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. This was so so helpful! I’ve been meaning to track my readings in some kind of way and this is an amazing idea! Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HOLY CRAP!!!!

    That is SO organized. right now I don’t use google sheets (I use airtable) but you might have convinced me (also because I miss the sort and filter function). Airtable is fun for looking through certain views, but… this is so neat? THE GRAPHS YOU MUST BE ABLE TO MAKE!!! god.. I’m just thinking about the GRAPHS. this post is making my spreadsheet heart SO HAPPY!!!! 🧡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh, i’ve never heard of airtable!! it sounds cool — there aren’t many options to look through different views for sheets but i do love it for the graphs it auto-generates! i’ve actually moved a bunch of things to an app called notion, but kept my reading on sheets because the GRAPHS!!!

      Like

  3. Yeayy for the reading spreadsheet!! I LOVE how yours look like, very neat and clean and organized (and colourful too 🌈)! I like spreadsheet (or more like looking at them) and would love to use it one day but because I also like to procrastinate and am always lazy when it comes to updating things I think I need to just do it little by little first. Maybe start with simple bujo or something like that. Anyway thank youuuu for the Google Sheet tips and tricks!! It’s gonna come in handy in the future when I learn how to make one 😉

    Also GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR SCHOOL MAY 🍀🍀🍀💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m replying to this so late, but thank you so much! i’m glad you like the look of my spreadsheet 🥺 and honestly that’s totally valid!! i know last year i kind of slacked off in updating things, but this year i’ve been a lot better so you’re completely right that it’s just little baby steps at a time 🥰 i hope your tracking methods, whatever they are, go well for you!! ❤

      Like

  4. may! you are amazing!! 🥺 everything about this is so organized and i wish i could be you! i really could never do this bc i am too lazy, but this kind of spreadsheet is so inspiring and impressive! 💕 good luck with school! i start next week and i am NOT looking forward to that, haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ignore how i am so very late but AHH THANK YOU XANDRA!! honestly keeping up with it one book at a time isn’t super hard, but when you forget to update a bunch, that’s when it gets stressful… 😭😭 hope you’ve been doing well!!

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  5. I have been a silent reader of your blog for a while and I was (and still am) so intimidated by you that I was to scared to post a comment or anything… Your blog is really amazing! But anyway, I love how organized you are! I definitely would not be able to keep track of my reading as well a you do. Good luck with school!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh my god, i’m so sorry i’m replying to this months late!! but i promise i’m not scary in the slightest, i’m truly a baby 😭💓 but thank you so much!! i’m definitely a little obsessive with tracking my reading — my nerd side truly comes out when it comes to stats 😭 hope you’ve been doing well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER MAY AND I LOVEE YOUUUU!!! This is…this post WHISVEAKJSKSKW I LOVE THIS WITH ALL MY HEART AND I THINK I WILL ORGANISE MY READING LIFE HONOR OF THIS GORGEOUS POST JEVEIWBSLSBSSHSW I LOOOOVEEEE THIS!! 😍😍😍😍❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love lists and organization, so this post was right up my alley.
    I loved seeing all of your spreadsheets! I usually track my reading in my reading journal, but since I’ve been reading way more than usual this year writing everything by hand is getting more complicated. I was considering creating a spreadsheet but didn’t really know what I’d track beside the basics, so this post helped a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m so late to responding to this, but thank you! i’m so happy you enjoyed my post & spreadsheets, and i’m glad you could find it helpful too 🥺 i’ve always loved the idea of tracking things in a written reading journal, but i’m way too perfectionistic and being able to move/delete/edit as needed with online spreadsheets is what i need 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  8. For whatever reason, I find spreadsheets so intimidating and I don’t like them. It’s so annoying because I love seeing everyone else’s and I know that it would be pretty helpful in keeping track of everything, but when I open a blank one, I just get too intimidated. Lol. This was still pretty fun to read and I love seeing how organized everything is! And I’m in awe, I couldn’t possibly keep track of everything 😅 I’d give up after a few weeks lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m so sorry this is such a late reply, but haha i totally get you! it definitely is a bit daunting to have to set up on your own, and there’s a lot of features that can be intimidating 😭 and honestly, last year i was really bad at keeping up with the spreadsheet, but this year i’ve somehow managed to stay on top of things!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Aaaah thank you for sharing your reading spreadsheet! Your post inspired me to be a bit more organized in tracking my reading so I made a spreadsheet of my own! It’s nowhere near as pretty and organized as yours but I did take inspiration from this post and the others you linked. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m incredibly late to replying, but thank you so much! i’m really happy to hear that my post was able to inspire you 🥺💓 i hope keeping up with the spreadsheet has been going well — that’s honestly the hardest part! 😭

      Like

  10. What an incredible post. I am so impressed by you and everyone else keeping a reading spreadsheet like that, I don’t have the patience to make and especially to keep one of my own 😂 I love this so, so much though and thank you for sharing your tips and tricks, that will definitely be useful to me for any spreadsheet I have to make! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i’m so late to replying to this, but 🥺🥺 honestly i’m surprised i have the patience to keep up with this, especially since last year i slacked off terribly with it 😭 but i’m happy some of the tips i shared could be helpful to you! <33

      Like

  11. Wow, I thought I my Google sheet was tracking a lot of info already. I think I’ll add what month I read, and figure out how I want to track diversity in my reading besides the background info on the author. This was an awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love seeing other people’s reading spreadsheets, so this post was a lot of fun for me to read! I only started using a spreadsheet this year, thanks to Fadwa’s template, but it has been such a great experience so far!
    I’m laughing at your comments on tracking the number of days read because I am terrible at that myself. Most of the time I have definite numbers like 3 or 11, but sometimes I just write “a long time” and accept that I’ll never really know.
    I love third person books too, but I’m not tracking that! Maybe I’ll add it in next year…
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. forgive how late i’m responding to this, but i’m so happy to hear you enjoyed reading this post!! fadwa’s template is definitely amazing ❤ and yes exactly!! i can only remember the number of days read if it was like 3 or less consecutive days — any other scenario is hopeless 😭

      Liked by 1 person

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