How I Rate The Books I Read

A simple rating scale

On average, I read 20 books every year — more than some people I know but way less than my friend Giorgia, who reads about 100. (The TV is usually off in Giorgia’s house).

How do I rate what I read? Because I mostly read nonfiction, I judge books based on the ideas they present and how those ideas affect me.

This is the scale I use: 

1 Star: The book didn’t inspire me at all. None of my beliefs were challenged. I learned nothing so I can’t apply anything from it. Reading it or not reading it doesn’t make any difference. Waste of time.

2 Stars: The book reminded me of things I already knew, some of which I know well but keep forgetting. Nothing new in the book really. But I don’t mind having read it.

3 Stars: Good book. It gave me some new ideas and perspectives. Now I see a problem, a concept, or an idea in a new way. I may or may not take action to implement what I learned. Either way, I’m glad I read this.

4 Stars: Really good book. I learned many things I didn’t know! Wow! Completely new ideas and insights. I will definitely experiment with what I learned. 

5 Stars: This book changed me and my life completely. Now I think and act differently. I’m a better person. I’ve evolved. And I will keep talking about what I read for many years to come. 

Of course these are general criteria that might not apply to every single book I read.

But they help me reflect on what and how much I learned.

Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.