaspari, a hugely talented graphic designer who was kind enough to take the necessary time out of his always-busy workday to create our new rating icons.

Thank you, Al! (He’s the one wearing the hat.The hairy guy is Al’s loyal pal, Breezy the Dog.)


  1. Cool–a rating system. When I was growing up in Ann Arbor my local newspaper had the worst possible rating as a “turkey” rather than a half-star (I recall Ace Ventura 2, Battlefield Earth, and several other bad 90s movies winning the not-so-coveted Turkey). Might be funny to give a 1/2 eReader just a graphic of Snookie’s Biography or something like that.

  2. It would be fascinating to see the top comment generators in each of the five TeleRead posting groups. There is also a ratio of # of postings per comment in each of the groups. Such ratings would tell us something about TeleRead followers.

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