I’m a Little Too Organized: How I Track My Read Books, ARCs, and TBR with, You Guessed it, Google Spreadsheets

Sometimes, I can be a little too organized.

SOMETIMES. Pretty much every aspect of my life is unorganized or messy, because I’m lazy and have no motivation to clean or organize.

Except!! With books!!!

Looking at my spreadsheets makes me a bit overwhelmed but also really proud that I’ve been able to create something like them. The most details I track have to be from my read books. I don’t really do anything much with my ARCs and TBR??

But I thought it would be fun to show you all how my 2018 reading spreadsheets look like and explain what I’m tracking. I might even do a tutorial on how I created mine, since there are some things I was confused about and had to Google??

(Also, I was inspired to make these spreadsheets after seeing Fadwa’s incredible post on how she manages to keep track of her reading and blogging so be sure to check her post out and give her a well-deserved follow!!)

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READ BOOKS

This is my favorite spreadsheet! It’s how I keep track of the books I’ve read this year, and all the details about it, like the author, genre, age group, publication year, origin, and more.

And I KNOW I CAN USE GOODREADS. But I track a lot more details in my spreadsheet, especially the types of diversity in each book, since that’s something really important to me.

My spreadsheet is really long width-wise because I have a lot of details I wanted to track (mainly diversity aspects) so here screenshots of how I tracked my first 28 reads of 2018.

(if my eyes-that-need-glasses can see this, your eyes can too. but if it’s REALLY too small, click on it and then it’ll hopefully open up into a new tab as a larger image!)

As you can see I really suck at keeping track of novel lengths. Partly because I 1) forget to check how many pages there are before returning the library book and 2) I don’t know how many pages long it is when it’s an ebook???

It’s also REALLY obvious that I read mostly YA and get books from the library. I love being broke. (And by free download, I don’t mean sites where you download books’ epubs or something! I mean like, actual free downloads, from a site like Riveted! Or a site like Tor.com where you can read short stories for free!)

Usually the books I read are hardcover, because they’re from the library and libraries buy hardcovers! And a majority of the books I read are published in like 2017 and 2018 because I like to Keep Up With The The Hype. There are some published before 2017 but are pretty much all after 2010! Except for stupid To Kill a Mockingbird which I had to read for school.

Here is where I start tracking whether books are diverse or not, and I’m really proud to have only read 2 non-diverse books. To Kill a Mockingbird DOES have black people, but it’s a book about racism in the Civil Rights era? So it HAS to include black people? I don’t know, I just don’t feel comfortable calling it diverse.

The second non-diverse book was Isle of Blood and Stone. I genuinely could not find any mention of a marginalized character in the ARC and I hoped it changed in the final copy because books published in 2018 should ALL be diverse.

I don’t make a huge effort to find out whether a book is ownvoices or not, because, like I discussed recently, I don’t want to pry into an author’s business to find whether or not they are marginalized, and if so, in what ways. (Hence all the 0s/blank spaces in the “author” spaces both in this screenshot and the one above, as well as in the “ownvoices” space!)

However, if a book IS ownvoices and/or the author IS marginalized and I don’t have to pry to know that, then I want to recognize the book and/or them for it! So the option is there but not something I take seriously, if that makes sense?

Lots of female authors. Lots of 3rd person POVs (THANK GOD). A surprising amount of dual-POV books? I’m surprised. I really haven’t been looking at this spreadsheet lmao.

And now we get into tracking the specific diverse rep! I make sure to differentiate between marginalized main characters and marginalized side characters. Because if you have two side characters of color and every one else including the main character is white… well, I can’t explain it but it’s just something I want to keep track of.

Here’s the last of my diverse-rep-tracking! (I should really make a separate abuse rep column.) Some of the rep that I’m tracking, like Asian rep, bi rep, ace-spec rep, anxiety rep, and depression rep, are my specific identities, so I want to note which books have that kind of rep!

(It makes me sad to see all these 0s. We need to do better!!!!)

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ARCs

Okay, so my ARC spreadsheet is really confusing and I don’t even keep track of it that much but I wanted to show it anyway! It’s like… a combination of me trying to keep track of the books I want to request from publishers and also what ARCs I need to read and review and when. Confusing.

(I’m sorry for blocking out the emails but I’m paranoid that I’m going to get in trouble for posting them publicly!!!! Even though I probably won’t.)

The last two books were offered to me by the author so I don’t have that kind of publishing info, since that’s only necessary for me when requesting ARCs!

(YES I HAVE AN ARC OF CITY OF GHOSTS. SCREAMING FOREVER.)

As you can see, it’s a combination of ARCs to request and what ARCs need reading & reviewing. It would have been much more organized to do separate spreadsheets??? But I’m WAY TOO LAZY. And not smart.

Now that I’m thinking about it, it would have been SO much better to do separate spreadsheets. I’ve requested more ARCs than just those four and yet,,,

I’m pretty sure that all my pending requests are actually… hughghhguh how to put this lightly… REJECTED. (I’m fine, I’m fine, just going to cry for the next four months until I can read Blanca y Roja.)

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TBR

Okay, it’s a misleading name: It’s more like,,, keeping track of books I want to read in certain months. I don’t actually track my huge TBR in a spreadsheet because that’s what Goodreads is for. Can you ever imagine me being organized and motivated enough to do something like that?????

(IT’S READABLE, OKAY. BARELY, BUT READABLE.)

So as you can see, I really suck at monthly TBRs! Except for this month, even though I have had the opportunity to read other amazing books and sadly had to… pass…

I’m pretty much a HUGE mood reader, so I pick up whatever I’m feeling at the moment. And I also just go with whatever’s available at my library, and I don’t plan what specific books I’m getting from the library. (But I also have a kinda-TBR because of my library books? Since I don’t like returning unread books? I mean I don’t LIKE it but I end up doing it a lot.)

But there are certain books I plan on reading for specific months, like Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom. It’s become my tradition to reread it every year in December okay. So I want to keep track of that! And for something like Pride month, it’s nice to see all the books I plan to read in one spot.

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REALLY USELESS WISHLIST

The reason I didn’t put this in the title of my blog post is because it’s really useless. I rarely buy books (I’m unprivileged to be broke but privileged to have access to books without having to buy them!), and a lot of the books I WANT to buy are releasing later in the year?

(Too lazy to take a new screenshot atm but actually, Blanca y Roja and What If It’s Us are both releasing on October 9, so 1) rip my money and 2) ignore my incorrect release date for B&R.)

I TOLD YOU IT WAS SHORT.

I was blessed to get one of my most anticipated releases from another blogger (The Astonishing Color of After) and the other from the publisher (Girls of Paper and Fire) so that leaves just Blanca y Roja and What if It’s Us!

And I never got to buy Six of Crows (while I have Crooked Kingdom) and I REALLY. WANT. IT. And I really loved Simon Vs. and it’s so rereadable that I want to buy it!

(I also want to get the rest of the PJO books that I don’t own but also. do I really need them.*)

*Do I really NEED to buy any book???? (Yes.)


shall we chat

are you as organized as me? (it’s just an illusion) do you track your read books like this? or just use goodreads? or another way? do you have a to-buy book wishlist? what books are on it? and DO YOU WANT A TUTORIAL ON HOW I MADE THESE SPREADSHEETS??? i’m running out of post ideas

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