I love spreadsheets

Reading Spreadsheets

I’ve always realized that I read a great deal, but I didn’t realize exactly how much until 2011 when I discovered the concept of a reading spreadsheet. Serious readers (my kind of people!) actually keep spreadsheets to track their reading. Spreadsheets! Reading! READING SPREADSHEETS!!

Item #65 on my list of guilty pleasures is … spreadsheets. (I realize how dorky this makes me sound, and I really don’t care. I love making spreadsheets.) It had never really occurred to me to mix reading and spreadsheets, but once it did, I knew it was a mix made in heaven. (I hate cliches. I try, try, try not to use them. #Fail) Now, with my reading spreadsheet, not only do I see how many books I read a year, but I track which authors I enjoyed the most, where I got the books from (lent from a friend, library, ARC, bought through Amazon, etc.) and which genres I tended to read the most. It’s been illuminating. I mainly read female authors, and I tended to stick to mystery, fantasy and general fiction. It was clearly time for me to change up my reading a bit!

The two most important things I’ve learned from keeping a reading spreadsheet though, is not only do I read lots and lots of books, but I’m spending too much money on books. So, after that first year, I dusted off my library card and began checking out more books at my local branch and discovered the convenience of downloading electronic copies from the library as well. I also signed up over at NetGalley, a website where you can sign up for free to read advanced copies of books. Anything to feed my reading addiction …

I have some friends who use Goodreads, which naturally tracks the books you read. And I’m sure others have different ways of doing it. And then there are those people who are reading this thinking, “Who the hell has time to track their reading, much less read more than one book a month?” (If this is you, then perhaps you’ve ended up here by mistake.)

When I googled “Reading spreadsheet,” the top result was a blog post on BookRiot (one of my most favorite book blogs), and the writer, Amanda Nelson, shares a fabulous spreadsheet that is more comprehensive than mine: The Ultimate Reading Spreadsheet.

So, let’s have it. Do you track your reading? Has it ever occurred to you to do so? What’s #65 on your guilty pleasure list?


Cover Photo by  Craig Chew-Moulding via Flickr

2 thoughts on “Reading Spreadsheets

  1. Being in accounting, I love spreadsheets and I wish I had decided to track the books I have read in one. Having a memory problem (and not because of my age – my husband claims it is due to college extra- curricular activities), a lifetime spreadsheet of books I have read, would be the perfect solution. Alas, I have reached the age where it is probably too late to start (though I might still give it a go) because starting one now will never show the truly expansive list of books I have read over the years. Some of my favorites include the Tolkien trilogy, which I read three times – the first in college, the second in my thirties when I discovered that JRR Tolkien was a closet poet, and third when the movies based on the books were coming out and various fantasy/science fiction series. I am particularly proud of the fact that my bookreading inspired my younger son to become a voracious reader of fantasy/scifi series/books and the incredible fact that he fortunately inherited his father’s memory so will never need a spreadsheet to remember the author, titles and story line of the books he has read. He has passed his passion of books on to his cousin Julia who although 12 years his junior, has developed a love of fantasy novels and regularly consults with Keith about what he is reading and recommends. I think I have taken enough time on Rhea’s site but hope you find my martini addled brain entertaining.

    1. Linda, I wish I’d started a spreadsheet much earlier in my life too, but it’s never too late! I’m glad you have some family members with a passion for reading. It’s fun to share our love of reading with others who feel the same way.

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