TBR, Spreadsheets and the Joy of Reading


You may recall that as part of my new reading goals for this year I wanted to reduce my TBR to 235. I also thought that under the general guiding principle of enjoying reading I would ditch the complicated tracking spreadsheet.

And I did… for a while. What can I say? I enjoy using it too much. Not only did I go back and start using it again (and update it with estimates for the reading I’d done whilst not using it) but I’ve expanded it to be more complex. I now have a sheet which tracks progress in terms of words. Thanks to a plugin to Calibre I now have word-counts on my ebooks and that means I can once I’ve finished a book work out my words/hour and words/minute. This ought to be more accurate at predicting how long I take to finish a book. In reality it’s not really because unlike pages/hour I can’t work out a rate for the current unfinished book (not without disecting the book and creating word-count totals for individual chapters – I thought about it but there are lengths even I won’t go to). However it does help me set expectations. When looking at a new read and seeing it’s only 75,000 words I know that’s on the short side. If looking at a 200,000 word tome I can at least tell myself that it’s about the same as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and less than Tigana which I made it through in 10 days last year.

As for TBR – that’s up to 263, so up 12 instead of down 16. Which is pretty bad when you consider that I’ve read 16 books so far this year. It basically means that I’ve interpreted “enjoy it” as meaning “it’s ok to buy new books if you really fancy it”.

And you know what I’m ok with that. I am enjoying the books I read. I am enjoying using the spreadsheet and I’m on track for a big year (famous last words).

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About shuggie

My name is Shuggie, Paul or LatePaul depending on where you know me from. I work in computers (databases) and occasionally write about softw
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