Last week, I talked about how I keep my TBR pile(s) organized. This week, I’m showcasing my mad spreadsheet inventorying skills when I show you exactly how I track all of the books that I want to read – whether I own them or not.
I have a love affair with spreadsheets
This may be a weird thing for other creative people… but I am obsessed with spreadsheets. I think they are absolutely brilliant when it comes to organization. And I have definitely taken full advantage of this for my TBR List, making it into a resource where I can see at a quick glance important information about any book on this list.
This is what I track for each book:
- Author – pretty self-explanatory. Last name, first name.
- Series Title – if applicable. If it’s not part of a series, I black out the box.
- Book Title – if known. (Sometimes I have books on there that the authors haven’t announced what the titles are, but I know is it’s a later one in a series.)
- Year Published – the year this book was originally published, not a specific edition was published (unless otherwise stated in the “Book Title” column).
- Do I Own This Book? – The box is red if I don’t, and yellow if I do.
- Do I Want This Book? – The box is blacked out if I already own this book, yellowed out if I want it, and white if I don’t care whether I buy the book or borrow it.
- Where Did I Hear About This Book? – I wish I had always kept this information, because there are a lot there that I now have no idea why I added them to the TBR list in the first place. (If you take a look at my list, you’ll notice that I have heard about a lot of books that I want to read from a few of the same sources – like Karen and Rachel, who recommend a lot of awesome books).
- Genre – I keep this fairly broad (i.e., YA or Children’s, not like Children’s-Dystopian-Steampunk-Romance)
- Link to LibraryThing Page – This link is used for easy reference if I don’t remember what a book is about.
What This List Doesn’t Keep Track Of
In order to keep things as simple for me to actually update as possible (because goodness knows if I didn’t make it simple, I wouldn’t actually update it), I left out a whole bunch of information that every so often I wish I did have:
- Publisher and ISBN of the edition I want to read/own
- Other reviews of the book
- Where I actually purchased/acquired the book (if I own it) – this, however, is tracked with my post-it notes, so I don’t really need this.
- Any books that I want to reread
Keeping the TBR List current
Every time I bring a new book into my apartment, I go in and update this spreadsheet. (That’s usually just changing the “Do I Own This Book?” and “Do I Want This Book?” columns, as I often don’t purchase books that aren’t already on this list.)
About once a month, I will go into this list and remove everything that I have read.
And once a year (usually mid-December, as if I didn’t have enough other stuff going on then), I will go into this list and reevaluate whether or not I still want to read every book on there. Sometimes, I find myself wondering why on earth I added that book in the first place. Other times, it just no longer interests me. But most of the books get kept. Yes, this is a daunting task, but if I didn’t do it, the list would be MUCH longer than it is now!
If you’re interested, you can view my TBR List in full… It’s rather impressive that I’ve gotten the number of books on there down to a measly 228 books. (Except I haven’t added the first Veronica Mars book yet, and that will really need to be added at some point soon…)
How do you keep track of all the books that you want to read?