Getting count from data base

Hi all.
I have a data base that has 4 tables, each table has a numnber of items within it seperated by commas. What I would like to do is have a results page tell me how many times the item is listed in each coloum for each item within that list.
People visit the web page and select a number of diffrent options as to what they are intrested in. I need to be able to have a total count for each option that is within this table.

reading =total 6
Tv =total 3
Movies =total 12

I hope this is easy to understand.

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