Friday, January 30, 2015

Keeping Track of Your Reading

Whether it be a phone app, Goodreads, or just plain old pen and paper, everyone has their own way of keeping track of the books they read. I think there is some desire in all of us readers to be able to go back and see the books we've read in the past and what we've thought about them. Today I thought I would take some time to describe own style.

I've been using Goodreads ever since I heard about it back in 2012 and fell in love with it. I loved how easy it was to add books and update your reading progress. I loved how you could organize books into different shelves. And once I started my book blog and found bookish friends, I loved how I could interact with them on Goodreads. However, I still felt like there was something missing.

Halfway through 2013 I turned to spreadsheets and once again I fell in love. I loved how I could personalize what data points I wanted to keep track of. I loved that it felt so raw and basic. Mostly, I loved how I could make all of these graphs to visualize my reading at the end of the year. As an engineering student I have become well accustomed to gathering raw data and analyzing it using graphs and charts, so using this spreadsheet felt like second nature to me.

Spreadsheet from 2013

I've been tweaking this method ever since. What started out as a simple spreadsheet with just title, author, number of pages, date started, date completed, genre, and age range, has evolved into a multi-sheet document that keeps track of so much more. Aside from what I just mentioned, I also keep track of where I acquired the book (library, ARC, etc), the year the book was published, author gender and nationality, and many more. One thing that I especially liked about my spreadsheet was that I compared how my reading habits changed during summer vacation (when I read a lot more) compared to the rest of the year. I even have individual sheets just looking at data from the summer.

2015 spreadsheet - in progress

I still use Goodreads and I'm quite active there, but there is something extra personal about my spreadsheet that I can't seem to find elsewhere. The fact that I can make it into whatever I want gives me the flexibility that no website can offer. My hope is that sometime in the future I'll be able to take all of the spreadsheets and see how my reading habits have changed over the years.

Now I want to know how you keep track of your reading. Do you use a journal and keep track by hand? Goodreads? A spreadsheet like me? Something different? Let me know down below in the comments! And if you have any questions regarding my method feel free to ask, I love answering questions!


  1. I loved the spreadsheet idea, but I think I'm not organized enough for it hehe I have a reading journal in which I write everything about the books I'm reading, ideas for my blog (which I never seem to put into practice lol), and a list, divided by month, of the books I read during the year. I also use Goodreads and Skoob. :)

    1. I've been thinking of starting a reading journal to write stuff down but the closest I ever get is scribbling stuff down in the closest notebook I have. I feel like I'm not organized enough to keep a physical journal, haha. Never heard of Skoob, I'll have to check it out!