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

 

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

  1. I used to not use spreadsheets because I didn’t have a use for them. But this year I’ve been wanting see exactly how I’m reading and started a spreadsheet for that. I mainly took inspo from Shealea’s spreadsheet and included other things that I personally wanted to track. I only have a reading one, and I’m excited to share the graphs at the end of the year!
    Also, the speadsheet tricks is so helpful! I remember struggling when I started haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah yay i’m so glad you started a spreadsheet this year!! honestly it was one of my best decisions in 2018, and i’ve loved seeing how it’s evolved over the years. it just brings me so much happiness, strangely 😭 but YES the graphs are my favorite part!! i love seeing all the statistics and visual representations of what i read

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  2. This is so great and useful! Your spreadsheet looks so pretty. I use a template from Brock from Let’s Read, and I love it, but I will definitely include a column for whether the author is new to me or not, that’s a great idea. Also, I just love looking at spreadsheets.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. this is a really great post! i think when i start to grow my blogging presence and receive more ARCs, i might make a spreadsheet like this. however, i think i need to make one like this for colleges since it’s still summer and i have time. love the aesthetic of your spreadsheets!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much! and honestly i’m not that great at keeping up with my arcs spreadsheet lmao but i hope that if you make one, it’ll help with arcs you get!! and haha i made a spreadsheet for colleges too but i’m not that great at doing anything with it 😭 thank you! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ohh, I really loved seeing your reading spreadsheet it looks so nice and organized!! I’m currently using Kal’s spreadsheet as it’s fantastic and I really enjoy keeping track of all the stats 😄 It’s only my second year using a spreadsheet to track my reading (I usually just used Goodreads) and I love it so much! Also thank you for sharing some Google Sheets tricks with us ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. ahh thank you so much, caro!! kal’s spreadsheet is SO nice, i love how she did that first stats page with all the graphs anad charts 🥺 and yes! i really think anyone who wants to know about their yearly reading (or whoever likes to see stats) should keep some kind of spreadsheet, it’s just so much more detailed than goodreads ❤ and of course!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow this post is amazing! You’re so organized and I love the idea of tracking books, ARCs, reviews, rep, etc. with spreadsheets! When I was in 4th grade, I wrote down all the books I read that year on a large piece of paper…but I have no idea where it is now. I should probably track books more, but ah, I suppose I just do it sometimes on Goodreads? Thanks for the Google Sheets Tricks, they look really helpful!! And no the post wasn’t boring, it was quite interesting to read. Hope school goes well for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much aahh!! honestly this is the only part of my life that’s organized lmao. and i think i also wrote down a list of all the books i read in 5th grade, haha! and oh i totally get just using goodreads to track your reads — i did that for maybe a little less than a year but realized i wanted to record some other data (i’m very much a nerd 😭). ohh, i’m so glad you thought it was interesting! and thank you so much ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow!! This is so amazing May! I am so impressed by how organized this is and how much information you can gather from this. It must be so interesting to be able to see all of these stats for your reading. I wish I could do something like this but I feel like I would never remember to put all the info in 😂. Thanks for sharing about your system❤︎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much!! 🥺 and oh god yes… i’m such a nerd and looking at all the graphs brings me so much happiness and satisfaction lmao! and honestly sometimes i forget (there was a whole month earlier this year that i forgot to input any data — though to be fair it was when covid was becoming a big problem in the us haha) but seeing the stats definitely motivates me 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. you know i love posts like this, and this was so helpful, thank you thank you. also, thank you for the carrd and your voice, always. i will educated myself better, sign any and all things, and donate. i’m also here if you need to talk or need to escape! i love you 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I find this terrifying and amazing all at once. *bows down to you*
    I’ve used book journals in the past, and they’ve worked well, but I’ve slowed down and haven’t used my book log in about 3 months. Whoops. I really want to get back in to logging my books, and you have definitely inspired me!….as well as intimidating me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha i love inspiring both fear and awe 😈😈

      book journals look so pretty! i wish i had the patience to keep up with one and make it look all nice and aesthetic lmao. hope you can get back to logging all your reads soon (though this reply is super late 😭)

      Like

  9. This is incredible!! I’m amazed at how people keep track of such detailed information, really. I do like to write lists and spreadsheets, but if I attempted to track my reading like that, I’d get bored halfway through (or forget about it and get distracted with something else). I mostly stick to Goodreads (and my monthly wrap ups on my blog). But I’ve been trying to get the time (and the patience too hahah) to sit down and come up with a spreadsheet to write down all the books I physically own, on my bookshelves, so I can get inspiration from this 😛

    Like

  10. I’m an absolute stats nerd, so this was far from boring! I found it so interesting! It’s weird because although I adore spreadsheets, and have always used them for school purposes, this is the first year that I’ve used a spreadsheet to track my reading! I absolutely love it though, so I’ll definitely be continuing. I’m using Kal’s spreadsheet which is so wonderful and easy to navigate. Next year I may feel brave enough to start making some changes and adding some categories of my own, but I’m not quite confident enough yet!

    After I finish a book and record it on Goodreads I usually go to my spreadsheet immediately and fill in all the info from Goodreads, such as publication date and number of pages. The one thing I’m still terrible at is keeping track of when I started a book. I don’t keep track of that on Goodreads, since books put on my Currently Reading shelf tend to stay there for months, so I usually only update Goodreads once I’ve already finished the book. And if it’s been over a week or two since I started the book, I no longer remember exactly which day I first picked it up, especially since I read multiple books at once and pick up books all the time! But it’s something I’m trying to get better at, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep better track of how many days it took me to finish a book by next year!

    Also, thank you so much for teaching me all those useful tricks! All the Excel magic I ever learned was mostly focused on the mathematical formulas and such! (I even had one engineering professor who spent the first week or two teaching us Excel just because, even though it was not actually a part of the curriculum!) So it was so nice to start acquiring some formatting tips as well!

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