In May 2016, an article published in Scientometrics, titled ‘Taking scholarly books into account: current developments in five European countries’, introduced a comparison of book evaluation schemes implemented within five European countries. The present article expands upon this work by including a broader and more heterogeneous set of countries (19 European countries in total) and adding new variables for comparison. Two complementary classification models were used to point out the commonalities and differences between each country’s evaluation scheme. First, we employed a double-axis classification to highlight the degree of ‘formalization’ for each scheme, second, we classified each country according to the presence or absence of a bibliographic database. Each country’s evaluation scheme possesses its own unique merits and details; however the result of this study was the identification of four main types of book evaluation systems, leading to the following main conclusions. First, countries may be differentiated on the basis of those that use a formalized evaluation system and those that do not. Also, countries that do use a formalized evaluation system either have a supra-institutional database, quality labels for publishers and/or publisher rankings in place to harmonize the evaluations. Countries that do not use a formalized system tend to rely less on quantitative evaluation procedures. Each evaluation type has its advantages and disadvantages; therefore an exchange between countries might help to generate future improvements.