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Using CAWPILE For My Ratings

Ratings. We all use them, whether it’s for shows or books, or even for restaurants! Ratings and reviews help us make decisions about how we spend our money and our time.

Over the years, I’ve reviewed and rated loads of books. However, one thing that always bugged me was my lack of a proper standard for these ratings. True, I always had my reasonings for why I gave a certain number of stars for a book but there was no hard rule for any of it.

Things get trickier when you consider half-ratings. What constitutes giving .5 of a star versus just rounding up (or rounding down)? For someone like me, who likes having rules and protocols, it became quite a conundrum. It didn’t help that sites like Goodreads don’t accept half-star ratings.

That’s when I was introduced to CAWPILE. A helpful booktuber sent me a link (click here to watch it yourself!) to a YouTube video that explains the entire system – and also provides a spreadsheet you can download and use for FREE!

What is CAWPILE?

Essentially, CAWPILE is a system that gives 7 categories you can rate a book on.

Here are the categories that CAWPILE stands for:

C – characters

A – atmosphere

W – writing

P – plot

I – intrigue

L – logic

E – enjoyment

Each category can have a rating between 0-10, which eventually gives you an aggregate score out of 5 for the overall book.

It’s clear how this can easily help book reviewers and readers organize their thoughts and have an accurate system and basis for rating books.

Since I’ve started using CAWPILE, it has made reviewing my books a heck of a lot easier! I know what areas I should focus on when reading the books, and my thoughts are more coherent. The spreadsheet also produces stats based on what you input and I’ve learned a lot about my reading habits!

Of course, there are times when I have a gut feeling over a rating. But for those books where I really need to consider different elements, the CAWPILE has been an amazing tool to use.

If you’re someone who craves consistency when reviewing and rating books, then definitely check out the CAWPILE YouTube video by the lovely booktuber Book Roast!


Have you ever faced the same challenges with rating books? Do you use a system? Have you ever heard of CAWPILE before?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

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7 thoughts on “Using CAWPILE For My Ratings

  1. I’m using it too, but there’s one thing that bugs me. How do you remember your ratings for each category when finishing a book, shelve it as such but your blog is nowhere near you?

    1. If you click on my blog post, there is a youtube link where a booktuber has actually made a downloadable and editable spreadsheet. That can help you keep track of your ratings for the different categories – long after you’ve finished reading the book.
      In terms of just remembering my thoughts about a book, I take notes as I read, or I try and quickly write some bullet points as soon as I finish the book!

  2. Ooooh, I need to try this! I’ve heard of it before but haven’t added it to my reading spreadsheet — maybe I’ll go back through my last couple of reads and rate them on all these things and see where it gets me. I do really struggle with star reviews for anything. Like, rating a book three stars can mean anything from “enjoyed this a lot but didn’t find it ultimately memorable” to “this sure was a book.”

    1. Yes! I have this exact same issue, where I have no consistency in why I’m giving a certain rating. Sometimes, that’s okay – I like going with just my gut instinct. But other times, I prefer to have some kind of method or rationale that I can rely on, especially when it comes to those books that are a bit iffy.
      Hopefully, CAWPILE helps you! Make sure to download the spreadsheet from the Youtube links!

  3. I tried to find this the other day via Googling (because spending 20 minutes on Google makes more sense than just going on to your blog), but I couldn’t remember what the term was. So I basically wasted 20 minutes googling “COWPAT”

    1. LOOOOOL that’s just karma for you!
      Hopefully you found this post more useful than your Google searches – let me know if you decide to use the spreadsheet!

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