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Features | Why I Decided To Make A Bookish Spreadsheet

Heading into the new year I was happy with my reading goals. I’d selected four sequels I wanted to cross of my TBR, I’d chosen five books (four of which I already owned) for my 2018 ‘vow to read list’, I'd decided to tackle this year's Popsugar challenge, I’d committed to reading every selection from our new BB book club and I’d set a Goodreads goal of 50 books (more to keep track of my reads than actually set a target).

A couple of weeks into the new year I added an unexpected additional reading goal to my list. Since the early days of owning a Kindle I’ve had a simple two-folder filing system for organising my digital books; ‘read’ and ‘unread’. Now, I won’t go into the specific numbers but what I noticed when downloading my latest purchase was that I had somehow gathered an embarrassing amount of books in the ‘unread’ folder. And so, I decided it was time to do something about it.

Unsure whether to set a target number, clear out some of the free classics and unfinished eARCs or simply keep all other books on hold, in the end I decided the best way to make the list more manageable was to make myself a Kindle spreadsheet. So, I set to typing up the titles, authors, genres and page counts of the 'unread' folder's contents to figure out exactly what books I had and what I was going to do about them all.

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

With all of the information in one place, I began by greying out the books I’d started reading but hadn't finished as I wasn’t enjoying them at the time. Then I used a bold colour to pick out the titles that I was most looking forward to reading and promised myself that somehow I’d make time for them in 2018. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share list of these titles here on BB, I guess mainly because I don’t want to feel like I’ve failed when December rolls around and I’ve only crossed off two, so I’ve decided to keep my little Kindle spreadsheet to myself for now. What I will share is that there are twenty books, totalling almost 5000 pages, that I want to see moved from the 'unread' folder to the ‘read’ one by the end of the year. Perhaps I’ll share more about them with you in twelve months time!

Of course, it’s also clear that I should be on some sort of strict Kindle book buying ban (and a Netgalley ban too), but I’m not going to promise that because I know I'll fail. I first got my Kindle soon after I rediscovered my love of reading and it’s clear to see from some of the books on the list that I wanted to catch up on everything I’d missed out on! Since then I’ve discovered more about the kind of books I enjoy and what I want to make time to read in the future - there are so many books in the world and unfortunately I can’t read them all, no matter how hard I try! What I am going to pledge is that I’ll be more selective about the Kindle reads I purchase from now on, only buying books I plan to read in the near future and keeping my TBR under control.

How do you keep track of your TBR lists, and have you ever created a bookish spreadsheet? I’d love to hear your tips!

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