Earlier today I posted my Monthly Reading Roundup where I list all the books I read (or listened to) during the previous month. I always enjoy doing that post because I love stats and it’s fun to look back on the month at what I read. Being a bit of a stats hound I’m always looking for a better way to keep track of…well…everything. But I especially like keeping track of my books.
Occasionally someone will ask me how I do it. Everyone always assumes I keep a master spreadsheet. I hate to disappoint my fellow stats lovers, but I have no master spreadsheet. How is that possible you ask? How do I post lists like this if I have no spreadsheet? Well, I do use excel but I don’t keep a master spreadsheet. I use GoodReads to keep track of what I’ve read, and what I want to read. It’s really handy and I like having all my bookshelves in one place without having to type it all out. Just a few clicks and my shelves are updated.
One of my favorite features about GoodReads is that I can export my data to a .csv file which I can open in Excel. I know, I told you I don’t keep a master spreadsheet and I don’t. I simply export my books into a spreadsheet each month for my Reading Roundup post, sort the data, delete the irrelevant columns, then copy and paste into my blog post. It’s a snap and only takes a few minutes.
Here is how I export my GoodReads data:
Go to GoodReads and click on “my books” on the navigation bar at the top of the page. Next, click on “import/export” in the left hand column.
Then, you’ll see this:
Click the “export to a csv file” link and save your file. [Warning: This will export all the books in your database so if yours is massive be prepared.] Then simply open with Excel or whatever software you have that can open a csv file. I tried opening the document with Google docs. The formatting was off and would have taken forever to fix so I just use Excel. If you don’t have Excel, Open Office works great and it’s free. Once I have my spreadsheet I sort, then copy and past whatever info I need from it. I don’t save the spreadsheets each month, although I think downloading a cvs file and saving it now and then for back up purposes might be a good idea. If something crazy ever happened at GoodReads and your info got deleted, you could upload your data from the .csv file.
So, that’s how I do my once a month Reading Roundup and Yearly Roundup posts, quick and easy. Do you have another way keeping track and posting your lists on your blog? If so, please share!