SHOULD WE TRACK OUR READING & DOES IT ACTUALLY HELP? // BOOKISH DISCUSSIONS

Hey Guys! Today I’m coming at you with a new discussion post! Today I’m talking about whether or not we should track our reading, and if we do does it help at all?

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I’ll admit that this year I have definitely stepped up my tracking game. I’ve been using an excel sheet to track all my stats (author gender, release date, month I read it, page number etc.). I’ve found that tracking my reading this way has been really interesting whenever I’ve wanted to reference something in a blog post or whenever I’ve been curious to know which gender of author I read from the most.

But, I have also really gotten sick of feeling like as soon as I finish a book I have to input all the stats and decided on my star rating right there. If I don’t put my stats in immediately, I pretty much forget about it and come back in a month or two and go… “Oh, shit…”.

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THE GOODREADS CHALLENGE: PROS AND CONS

I have been doing the Goodreads reading challenge since around 2014. I find it’s the easiest way to keep track of the order I read my books in and how far along I am in my reading goal (which is usually 1, 52 or 100).

I think the Goodreads challenge is great if you just want to remember what you read in the year or if you want a quick overview of past challenges. It’s also great because of the stats you get t the end of the year.

However, it’s not very complex and doesn’t allow for you to go very deep into your stats. I also think the main con of the Goodreads challenge is that it’s terribly competitive. I think this challenge makes us wayy less chill and less creative in what we read. I think that because so many people try to push themselves to read and “complete” their challenge. I think some people try to push themselves too far because they see other’s with big goals and then they try to rush their reading with short books at the end of the year.

I think the Goodreads challenge is great but it’s also very addictive and competitive.

TRACKING OUR READING: PROS AND CONS

In general, I think tracking your reading can be super fun and really helpful to figure out what types of books you prefer to read the most. I dont know if it makes us seem freakishly obsessive about our reading preferences, or if we’reΒ being competitive with others and ourselves. But, tracking your reading can be really fun. It’s also a really great way for your friends to get t know you quickly and for them to give you reading recommendations too.

So, is keeping track of our reading weird? Does it really help us to know our reading tastes better or are we just being obsessive?

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DO YOU TRACK YOUR READING HABITS AND/OR PROGRESS?

DO YOU THINK IT HELPS YOU?

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32 thoughts on “SHOULD WE TRACK OUR READING & DOES IT ACTUALLY HELP? // BOOKISH DISCUSSIONS

  1. I think keeping track has it’s pros and cons, and it can go overboard (though what’s overboard can differ from person to person). I recently realized an issue with me keeping track of more stats than I ever have before this year in a spreadsheet…..my spouse wanted me to read a book on wattpad, and while said book is on Goodreads, there is no way to know page number due it being on wattpad. I literally counted pages by every time i’d finish reading a “page” on my tablet, i’d scroll up a new “page” (it’s not really pages with wattpad..) and count it with marks on a page…which kinda takes one out of the story but 1/2 way through the year I didn’t want to ruin my page number tracking…..

    I like keeping track of what books I read simply because I wouldn’t remember otherwise, the Goodreads challenge is good for seeing what i’ve read and what I thought of the books so I can remember later. But I had seen people keeping track of so many stats and I thought it’d be fun to do that too…but I see I need to re-think what stats I keep track of, and keep track of less. But i’ll still at least keep track of what books I read, just maybe not every little stat attached to them.

    I guess in a nutshell I think it can be good if one doesn’t go overboard with it, though what that would be could differ from one person to the next, so just have to find what works best for you, which isn’t always easy. πŸ™‚ Trial and error.

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    1. Exactly! I think it’s so easy to get carried away with stats and progress!
      I am the same way, I am constantly going back to look at past GR challenges to see what I read in previous years, it’s so helpful!

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  2. I only track on GoodReads and my blog so very basic stats. My memory is not good so I like to have some idea what books I’ve read in the past.I would find it helpful to see the percentage of five star reviews I give so maybe worth a try.

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  3. I didn’t use the Goodreads challenge last year and only put my goal as one book. Somehow it helped me read more books than the last few years. This year, I started out as one book again and then I changed it a couple of months ago to about fifty. I like looking at all of the books I read during the year, but I don’t think that I’m going to do anything deeper than that. I think when I go into the technicalities, I’ll lose the joy in just reading. πŸ™‚

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    1. I did the same thing last year, it made me feel so much more relaxed about my reading knowing that I didn’t really need to meet a goal. I completely agree, there’s no point in taking the fun out of reading just so you can reach a high number!

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  4. I have been writing down every book i read per month since about 2011, mainly just because if i didn’t i would forget what i have read! This year i am doing the goodreads challenge for the first time and really enjoying it as a way of tracking my reading. However, i think it was really important for me to choose a goal that was realistic rather than trying to stretch myself too far and i feel like if i ever feel like tracking my reading is controlling my reading rather than my reading informing my tracking (if that makes sense!) then i think i’ll stop tracking because i need my reading to be enjoyable rather than competative even with myself! Great post! 😊😊

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    1. I am the same, if I didn’t immediately put it into Goodreads or write down on my laptop, I would completely forget what I’d read that month! Exactly, I usually just use a number like 1 or 52. 1 is pretty damn easy and 5 is just a book a week which I can usually get ahead of because of holidays and readathons. I think the challenge should be used for fun or as a challenge/motivator but not if it’s going to be stressful.
      Thank you!

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  5. Honestly, I really enjoy tracking what I read. I have a bookish bullet journal of sorts (which is really just a simple college-ruled notebook) that I like to keep track of my TBRs and stats and stuff. I also like to do the Goodreads challenge, too. I like to start at a low number, and then increase it as the year goes on.

    I do have to say though that I have to take time away from my journal every once and a while because sometimes I simply don’t feel like filling everything out, lol.

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    1. A bullet journal is the perfect place. I used to track the same way but then my journal just got away from me and before I knew it, it had been months and so I gave up on it.

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  6. Hah… I have mixed thoughts about this as well. On one hand, tracking my reading on Goodreads is great because 1) it motivates me to read more, 2) I have a really bad memory so just being able to open a page and see all my old updates for a book really helps. But on the other hand, setting goals like this for myself can be really stressful and sometimes I forget it’s supposed to be a hobby.

    (I like that Goodreads tracks the pages and does charts for you, though. It’s pretty convenient. Although it’s not exactly precise because some books don’t have their page number or release date listed on GR.)

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    1. I feel the same way, I love GR because my memory is TERRIBLE but, I also find it to be quite stressful even though I’ve completed my goal for the year??? I’m always thinking, but is it enough???

      Yeah, I love the end of year stats they do! It’s so interesting to see it all set out like that!

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  7. So I was really involved with the Goodreads community before I ever started this blog and have been reviewing on there since 2014 as well. I do challenges every month and track my books and do buddy reads with other friends. I have all sorts of shelves that kind of help me organize things. I plan upcoming books and buddy reads and I really like reading with other friends of mine. It helps a lot now that I have a blog to plan when I will read an ARC so I read it by the publication date and so I know what I can fit in. I write my monthly buddy reads down in a notebook, but sometimes I wish I had a better calendar or something so I could better track blog tours, buddy reads and publication dates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this is exactly why Goodreads is so amazing!
      I recommend Google Calendar because you can create separate calendars (colours) for different things. For example, I have different calendars for new releases, blog posts, Uni, birthdays & readathons etc. So that might be helpful?? Good luck!

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  8. I do track my reading, mostly for the purposes of making pretty graphs for my quarterly reading wrap-up posts, but I need to find a more efficient way to do it! I’m currently tracking genre, star rating, and format when it comes to every book I read. I also keep track of how many books I read are by and/or about marginalized people.

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  9. I track my reading with the Goodreads challenge and a quick spread in my bullet journal. I personally don’t like tracking too many things, I track star ratings, format and genre (+ rereads) for every book and I have an extra spreadsheet for tracking what diverse books I have read πŸ™‚

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    1. I used to track on my bullet journal too, but then I lost track of time and forgot to do it a few too many months in a row! I used to really enjoy tracking but, now I think I feel out of love with it for that reason, I was just tracking too many things!

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  10. I track because otherwise I’d never know what books I’ve read because my memory sucks! Also I like reading as many books as I can and it can keep me on track when I’m being lazy.

    I usually set my goal for 50 books because I know that it’s attainable for me and then if I reach it, I’ll give my goal a boost up to 80 or 100.

    Sometimes I feel pressure to read more but I’ve learned to give myself a break, I’ll probably never be someone who can read 200+ books a year and I’m trying to get myself to be okay with that, especially when I see how long my TBR is and my mind goes ‘You’ll never be able to read them all before you die’.

    I’m trying to keep a more thorough track of what I’m reading but I’ve been very slack at filling in my spreadsheet lately. I mostly keep track to ensure I’m reading diverse books because I think it’s important to show the industry that if they put out diverse books then we will read them.

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    1. I agree, tracking can be such a great motivator whenever I’m in a slump!

      I usually keep my goal the same throughout the year but I’ve been thinking about bumping my number up for extra motivation, I’m not sure though!

      I read pretty wlowly so filling in my spreadsheet is almost like a reward for finishing abook haha! It is certainly important, I also track diversity in my spreadsheet! It’s a good indicator for how well I read when I go over it at the end of the year.

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      1. Bumping up your goal is definitely a good way to motivate yourself. I can’t start with too high a number to begin with because it’s too daunting but once I’m about half way into the year and clearly going to reach it, that’s when I’ll bump it up for the extra motivation.
        It helps that my mum likes to brag about how much I read in a year to everyone who meets me ahahah. So being able to hear “My daughter read over 100 books this last year” is very satisfying ahah.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, I wish I could do that – I often forget to write reviews unless I schedule them in advance! That does seem like a great way to organise your thoughts on the books you read!

      Happy reading! ❀

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