Read More Books by Keeping A List

Read More Books by Keeping A List

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Read more books by keeping track of what you've read with this spreadsheet
Read more books by keeping track of what you’ve read with this spreadsheet

Trying to read more books this year? Keep yourself motivated by tracking this. When you open the spreadsheet to add the book you’re reading, seeing what you’ve already read can help encourage you to make the time to read more books. I have written about other strategies to help make reading a daily habit.


Book Tracking Spreadsheet

View Book Tracker in Google Docs | Download Book Tracker in Excel

Keeping track of what you’ve read throughout the year will encourage you to read more books. If you have trouble finding time to read, seeing this list provides a reminder of the previous books you’ve read and enjoyed. It also serves as a reminder to keep reading!

The spreadsheet is pretty simple to use. You can always use a notebook & pen if you’re not a fan of digital tracking. There is one tab per year. It can be fun to go through previous years to see what you’ve read. This is also very useful when friends ask you for recommendations. There is also a tab for “half-read” books. These are books that I just couldn’t get into even after 100 pages. I like to remember these just incase I want to go back and try them again later in life.

The last tab is for suggestions. I do not consider this a list of books to read. I do not have a list of books to read. I never want to think of reading as a chore or a task to check off a list. However, I am always looking for things to read. So if I come across a list of top books for the month, I’ll jot some down as a suggestion. Then, when I need another book to read, I browse the new york public library online catalog for one of the titles to put on hold. This can also help you to read more books because you won’t find yourself with downtime while looking for something else to read.

It’s easy to get into the habit of updating the spreadsheet. As soon as you start a book, write it down. If you try to do this after reading several books, you may not be able to remember each of them. Then when you’re finished with a book, go back to the sheet and input your rating (1 out of 5) and the day you finished it. Feel free to customize this sheet with whatever information you prefer. Yes, sites like Goodreads (owned by Amazon) can track this for you but I like controlling my own data.

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10 Replies to “Read More Books by Keeping A List”

  1. I use the Amazon wishlist as my list of books to read; whenever I’m out of material, I go down the list and check the NYPL for hold options.

    (I used to have an extension that would let me automatically search for those books at local libraries, but it was more useful in Texas where I could get to libraries much quicker with my car.)

    1. I used to do this as well! But it was getting tedious to go through pages and pages of my wishlist. Scrolling down a spreadsheet is a bit quicker. I also like adding the information of page number. There’s been times I put a book on hold at the library, go to pick it up and find it’s 1000+ pages. That’s fine and all. But I like to have some kind of warning.

  2. I’m tracking all three of my goals on spreadsheets this year — books read, steps walked, and monthly increase to net worth. While I am crazy behind for January (due to a death in the family), I think it will be effective for the other 11 months!

    I keep my list of books to read on Goodreads :)

    1. That’s great! I like the steps walked tracking – even if you don’t meet your daily goal, just knowing how much (or little) walking you do in regular life can be an eye opener!

      I used to use goodreads before Amazon bought them. I’m a little neurotic when it comes to commercialism, so I decided to go rogue and track books on my own without any pressure to buy.

  3. Hi, thanks for sharing this! How do I add more than one book? I tried inserting another row but it didn’t keep track of pages read or how long it took to read it when I did that.

    1. In the Excel version, all the formulas will automatically update when you insert a new row above the total row. The “Time” column will auto-update when you put in both a start and end date.

      Unfortunately, in Google Docs you will have to copy the formulas and update the total bar each time you add a book.

  4. Hi, thank you for sharing! It sounds really great. I will definitely give it a try. I do not use MS Excel that often and it has been a while since I last used it. So I wanted to ask if this sheet gives me statistics or percentages of the genres of the books I read.

    Thanks again..

    1. It currently does not but you could easily add in that calculation. There is already a column for genre. I’ll keep this in mind if I make another version of the spreadsheet. Thanks!

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