tracking reading

2017: A Spreadsheet Story? Tell Me All Your Thoughts on Tracking Reading!

A Spreadsheet Story

So, I said this:

Actually, tracking my reading has become a little more complicated since adding library books into the mix. Because I use LibraryThing only for “owned” books and ARCs, the count there does not include books borrowed from the public library and reviewed on the blog. This book-blogging accountant may finally have to take the plunge into spreadsheets (shudder).

And in reply, Michelle said this:

How do you not use spreadsheets to track your reading? Now that I have been using one for many years now, I could never NOT track my reading that way. Plus, it gives me all my stats right there without having to dig for them in LT or anywhere else online. I think 2017 should be the year you explore this fantastic avenue of tracking! 😉

Tracking Reading…All in One Place

I spend a lot of my time at work as a spreadsheet jockey. I’ve resisted using a spreadsheet to track my reading stats because I’m afraid it would literally feel too much like work. It may be work I need to take on anyway.

As I mentioned in my year-end reading recap, I really like the variety of review indexes that the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin [affiliate link] can produce. Some of what I’d like to track is captured that way, but not in an ideal format. The indexes are all separate from one another, for one thing; the Sortable Index combines a few options, but not all. They also can’t be exported into a setting where I’d be able to manipulate them (something like, oh, a spreadsheet).

LibraryThing has been a decent tracker surrogate for me in the past, but since I primarly use it for cataloging it doesn’t include my library books. (Yes, I know it’s “LibraryThing.” I see the irony.) It’ll still work as a simple method to track what I’ve read from my own shelves in a given year, but it’s not a complete record anymore.

I did make a stab at a reading spreadsheet a couple of years ago, with a variation on Kerry‘s reading tracker, but I didn’t stick with it. In truth, that was probably mostly because 2015 was a messy year, but I’m also not entirely sure I’d want to use the same format if I gave spreadsheets another go.

Are You a (Reading) Tracker? I Have Questions for You!

If you use a reading spreadsheet, would you mind telling me what book info you track? I’m looking for ideas, suggestions, and advice!

Here are some of the things I think I would include in my spreadsheet.

  • Title
  • Author
  • Format
  • Source
  • Date(s) read, or just completion date
  • Genres (fiction/nonfiction and primary category within division)

These are some items I could track, but I’m not sure if I will:

  • Page count/audiobook length (hours)
  • Publisher
  • Setting
  • Author demographics
  • LT rating
  • Review info (not necessary, since if I finish the book I’ll write something about it)
  • ISBN (since the tracker will not be a review index, I probably would not include this)

I realize that a lot of this is based on personal preference and individual reading interests. but I’m really curious. Do you think I’m leaving out something I should pay attention to? Are there things you’ve found really aren’t worth tracking?

And if you use formulas to calculate stats from your spreadsheets, how do you make them work?

Tell me all your thoughts on tracking your reading–how do you do it?

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