Tracking the Books

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In the past couple of years I started tracking the books I read and want to read on a google sheet. I was never very good at Excel but I find google sheets to be a lot less intimidating. Since we now use google at work, I am also now more familiar with Google pivot tables. This means that I can track more details about what I read and slice and dice them in interesting ways.

Or, in other words, yes, I’ve found a way to become even more obsessive about my reading behavior. In previous posts about reading, I’ve included screen shots from my lists without any particular reference.

This month’s tracking

  • This month, I did not finish (DNF) 7 out of 20 books.
    • Yes, I finished 13! In one month!
    • Amazing….especially when I read a total of 36 books last year, and thought that was really something.
    • (I read 11,731 pages last year)
  • I’ve already read 37 books this year (that includes the DNFs) with a grand total of 9,332 pages.
    • My goal was to read at least 1,000 pages a month.
    • This month I read 3,278 pages.
      • This includes the pages I completed from the DNFs
      • I was on vacation the last week of the month, and managed to read 1 book each day.
Tracking the books
A month of reading, and not reading

DNF Details

I got to thinking about the books that I have not finished. Who recommended them? Can I find some way to extrapolate the info I collect to make better choices going forward?

I really thought that most of the books were from the Shelf Awareness email. I started receiving this email through the independent bookstore’s book club I joined a couple of years ago. It is published twice a week and is the most constant book recommendation information I receive. The links in the email go to the bookshop site, that supports independent booksellers.

I also listen to a couple of podcasts, primarily What Should I Read Next and Currently Reading. I didn’t think it was from them because each podcast not only covers each book but also why they are mentioning it and who they think would like or hate it.

Tracking the books
An official chart, thanks to Google sheets!

Who to Blame?!! in order of number of books

  1. Book Club (out of my control. This is run as an autocracy, not a democracy.)
  2. Book of the Month (In my control – 5 books offered each month, but I can pass as well.)
  3. Library Browsing (all me!)
  4. “Don’t recall” (all me, again!)
  5. Shelf Awareness (all me, but only 3 books in all my tracking, so I’m not feeling too bad about it)

Let’s End this on a Good Note

Here are the sources for the books that have earned my top rating (5 stars) this year. The ones in yellow are all from the What Should I Read Next podcast, just tracked based on different outreach mechanisms.

tracking the books

Okay, 8 out of 37 have received the top rating, 21.62% overall great books. Time to get cracking to find more 5 star books!

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