Book Tracker Challenge with free printable
A new year or a new semester can mean you need a new book tracker printable!
This is the first year one of my sons has turned the tables on me by challenging me to keep track of my books that I’ve read for the year. I’ve accepted his challenge to track my books. And he will track his to compare after one year. I think I will win this challenge.
Why track books?
We started keeping track of books for high school reading lists
When my oldest sons hit 9th grade, I did not panic. But I knew I had to keep track of what they were doing – which meant keeping a detailed transcript including a complete “books read” list. It is so important for high school to do this as you go along because you will forget otherwise and then making a final transcript is a bear!
So I know how to keep track of books in a reading log – in general, you require your student to list all of the books that are read during the year. A simple Title/Author/Date is the minimum you need. And you need to keep it as easy as possible to make sure it gets done. It can look different for each child as long as that minimum data is recorded somewhere.
While that is easy enough to do, I’ve never considered keeping a book list for myself. Yet, I’ve frequently found the need for it – those “I should do that” moments. This will be the year!
Why keep track of the books you read?
Several reasons may prompt you to start keeping track of your reading.
- Obviously, if you are in high school, you need to keep track for your transcript as a record of what you learned each year.
- Maybe you’ve set a new reading goal for yourself. You’ve decided that reading is a key to self-education and you want to read more.
- Maybe you have recently joined a book club and want to keep track of the books you are reading with other people.
- Perhaps you have accepted a reading challenge and need to track it.
- Sometimes, summer reading programs can challenge you to read new genres or just keep track of your books for a period of time.
- Maybe you always read books but you want to remember if you’ve read a book and what you thought of it. Or what the title was – or the author’s name. Having a reference to look it up can be useful.
How do I track my books?
I’m going to simplify it—Options today fall into 3 categories: digital apps, local spreadsheets, or the old-fashioned paper list.
If you want a digital app, I’m not the person to ask. But I’ve got a nice list at the bottom of people who use them and like them.
The consensus seems to be that Goodreads is the most comprehensive and popular. But there are a few other choices if you don’t like Goodreads.
If you like to use Excel or any other spreadsheet, make the basic columns. You can add more as needed.
The advantage of using a spreadsheet for keeping track of your books is that you can sort on any of the columns. Plus, you can get really detailed by including additional columns like genres with pull-down choices, or an area for notes.
A lot of people really seem to like the idea that if you are keeping track on your local computer, you have more privacy with respect to your thoughts.
I used a spreadsheet to keep track of my kids’ transcripts and just kept a separate worksheet that listed the books read which could be updated every semester or as needed. I found it very helpful to have those books already typed in somewhere for when the boys needed that information for college applications.
Book Tracker Printable
Finally, my favorite way to keep track of books is on paper.
I actually use a bookshelf graphic in my bullet journal for my read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year annual challenge, and I enjoy that very much. A hand-drawn bookshelf graphic is especially useful for a fixed number of books.
I fill up one bullet journal each year and use it as my planner for schooling. My bullet journal starts in early summer because I like to have my planning months for the next school year in the same journal as the whole year. I expect this practice may change as this year will have been my final year of schooling. But we’ll see – I still have about half a journal left, so for now I will stick with that.
I’ll probably try a few different variations of handwritten book trackers within my bullet journal.
I’ve made a simple book tracker printable for you and me. I’ll start by using that. I’ll probably handwrite it rather than printing and gluing it into my bullet journal.
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Goodreads is the most popular. But I don’t use them so see below for some reviews from people who have.
The simplest way to keep track of your books is to list titles, authors and dates read. You can use a spreadsheet, a digital app, or plain paper. You can also make it as elaborate as you like if you want to keep more detail.
A simple book log contains the book’s title, author, and date you read it. If you want to track what you thought of the book, you can add notes or a simple 5-star rating area.
- Living books list read in high school
- Join a Book Club
- Reading Books as a Habit
- The Habit of Self-education
- The 2023 Reading Goals Challenge
- Book Reviews for Books Read January 2023
Setting Reading Goals
- 11 Easy Reading Goals for Adults
- Another 11 Goals from a different site
- How to enhance your reading experience by keeping track of what you read
- How to Read More by Setting Reading Goals
- How do you set your book reading goals?
Digital apps and trackers reviews
- 7 Best Book Reading Trackers
- Digital Reading logs for Students
- 8 Best Book Reading trackers
- 5 Best book tracking apps
- 5 apps for book lovers
Book Tracking Bullet Journal ideas
- Some amazing spreads of book tracking
- Extensive set of examples
- How to track books in a bullet journal
- Book reading tracker
More book tracker ideas
- 3 ways to track your reading
- Reading Journal printable
- Monthly printable trackers for kids
- More printables for books
- Free reading tracker
- Lots of ideas and free trackers
- Reading Trackers