It has been over a year since I posted anything here, but the last few days I have been thinking about it a lot, so I thought I would come back and try it again. This seems like as good a place as any to talk about my latest obsession–I am keeping track of books that I read in an Excel spreadsheet, and it is really very interesting. The problem is, it will be a lot more interesting in a year or so, when there is a lot more data on the spreadsheet.

I have set up filters, so that I can sort for different authors, or see which books I read in a certain time period, or see how many books of different genres I have read, but there are only 7 books on it so far, so that isn’t terribly interesting yet. I could put books that I have read in the past on there, but that has problems, too. For one thing, I am also tracking how long it takes me to read the books, and I have no idea how long it took me to read these books in the past. And, adding a book as I start it, then adding the date when I finish it isn’t a big deal, but adding all the books on my bookshelves would be extremely tedious. Also, there is no way I could list all the books I have ever read from memory!

I love looking at the spreadsheet, though. So far, I have read 4 books in an average of 2.75 days, with an average of 351.83 pages. The first two books on the list don’t have start dates, because I didn’t start the sheet until I was already reading them, and I couldn’t remember for sure when I had actually started them. There are pretty purple and blue headers to the table, and I have spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding what kind of calculations I want to set up to automatically occur when I put a new book on the list. They aren’t terribly complex calculations, but I spent far too much time thinking about how to improve this silly spreadsheet.

I got the idea to do this from a friend at work, who started his own spreadsheet years ago. He and his wife were trying to inpsire his stepson to read more. It didn’t work, but they kept the spreadsheets up anyway. He was telling me that he didn’t read nearly as many books as he thought he did before he started keeping track. As an example, one year it was only 35 books. I said, I know I read more than that. He said he would have thought the same. I didn’t want to argue with him, but I know that I read more than that. So, I decided to start my own list. I started it at the end of November (the first book was completed on 11/28), and now I can’t wait until I have lots of books on there to look at.

One response »

  1. Awwww….schucks….you mentioned me, and called me your friend.I’m still surprised at how few books I read in a year, and 2005 was the second worst since I started keeping track — only 18!!!What can I say? Life got in the way of reading, which means I really gotta get my priorities straight.

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