Keeping track of books

kathrynlinge  just posted about the number of books she’s read this year. I’ve seen others such as monissaw  post about their reading numbers for the year. I just wanna know how the heck you keep track of that sort of thing?! I can be reading up to four books at any one time (sometimes more if the open pile on the bedside table grows…). I frequently come across a book I’ve started, got distracted from (ooh, see the pretty butterflies!) and rediscovered underneath a pile of books some months later, so I clearly couldn’t be trusted to record books as they are finished. And what happens if I finish one when I’m not near my recording apparatus? Like, at school, or in Queensland, or at girliejones ‘ place, or a convention? It happens! And do graphic novels count? What about audio books, cos I’ve been getting through a fair few of them this year! 

All’s I can say for sure is that I’ve read 30+ Aurealis Awards books, and add to that the number of reviews I’ve written this year. But there’s LOADS more than that, cos I’ve read non-genre that I don’t review, graphic novels and comic volumes from the public library, YA from my library, old genre, new genre I didn’t need to review…

However do you keep track?!


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18 responses to “Keeping track of books

  1. Anonymous

    Spreadsheets of course!

    It’s pretty easy if you keep track of it regularly. You might forget a book a month after you finish it, but you don’t forget it the same day. Just make sure you put it on the list before it’s out of lines of sight.

    • Anonymous

      See now, I *wanted* you to say that I could wave my books in front of the computer and it would magically record them for me. Cos I just *knew* it was gonna be spreadsheets, and THAT would require some effort on my part! Isn’t it enough that I READ the books? 🙂

      Hmmm. And if I set it up as a Google spreadsheet, I could access it from anywhere…

      But why? What’s the reward for me for reading lots? WHY should I record it???

      I am genuinely curious about that actually!

      • Anonymous

        This year is the first year I’ve really done it for novel reading, as opposed to short stories. And I started it mostly because I’d set myself the goal of finishing x number of novels this year and so I kinda *had* to keep track!

        That said, I find it beneficial, if you have a crap memory, like me. It’s cool to look back and go “Oh yeah!” instead of having them all disappear into the morass of forgetfulness 🙂

        In a weird way, it’s also a little bit like a diary; I can look at the list and it brings back memories of the places I was and things I was doing when I read them.

      • Anonymous

        I see your point. I read so fast I often forget I’ve even READ a book, let alone recall anything about WHEN I read it. Hmmm. You may have convinced me sirrah.

        Can we have a competition though? Just to add some spice?!

      • Anonymous

        This was my problem. There are a couple of books on my lists from this year and last year, in which my review/comments start with something along the lines of: ‘Halfway though this book, I realised that I’d already read it…”

      • Anonymous

        If you like. 😉

      • Anonymous

        (having said all that… I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not recording them either. If you’re cool with not remembering or don’t think you’d get much from it then that’s fine too!)

      • Anonymous

        It perhaps isn’t as immediately useful, but it, as it turns out, would be very bloody useful when in 20 years you are trying to remember ‘now what was that book’?

        I’d tell myself that if I had a time machine.

  2. Anonymous

    Dude, I’m sure you’ve read waaaay more books this year than I have (In fact you were one of the people in my mind who might think that me reading *only* 70 books so far might be considered a bit pathetic – being another 🙂

    RE: Keeping track. I read pretty linearly (e.g. one after the other – rarely do I have more than one on the go at any one time). If I can’t blog em straight away, I try to leave the books in a pile somewhere so I can at least remember them all when I do get to blog em. But even then, I’m not always sure I’ve remembered them all – today being a case in point when I realised I’d missed a couple! However, it’s at least a *minimum* number of books I’ve read – and it’s not all about the numbers. It’s rather nice to see what I’ve read and also have links to my opinion of them at the time 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    books, books and more books…

    Can I attach a picture to this message? I’d like you to see MY bedsides, yes, TWO of them! I know exactly your situation, ha!-ha! I just finished the Harry Potter lot – in Russian, six of them… I couldn’t possibly tell you how many I read this year. People who live in books don’t count them… How many bread rolls did you have up till now???
    Do you know that I met a guy who prided himself on the fact that in his home he didn@t have a single printed page beside the telephone bill!?!?!?
    One other threw all her books away as she decided to “save” her eyes… (no medical reason). What would I do without my books….

  4. Anonymous

    If you care about keeping track, you will always come back and update the list wherever it is. Best is to keep an lj list like I do and you can update that almost anywhere. And yes, graphic novels should count

  5. Anonymous

    LibraryThing, easy.

    • Anonymous

      No, I only use Library Thing to record books I own.

      • Anonymous

        Well, if you read less than 200 a year, a free other account would work fine per year.

        If more, or you want to, you can get a second one. 🙂 Or use one of the not as good ones like GoodReads.

  6. Anonymous

    I have a mysql database of all my books w/ a perl-generated html front end. (In my defense, I did it mostly as a way of teaching myself more perl.) When I finish a book I can mark it read with one click of a button.

    Of course, I own almost all books I read, because I have to be in the right mood to read particular things and if I’ve borrowed the book from somebody I feel guilty for having it too long.

    • Anonymous

      Heh. I think I understood about one word in four of the first sentence!

      Is it just me, or are we becoming more and more list/database/spreadsheet oriented in the modern world? Did people ALWAYS record their reading like so many do now? Or is it just because there’s cool gadgets to do it with that we fiddle now?


  7. Anonymous

    Bookpedia is full of love

    well worth the tiny price and if you have dvds and cds you can get a cool bundle.

    Part way through cataloguing my library with smart collections of stuff identified for sale that can then be easily exported to html or numerous other things.

    Not only can you mark when you read a book, you can also mark a book as borrowed, who borrowed it (which you can type in manually or it prompts you with names from your address book) and when you want it back. You can also mark if you sold it, how much for, how much you paid for it and all sorts of things I haven’t even got to.

    Of course it only works on a mac, but macs are the bees knees.

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