There are many lists containing rankings of great books. Some are limited to a particular genre (historical novels, biographies, science fiction). Others are more general. Some are fairly short (50-100 books). Others are much longer (1,001 books).
Is there a way to "average" the data from as many of these lists as possible to get some sort of composite ranking of all of the books that appear in any of the lists?
I took a crack at it with a spreadsheet, but ran into problems. I will explain it briefly here.
If the lists are all the same length and include exactly the the same books, the solution is relatively simple (I think). I can just average the ranks. I can even add a weighting factor to each list to adjust the influence on the composite ranking up or down.
I ran into problems when the lists are of different lengths and contain different books. I could not think of a way to calculate a composite ranking (or rating) when the lists do not all contain the same books.
Another complicationb is that at least one of the lists is unranked (The Time 100). Is there any way to make use of that list?
I created a PDF document with some tables illustrating what I have tried. Here's the link to the DropBox folder: