One of the great things that I love about the new year – alongside new stationery and new notebooks and new beginnings – is starting a new reading log. I have borrowed and downloaded some that I have found online for the last few years, and they have always been great, representing an incredible generosity from the people who created them.
And yet… they either have included more data than I ever needed (I mean, seriously, I don’t want to track spending on books: I try to hide from that reality!) or not included quite the data I wanted or in quite the right way.
So this year, I have chosen to create my own. Shivers. My slightly dodgy, self-taught, skills with spreadsheet formulae do not wholly equip me for this! But if anyone is interested in using it or giving me advice, the sheet is here to view.
There was some obvious data that every reading log would include to start: dates, title and author, page count…
Genre and Representation Data
What I have tried to do with genre and representation is to give myself the opportunity to record more than one category because I love those genre defying novels that have elements of a number of different genres. Similarly, how much of my reading represented numerous categories in a single book, where to record a single representation felt… reductive?
Where I am struggling with this a little is then converting it into tables and grids… the COUNTIF formula seems to manage it to record how many times genre or diversity elements were represented in my reading, but SUMIFS only seems to accept it with a single column of data. And I do like the SUMIF formula to record not just how many books per genre but how many pages per genre I have read!
And, of course, Google Docs can create some lovely graphics once the tables and formulae are set up correctly. Even if the geochart showing the settings of the books I have read is unwilling to be published!
Finally, I recorded some facts about the authors I have read. Personally, I have never felt entirely comfortable with the #ownvoices movement – and I am aware of a few authors who have received terribly intrusive emails and messages about their sexuality, and even aggression about their right to represent communities that they may not appear to be part of.
As I am a member of NetGalley and get a number of ebooks over the year from them, I have included a log of those too, using the same data in the same order as the reading log, so I can simply copy and paste!
Book Blog Data
And with regard to the blog, just a simple tracker of followers and view and visits per month… which is only what WordPress does anyway so I’m not sure I’ll keep those… but some way of tracking comments, interactions by post could be nice…
This is going to be a year long project, as I play with and add to and develop the spreadsheet – and there are some elements that I want to add: an TBR / Book Haul log would be good – so please do let me know in the comments what you would like to see in a reading log, what obvious data I may have overlooked, how to create more funky tables and data and graphs!
I’m also going to pin this to the start of the blog, to act as a summary of my reading because I think those graphs are interactive and should change as I update the data in my spreadsheet!
Enjoy 2022 and have a great year of reading!