Introducing… a 2022 Book-Buying Spreadsheet for the Casual Reader

If there is anything I’ve learned in all my years as an educator and an all-around organization freak, it’s the power of a good spreadsheet. Last year, after a three-year ban, spreadsheets were never more crucial than when I needed to keep track of all the books I was finally buying again.

The system I have developed for myself looks heavily into two things, aside from the books themselves: budget, and shipping. When unchecked, unchallenged, killing (wallets and bank accounts) at will, shipping can sometimes prove to be just as costly as the books themselves. I won’t divulge how many other things I could’ve bought with the amount I shelled out on forwarding and warehouse services last year — but here’s a clue: combined with the amount spent on books, it was all too much.

It was with this system in mind that I drew up the following 2022 Book-Buying Spreadsheet template. In a nutshell, this 6-sheet spreadsheet can be used to organize the buying, budgeting, shipping, and discarding of books — in a straightforward, hopefully intuitive way.

I offer this resource freely, as a way of giving back to the one community that helped me retain my sanity over the past year. Truly, you all cannot know how much you saved me. Of course, if the features have been helpful for you, please still consider leaving a one-time tip via Ko-fi, PayPal, or GCash. Your support helps keep this blog ad-free, and helps fund my Internet access so I can continue making materials like this.

2022 OVERVIEW

The first of 6 sheets is for understanding your book-buying history at a glance. Here are its features:

  • Buying Summary — customizable book budget (and don’t worry, only you will know how many times you change it in a year); amount spent on books; amount left to spend; and total number of books owned, read, and not yet read
  • Shipping Summary — total number of shipments; amount spent on shipping; and total number of books that have arrived, are on the way, and have not yet shipped
  • Discarding Summary — total number and amount spent on books that may have been given away, sold, or misplaced
  • Donut Charts — your book budget (what you’ve spent vs. what you may still spend); and your owned books (what you’ve already read vs. what you have yet to read)
BOOKS

The second sheet is for tracking your books, purchased and gifted alike. Here are its features:

  • Basic Details — reading status (read / unread); and book format
  • Purchase Details — store; location; and book price (in foreign and local currency)
  • Gift Details — source; and book value (in foreign and local currency)
  • Shipping Code* — for cross-referencing against the main Shipping sheet
  • Budget Tracker — amount spent on books vs. amount left to spend
SHIPPING

The third sheet is for tracking your book hauls and shipments. Here are its features:

  • Shipping Code* — for identifying which books were shipped or bought together
  • Basic Details — courier; and shipping type (local / international)
  • Shipping Costs — quantity of books per shipment; fees paid (in foreign and local currency); and cost per unit (how much it cost to send each book in a shipment)
  • Shipping Dates — shipment status (arrived / on the way / not yet shipped); and shipping and arrival dates
  • Expense Tracker — amount spent on shipping, which is naturally treated as separate from the book budget
DISCARDING

The fourth sheet is for tracking the books that are or will no longer be in your possession. Here are its features:

  • Basic Details — reading status (read / unread); and book format
  • Purchase Details — book price (in foreign and local currency); and actual cost of each book with shipping fees factored in
  • Discard Details — discard status (given away / sold / misplaced / returned / or other); recipient; and discard date
  • Expense Tracker — amount spent on discarded books; may be considered wasted money depending on the user’s perspective on life
WISHLIST

The fifth sheet is for noting the books you would like to buy. Here are its features:

  • Basic Details — purchase status (bought / not bought); book price (in foreign and local currency); priority level (high / moderate / low) ; and store links
  • Book Specs — book format; edition; and publisher
  • Pub Datefor distinguishing already released books from forthcoming books
  • Preorder Incentivefor tracking which books have preorder campaigns
BLOCKLIST

The final sheet is for tracking the books and authors you would rather avoid. Here are its features:

  • Basic Details — main issue (problematic author / problematic book / both); author in question; and associated work
  • Issue Details — nature of the main issue (harmful to BIPOCs, LGBTQ+, PWDS, or religious group / misogynistic or gender-essentialist / personally triggering / romanticizing or condoning / xenophobic or racist / engaging in NFTs / or miscellaneous); action taken (apology, retcon, reparations); and supporting links

Interested?

This resource is free for personal use, so please do not repackage and sell the spreadsheet as your own work. To save a copy, click the link, then select File > Make a copy from the Google Sheets menu. And to stay updated on any future developments on the spreadsheet, feel free to follow me on social media!

And for Filipino readers — surprise! I made a specific template that’s already set to Philippine peso.

To help fund future versions of the Book-Buying Spreadsheet, you can buy the templates from my Ko-fi shop!


Not what you’re looking for?

The template isn’t a perfect one: again, it’s based on the simple system that worked best for me in the past year, and I still have much to learn on the intricacies of Google Sheets. If my system isn’t a good fit for you, you might want to check out these more powerful spreadsheets:


Thank you for reading!

If this post added some color to your day in any way, please consider leaving a one-time tip via KO-FI, PAYPAL, or GCASH! Your support keeps this blog ad-free and makes all the difference. ♥️


Let’s talk!

☞ Do you track your book purchases? If you do, what parts of the process do you keep track of?

☞ What do you think of these very first versions of my Book-Buying Spreadsheet? Are there any features you would like to see in future iterations?


To Doing Better! — Goals for the Year 2022

In hindsight, 2021 had been a good year. I like to think I had muddled through it as well as one can in one’s situation, though I exited with unmet goals, and plans that were left half-finished halfway into the year.

In hindsight, those goals could have been met, had they just been worded better. Improbable as it may sound: when taken seriously, the wording of an objective determines not only what ought to be done, but also what may not or need not be done. And I’ll admit I exploited more loopholes than I accomplished goals in 2021.

Then again, dwelling in the past is so last year. Here are my hopes and goals for the year 2022. I’ve refined last year’s leftover ones to give them a bit more focus, but also added some other things I finally feel like attempting. For the people who got to see claims in the same vein around this time last year: Yes, I really will try to do better this time. For the rest of you who are new here: Congratulations, reader; welcome to my web of accountability.

GOAL № 1. Set (and follow) a book budget

Because of a stupefyingly large windfall last year, I got carried away with buying all the books I could finally buy in print. Really, really, really carried away. I still wince whenever I look at the purchasing tracker that, in retrospect, I set up months too late.

In the spirit of doing better, my updated spreadsheet will keep tabs not only on which books are still en route to my front doorstep and which ones have already been read, but also how much of my very realistic book budget I have left for the year. 

In related news: The template for my 2022 Book-Buying Spreadsheet (PH Edition) is currently freely available to download via Ko-fi! This post talks about the features of the spreadsheet and other instructions for use.

GOAL № 2. Save up for an iPad Mini

Contingent on my ability to follow a book budget is my next goal, which is to buy an iPad Mini this year… and then maybe a Nintendo Switch. When I think back to how much I spent in 2021, I mentally chastise myself for all the seemingly harmless hundreds that went to essentially non-essential purchases, things one ultimately could’ve gone without. Put together, the hundreds would’ve made thousands, and thousands would’ve gotten me that first item (and maybe even the second) sooner.

GOAL № 3. Produce six non-wrap-up blog posts

On the blogging side, 2021 was my most productive year yet: I drew in my 20,000th visitor with a mixture of wrap-ups and anecdotes of my most formative experiences. Not long after, though, my laziness overtook my ability to pair nouns with verbs — to nobody’s shame but mine, really. By December I was producing wrap-ups merely out of a sense of obligation; I’d lost that manic desire to tell stories that had all but possessed me earlier in the year.

Once again, I am committing to do better than my previous self. With blog inspiration coming from Shut Up, Shealea and Your Tita Kate — whose masterminds Shealea and Kate have by some miracle now become my friends — how hard can it be?

GOAL № 4. Fit into my work pants again

Before the lockdowns, I used to show up for class every day in a different-colored skirt or pair of pants. If memory serves, I could go to work for nearly an entire month without having to repeat a single one. With face-to-face classes trumpeting their return from around the corner this year, precariously but inevitably, it has come to my attention that only less than four pieces from that wardrobe fit me now. Replacing the entire collection is obviously not an option, so preferably as soon as possible, I need to be able to pull majority of those clothes past my thighs again. That means losing an inch around the waist. Or two. Or three. Realistically, eight.

GOAL № 5. Write three new chapters

Rounding out this set of hopes and goals is a niggling in my chest to move forward with the fantasy story I finally started drafting last May. I’d dropped it at the part where [redacted] finally realizes that she [redacted] for [redacted], and have been unable to jump back into that world and into the headspaces of my three protagonists since. It may be a case of wanting to write each sentence perfectly, that I end up not writing anything at all. As I try to explore what [redacted] will do with [redacted] and [redacted], then, it’s worth remembering that one can only edit and improve on a draft that actually exists.


Let’s talk!

☞ How is your 2022 goal-setting coming along? This post marks the first anniversary of my opening this blog to comments, and I’d love to hear from you!