Coffee and… Why I’m Using CAWPILE To Rate My Books

I’ve had this planned to share today for a couple of weeks, and honestly, it’s never seemed less important how I rate my books, but when I asked over on Twitter, most people wanted me to stick to my usual content. So here it is… I’m sitting down with my coffee to talk about the new (to me) rating system I’m using for my books. Join me?

coffee and...

The Coffee:

This week is another Clifton Coffee, the Rocky Mountain from Panama with tasting notes of guava, passion fruit and blackberry.


I am a huge fan G at Book Roast and her You Tube channel. About three months ago, she did an update video on her book rating system CAWPILE, which really caught my attention. I have always been a mood rater; sometimes I’d finish a book at 2am and think “Wow! This is the best book I have ever read it should get 5000 stars.” Then in the cold light of day, I’d maybe think it was more of a three star read. Or I’ll be looking at Goodreads whilst talking about books and wonder why I rated certain books certain ways.

I tested out the CAWPILE system on the books I read in January and February, and for the most part, it gave the same ratings. Four of them changed, and, if I’m honest with myself, this system gave a rating I agree with more than the one I’d originally given. None of my 5* ratings changed! But I did find it interesting that it was mostly my 4* ratings that changed, and for books that I remember struggling to decide what rating to give them.

It involves a spreadsheet that G created, which gives me life, because I love a good spreadsheet (even more so when I don’t have to create it!) and the whole system is working really well for me so far.

It involves rating seven different aspects of a book on a scale of 1-10 (which gives much better scope than the 5* standard rating). They are: characters, atmosphere, writing style, plot, intrigue, logic and enjoyment. I love this because there are some books that I enjoy so much, but actually the logic is a bit off or I really can’t stand the characters and I struggle to rate these (I usually end up looking at how my friends have rated the book and copying!) After giving each of these a rating, you divide it by 7 for the average and that number determines your star rating (or G’s amazing spreadsheet does it for you). The very specific scale is:

  • < 1.1 = 0* (a book this bad I would personally have DNF)
  • 1.1 -2.2 = 1*
  • 2.3 – 4.5 = 2*
  • 4.6 – 6.9 = 3*
  • 7 – 8.9 = 4*
  • 9 -10= 5*

I love that it also gives me an idea of what is the top end of each star rating and what is the lower end, because there’s often a huge difference for me in the 3* ratings – some books I would say were almost 4* and others that I almost gave up on, so seeing how these compare on this system is something that satisfies my nerdy little brain.

So, for the foreseeable future I’m going to be using this system to rate my books!

Do you use a system for rating books or are you a mood rater? And what do you think of G’s system?




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