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Keeping Track Of My Reading (List)

A photograph of an old reading list

Do you keep track of the books you want to read, whether review requests, your own books, or both?

I started out just remembering – it worked when I had few review requests. Then I began keeping a spreadsheet of the books, the contact who sent them to me, and the release date. I also, and still do on occasion, keep physical books in a stack on my desk, although this of course doesn’t help with ebooks – they need to be remembered. But I found a problem with spreadsheets, at least for me. It’s very easy to forget to check them, and allowing myself to add lists for a certain month’s worth of release dates meant I actually accepted more requests than I could handle; I accepted less when I had no list. In the case of my own books, I just slotted them in whenever.

Now I have a white board. It’s always there in front of me and the small amount of space means I have to stick to basic information. I’ve also started to list books I already own that I’d like to get to soon. I’d never done this before but it’s a fact that there are often books you want to get to that can be forgotten if you don’t note them down; it’s too easy to push them back as new books, whether review copies or not, arrive.

The space is a major upshot; as well as limited information it reminds me there are only so many books I can read in any certain period. That in itself has been a godsend for this reader.

Do you plan your reading?


Christine @Buckling Bookshelves

March 6, 2015, 2:33 am

I don’t have a spreadsheet and mostly keep track on GoodReads, but at the moment everything is just on one giant TBR shelf which isn’t all that helpful. I just recently started using a physical notebook, but it’s still evolving — at the moment, I’m most interested in keeping track of series I’m in the middle of and I’ve started printing out book lists I’m interested in reading from and taping them in so I can check things off. I’m definitely considering using one section of the notebook to list and keep track of books I want to read soon, but I’m pretty bad at sticking to that sort of thing, so I’ll have to see what works as I go.


March 6, 2015, 3:59 am

2015 has been all about not stressing about anything… That basically means I haven’t accepted any review copies, though, because that means more commitments. I miss the days of reading whatever and whenever. This is the year!

Belle Wong

March 6, 2015, 5:10 am

I recently started using Trello, adapting a system that Bernadette from Reactions to Reading uses. I mainly use it to keep track of who recommended a book to me, though (through their blog posts, usually). But I don’t really have any sort of reading plan. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants reader.


March 6, 2015, 8:47 am

After a bit of trial and error I think I’ve found a method that works for me. In one notebook, I list books in order of arrival with contact details, publisher, which of us should read it, how we got it (requested, unsolicited, competition win, purchase) + publication date. In a diary, I mark publication dates, blog tours dates and bookstore author events, and plan when to read/review. It’s not neat or tidy but does seem to work., and I can predict when there’ll be a gap to read off my personal TBR pile.


March 6, 2015, 9:54 am

Not being exactly overwhelmed with books to review makes my reading more about me so the amazon wish list works perfectly! Even if I know I am borrowing it from a friend or the library I save it on the wish list till I’ve read it (or ditched!)

Margaret @ BooksPlease

March 6, 2015, 6:07 pm

I don’t accept many books for review – but when I do I give them priority over other books, which is probably why I have too many books I’ve bought that are still unread. Those books are mostly listed on LibraryThing, except for ebooks, which just go immediately into the black hole that is my Kindle. Every now and then I check through both (and my shelves) to see what appeals next. It’s not perfect by any means, but it works OK – if only I could be more strict with myself about acquiring books :)


March 8, 2015, 4:10 pm

Other than the odd moment I request something on Twitter or BookBridgr I don’t request books to review (or receive them) so I find I don’t need to keep track. I just read as I feel. I think if I got a lot of books sent to me I would keep a spreadsheet and – like you do – a pile in the order I need to read them.

Literary Feline

March 9, 2015, 11:36 pm

I used to keep a spreadsheet. I used to make lists. I am so terrible at keeping anything like that up to date anymore. I was thinking the other day that I need to start tracking again, but finding the time . . . I really should though.

Jenny @ Reading the End

March 10, 2015, 12:57 am

I keep a wonderfully detailed spreadsheet of books that I want to read. Then if I am in the mood for something in a particular genre, or if I find I have been reading all American authors and I need a non-American author, or if I don’t have access to my physical library and I need something I can check out in ebook format, I can filter my spreadsheet to find books that fit those criteria. It’s a good situation.

But review copy requests I don’t track at all! I probably should…



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