An update on my bookish experiment

It has been four months since I first introduced my bookish experiment, which means it’s time for an UPDAAAAAATE. Changes have been made, data has been added, and hopefully, this means that more good books will be read.

The spreadsheet

Let’s play a game of spot the difference with these before and after pictures! Just kidding. You can just scroll down for the answers.




Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 12.28.07 PM

The answers:
1) I deleted the great/good/alright/nope percentages because it wasn’t very useful information.
2) I swapped the pie charts for bar graphs. In my opinion, pie charts are still way cooler, but in this situation, looking at bar graphs makes more sense to me.
3) I added two more rows of information. The first one is for books I have to read for school, and the second one is to show the number of great/good/alright/nope books I’ve read in total.

Hm, maybe I should shorten great/good/alright/nope to GGAN.

Two lists

Early on, I realized that while the spreadsheet was doing exactly what it was meant to do, I had completely overlooked something while creating the experiment- I wasn’t keeping track of which category each book I read belonged in. I WASN’T RECORDING ALL THE GOOD BOOKS I’D READ. Horrifying, right? So I started a list in Evernote.

This part is as simple as a paperclip. It’s just a numbered list of the Recommended GGAN books, the Library Acquaintances GGAN books, the Library Strangers GGAN books, and School GGAN books. The purpose of this list is so I can look back and specifically see which books I liked or disliked. Here’s what part of the Recommended books section looks like:

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 12.57.34 PM

The second list I started is even more basic. If the first one is a paperclip, this one is a thumb tack. It’s the names of all the books I’ve read/sort-of-read in 2018. The purpose of this one is so I can quickly see the total number of books I’ve come into reading contact with this year. That way, if the numbers on here and the first list and the spreadsheet don’t match up, I can try and figure out what I did wrong. Here’s part of it:

Screen Shot 2018-07-11 at 1.16.22 PM


Okay, looking at the spreadsheet, I think that the best way for me to read more good books is to cut down on the books I don’t finish. Here’s my battle plan so far: every time I go to the library, I’m going to read the first ten pages of each book right then and there before deciding whether or not I want to check it out.

The hardest part about executing this strategy is going to be overcoming the voice in my head that say, “You didn’t like the first ten pages, but what if it picks up on page eleven and it turns out be one your favorite books of ALL TIME?”

Also, I’ll need to modify my method of classification a little. This is what it has been, without the Ten Page Strategy.

Great: five stars AKA it was AMAZING and yep, that’s a new favorite
Good: four stars
Alright: three or two stars
Nope: one star AKA I didn’t finish it (Or, in reality, I skimmed through a good chunk of it and didn’t really read it.)

This is what it will be with the Ten Page Strategy.
Great: five stars AKA it was AMAZING and yep, that’s a new favorite
Good: four or three stars
Aright: two or one stars AKA it passed the TPS but then I didn’t finish it 
I didn’t check it out from the library AKA it failed the TPS

Future changes

So you know how I just talked about how the second list could come in handy if I messed up somewhere? Well, that’s because I already have. More than once. Actually, the numbers are incorrect right at this moment.

My Goodreads matches up with my Bookish Experiment List which matches up with the actually Bookish Experiment spreadsheet, but none of those match up with the Books 2018 list. The first three say I’ve read/kind-of-read 63 books this year, while the fourth one says it’s 64. Three against one.

I could go back and cross-reference until I figure out what the error is, but no way, no thank you. That would take way too long. Knowing that the numbers are off is uncomfortable and I really don’t like it, but it’s going to be the way things are until 2019 when I start a new one.

Hopefully next year I’ll be able to keep things more accurate. Here’s how I plan to do it: currently in Goodreads, I have two shelves. (Not two shelves in total, but two shelves as in they’re the only ones that are relevant at the moment.) One of them is 2018, which is for the books I’ve read this year. The other one is 2018-but-not-really, which is for the books I’ve started but didn’t finish this year.

Next year, I’m going to change this up some. I will have a 2019 shelf for every single book I come into readerly contact with. Then I will have separate 2019-great, 2019-good, 2019-alright, and 2019-nope shelves. That way things should be very, very clear.

The only downside to this is that five Goodreads shelves is a lot. Right now I have twenty, and that already feels like way, way too many. If only Goodreads let you put shelves in shelves, like how Google Docs and Pinterest and Evernote are.

Goodreads, come on.


What movie is the second gif from? I’ll give you three clues and a fun fact. 1) It’s a Christmas movie. 2) There’s multiple of them. 3) They’re HILARIOUS. Fun fact: the second one is my favorite. 
If you had to put aside a week of your life to create some kind of experiment involving a spreadsheet, what would it be?

P.P.S. The beautiful bookshelf image is from A Quieter Storm.

Okay, that’s it. BYE.





13 thoughts on “An update on my bookish experiment”

  1. Okay, somewhat confused but it seems like a pretty good system to sort out your reading. I wish I only had a few Goodreads shelves. I’m currently thinking about cutting stuff down, you know?

    That ten page rule is pretty good for cutting down on books that’ll end up wasting your time but sometimes books end up disappointing you near the end (darn you, books!). I hope things end up pretty darn good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay good, you’re not completely confused. Thank you! Oh my goodness, me too. YES, I do know. I really like things to be graspable (don’t think that’s a word) with just one glance.

      Good in theory, but not in reality if I can’t shut off the what if questions. Thank you very much, and you too. :))


  2. I would be so bad at the ten pages thing. Because what if it DOES get better???
    I guess it really depends on my mood. Sometime I pick up a book, read the first page and a half and put it back on the shelf because I’m cringing at every other sentence. But sometimes I read a hundred pages because yes, I’m cringing at every other sentence, but what if page 101 is where everything suddenly becomes amazing???
    More or less.
    Great post! It’s interesting to see how your experiment is coming along 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW. That is the question.
      Hahaha, I have definitely done both of those things. Usually I’m more able to put it back on the shelf when I’m at the library and haven’t checked it out yet and more prone to skimming through book at home.
      Thank you thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, I relate to the “You didn’t like the first ten pages, but what if it picks up on page eleven and it turns out be one your favorite books of ALL TIME?” bit. SO MUCH. It’s terribly hard to make decisions about these things. It can be maddening, standing in a library and wondering what FREAKING AMAZING books are sitting within your reach that you just don’t know about. So of course you want to read EVERY SINGLE THING. But of course, there’s not time for that.
    I love how organized you are about all this! It looked somewhat terrifying to me, but I admire your skill. Trying to maximize the number of great books you read is always a fantastic idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW RIGHT. How tragic would that be? Oh my goodness, that exact thought has not hit me before, but the feeling has. It’s happens when I think about the good books I’ve read in the past and the ones I will read in the future and desperately wish that someone could just hand me a list with all of those titles.
      Hahaha, thank you! I agree- more great books equals always a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. WOW. *stares in shock and amazement* It’s so scientific and organized and just, wow! Thanks for doing the update, because I was curious to see how the bookish experiment was going. 😉 I’m sorry about the one book that may or may not exist (depending if there’s actually 64 or 63), but your plan for the 2019 experiment sounds very solid. Also, the reading-the-10-pages-at-the-library is a great idea, one that I might implement too. XD Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you!! That is very kind of you to say. Oh my goodness, your sympathy is very much appreciated. I’m trying to let that number difference annoy me as little as possible. Haha, we’ll see if it turns out as well in reality as it sounds in theory. I guess I’ll have to do an update about that too. 😉 Ooh, tell me how it goes for you if you do! And thank you again. :))

      Liked by 1 person

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