Apparently it’s already been SIX years since I shared my very first Google spreadsheet to track my reading throughout the year and it’s all kinds of amazing that people are still using them after such a long time.
After so many years, the yearly reading tracker stayed mostly the same and I think I haven’t updated the spreadsheet in the last two years. There just wasn’t much left to add/change. BUT this year I felt like adding a little something extra. So, if you’re new here, buckle in for a wild ride of awesome stats for your reading year, if you’re already familiar with my spreadsheet: this year I finally have something new again for you too. (also, as was requested: space for more genres!)
What do you get from this spreadsheet?
- Keep track of all the books you read and find lots of statistics on them (including: genre, target audience, book length, and much more)
- Keep track of all the books you acquired (including keeping track of ARCs!). Stats will even include how much you saved by borrowing a book instead of buying it.
- Tag books (to track topics, how you felt about the books and more) and later compose a list of books by tags (and also stats, of course there are stats based on tags too)
- Always see how your TBR is behaving
- Track reading challenges
Some important things to know about this spreadsheet:
- it’s made in google sheets and only to be used there!
Downloading a copy and importing it into Excel for example won’t work. There are too many functions and scripts at work that are exclusive to Google’s spreadsheets.
- I HIGHLY recommend reading the manual I put together, to understand how the spreadsheet is to be used. While a huge part will be apparent, there are some things that won’t be.
- The file I share is a Read Only one and you need to make yourself a copy for your own usage. The spreadsheet Overview tab as well as the manual explains how.
Take tagging to the next level!
One of my favorite things to do when keeping track of my reading is tagging my books. Not only does it give me even more interesting statistics, but it also helps me find books again to make all kinds of lists. Someone new to tagging might still lack some ideas, so I’ll give you some on how you can push your reading tracking to a new level in 2021!
Tagging can really be used for all kinds of information that you think is missing as a column. Something I’m alway curious about is my most read publishers. So this is something that can easily be tracked via tags.
One of my most used tag categories is those regarding diversity. There are tags like “BIPOC author”, “queer MC” (I even go into detail here and have a tag for every queer identity too), “MC with disability”, “BIPOC MC”. There are lots of options!
Something else I really like to track, not so much for stats but to later easily find those books again, are tags that describe how I felt about a book. “Favorite” is an obvious one, but I also use tags like “made me laugh/cry/sad/…”. I track if a book was a disappointment or went beyond my expectations.
Another fun thing to track via tags is settings. While “set in space” and “set in the US” are probably always my most used ones, I’m happy to see that I also visited some other places too.
In general, I highly recommend thinking about what you’re usually interested in / what stats you would like to see (like, compare how many white VS BIPOC authors read) at the beginning of the year, so you don’t have to go back later to add these tags and maybe forget some books.
What is new in 2021?
For 2021, I added a tab to keep track of challenges. They mostly work like tags (it even makes use of that old column) but has a few more options (including tracking prompts) than the tags have.
I highly recommend looking at the manual to see how the setup of challenges work.
Note for long-time spreadsheet users
If you tweaked an old version of mine that you want to reuse in 2021, instead of my new one, be aware that there might be an issue with the “released” column in the Read tab! Those values are still limited to 2020 as the max value.
How to fix the release year issue
(you don’t need to do this if you’re going to use my new 2021 version of the spreadsheet!) Simply mark the whole column minus the top (header) cell. Go to: Data > Data Validation. Here you can adjust the Criteria value to allow higher values than 2020.
Have fun with the spreadsheet
My copy includes a few data entries as examples to better understand how to use some tabs and cells. Feel free to immediately delete those.