My Reading Spreadsheet: How I Track My Read Books and ARCs! + Some Google Sheets Tricks

I’m back to annoy and/or bore you. 

I did a post about my reading spreadsheet in 2018, but I’ve changed things since then, so I wanted to do an updated version! I’m only showing half of the sheets I’ve made, my read books and ARCs, but I have ones for monthly TBRs (unnecessary to show) and graphs (sharing at the end of the year).

I’m also going include a list of some Google Sheets functions that I like to use. You can easily find/google these, but I know when I was creating my spreadsheet it would’ve been handy to have a list of them!

This definitely is not a post with a template for you to use. But if you want some great spreadsheet templates, I recommend checking out Fadwa’s or Kal’s!!

Protests in Thailand against the monarchy have been going on since July, but recently several student activists/protesters were arrested. As I’m writing on the 15th, there will be a rally tomorrow where more will likely be arrested. This carrd has basic background info, but please look at the more detailed resources linked too. I’m afforded many more rights in the US and can speak up without fear of consequence, but it is a dangerous and unprecedented time for my fellow Thais in Thailand.

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READ BOOKS

This part is pretty self-explanatory! I have the month I read the book in, number of the book, and book title. These three columns, as well as all the heading rows, are “frozen” so that when I scroll, they’ll always show and I won’t have to scroll back to see them.

Next is the author, and then my ratings, both star and numerical because I’m annoying! I’m visual and the stars help me take a quick glance and roughly know how I felt about the book, but I’m a half-star user so I still want to note those.

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This one’s a little harder to see, but you can click on the image to view it up closer in a new tab! There are still the month/number/title columns on the left, plus more general information about the book: page number, genres, type of book (novel, comic, etc), age group, publisher, and year/country published.

I’m particularly terrible at tracking page numbers!! So many books I’ve read this year have been ebooks or audiobooks, so unless I check Goodreads, I have no idea how many pages there are. And even when I read physical books, I am, uh, still too lazy and forgetful.

If you’re wondering why I track publishers well and not page numbers, that’s because I only recently went through Goodreads and found the publisher info for all the books I read! (And because I lack brain cells, I forgot to also check the page numbers.)

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Next is my “personal reading info” section! These are for things like how many days I took to read the book, where I got the book from, whether I own it, what format I read it in, and if it was a reread.

I’m so bad at tracking the number of days read… Sometimes I read books erratically, or other times I just lose track of when I start/finish (especially during school). Yes, Goodreads can help, but do you really expect me to do anything worthwhile there besides say I want pretty girls on covers to step on me.

And then I have a random section to track POVs of books, because that is information I strangely want to note!! I don’t know, I just love third person so much and I want to see how many of the books I read are actually third person? (The answer: not enough.)

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The next section is for me to track information about the author. This includes if they come from a marginalized background and if so, which, as well as their gender, whether they’re new to me or not, and if they’re ownvoices!

You’ll notice that I only record more specific information about the race of authors. Generally, I only really care about ownvoices representation when it comes to authors of color, because with other things, forcing someone to come out or reveal personal information about themselves in the name of “ownvoices” is not a good look.

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You can’t see the heading of this last section, but it’s for representation! I’m only sharing part of it, because I track the same things as I did for authors (race, LGBTQIAP+, mental illness, disability/neurodiversity), but I also have some columns for identities that pertain specifically to me that I’d like to keep private.

At the end, I have a column for “other,” which is for representation that is present in the book that I didn’t specifically track but still want to record (ie. religion, body type). I know some people track representation by doing that—listing out specific rep—and that’s great! I personally do the 1/0 thing so I can make graphs more easily from them.

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ARCS

(If you see those two unreviewed ARCs at the top… no you don’t. You do not.)

I of course have title and author, plus publisher and release date. Then I have “read by” and “review by” columns. I put in a month I want to read/review ARCs by, based on the release date. (As you can see… I procrastinate.) Then there’s my “read and reviewed?” column, so the goal is to have all three of these columns green to show that I both read and reviewed them!

The “blog?” column isn’t actually for whether or not I’ve reviewed them on my blog, but rather to note which ARCs I’m planning to review on my blog. I have a large enough following on Goodreads to be able to just post reviews there (I actually have more followers there than on my blog now, which is WILD), and there are few publishers who don’t expect a post on my blog (like Penguin, since they’ve turned to social media platforms over blogs… but you didn’t hear that from me). But generally, I do review ARCs on my blog!

There’s also a column at the end for “date,” which is reserved for blog tour dates that I have to a post a review on ARC. Usually, I don’t know what day I’m going to post reviews if it’s not a specific required date, because I’ve grown disorganized with my blogging!

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GOOGLE SHEETS TRICKS

I’m no Google sheets expert, especially when it comes to things like formulas, but here are a few things I wish I’d known how to do without having to google!

  • If you want to freeze a row/column: highlight the row/column that’s the “last” one you want to freeze (ie. in my read books sheet it would be “title”) and go to view > freeze > up to current row/column.
  • If you want to have your cells change color based on different things, like if an ARC’s release date has passed, highlight the row/column, go to format > conditional formatting and from there, set up your format rules!
    • Format rules can be like “format cells if… text is exactly ‘read'” or “format cells if… date is before ‘today.'”
    • To adjust which cells use these rules (ie. you might highlight the whole column but don’t want your heading row to be included), you can change the range from, for example X1:X50 to X2:50.

  • If you want to include a dropdown list of options, ie. YA, MG, NA, and adult, highlight the row/column, go to data > data validation >> criteria > list of items. List the items you want to include in the text book (use commas to separate, no spaces after commas) and click “show dropdown list in cell”!
    • If you write something in a row/column that has dropdowns and it isn’t one of the items in the list you made, it will count as “invalid.” So try to cover all your bases with the list—for example, with types of POVs, I did 1st, 3rd, both, and N/A (for books like comics).
  • In general, I recommend simply hovering over different buttons in the menu. You’ll find some useful functions like cell borders, merging cells, and text rotation!

If you have any other questions about certain functions, please feel free to ask and I’ll try my best to help you!!


shall we chat

I hope this wasn’t too boring! school’s started for me so I’m already busier and this was an easy post for me to write up :’) do you track your reading? do you use a spreadsheet?

p.s. today’s the LAST DAY to vote in the 2020 Book Blogger Awards, get your votes in before 11:59pm CDT!!

blog signoff

 

74 thoughts on “My Reading Spreadsheet: How I Track My Read Books and ARCs! + Some Google Sheets Tricks

  1. Usually I use a paper and painstakingly try to draw straight lines to organize book information. My pencil obviously then decides to swerve to the left and make me draw a curvy shape instead of a line. Yay. *Reads this post and gasps* this is an AMAZING idea. YOU ARE A GENIUS. But I am horrible with technology and do not know how to use Google Sheets whatsoever. Hopefully I can do it. Thank you for this!

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