Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Calculate GoodReads Progress with eBooks

Originally published at Absentminded Author, v1.

I'm taking a moment away from writing to share something with you fellow GoodReads users.

I'm sure by now you've faithfully tried to report your reading progress to GoodReads (because we know how many people can't go on living without this sort of update in their Twitter or Facebook feed), but you discovered that the book edition GoodReads had on file didn't match the page numbers of the edition you were reading. This is especially a problem for eBook readers who find their page numbering matches no physical book on the planet. How do you accurately report where you are in the book for those friends who are reading along with you?

I used to just guestimate what number page I was on when reporting, but a few weeks ago, when I was unable to do much writing, I decided to solve this problem.

After long hours of mental gymnastics the likes of which even the great Einstein himself would never dare to undertake, I came up with a formula:


But since I would never remember what the silly letters stood for, I expanded it to be:

(Page Number/Total Page Numbers) x GoodReads Total Page Numbers = GoodReads Page Progress

For instance, I'm reading 1633 by Eric Flint and David Weber. I'm currently on page 383 of 1109 in the eBook, but GoodReads only lists 688 pages for the edition in their database.

383/1109*688= GoodReads page 237

To make it easy on myself, I type this equation into Google's search field then create a bookmark for the equation. I do this for each book I'm reading. Any time I want to report my progress to GoodReads, I open the bookmark and change the page number I'm on and then let Google to the heavy lifting.

In the case of the Jane Eyre eBook I am reading, I chose to purchase the movie edition with the included screenplay for a total of 1119 pages. The GoodReads edition doesn't include that screenplay in its page count, so I flipped through my eBook to find the last page of the novel and plugged things in:

87/829*596=62.5 = GoodReads Page 63


And a wee bit geeky, but then you already knew that about me. If you want to know what else I'm reading you can friend me over at GoodReads.


As for my own writing, the story moves along at a brisker pace than the month before. I need to renew my commitment to less NetFlix, only reading at bedtime, and forcing myself to retire earlier, but otherwise I am very, very pleased with the progress.

Today I get to sneak my main character out of his bedroom and across the roof to the forest beyond so he can save the day even though he's grounded. Should be fun.