Sometimes I have to take a moment and think about the rating I am about to give a book. But I find, for me, that the difference between four and five stars is the desire to keep, re-read, and lend a book. When I give a book four stars, it means that I enjoyed reading it. The writing, story, and characters were great and I would probably recommend it to other readers.
But the five star read is something even better. It's the kind of story I compulsively read while making dinner or stayed up much too late to finish. It made me think about the story and the characters, even when I wasn't reading. It's the reason I interrupt conversations to ask, "Oh, but have you read this one?"
It's the book I will go out and buy, because I want it to live on my shelves. And one of my favorite things about owning books is the ability to lend them out to my friends and family. I can give the Flavia De Luce series to my mystery-loving mom or mail a spiritual memoir to my sister on the other side of the country.
At the end of the day, there is something wonderful about being surrounded by the books you have read and loved. Those are my five star reads.
How do you differentiate between a book that you really liked and one you loved?