Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tracking Your Books

With the recent loss of my database,I'm just wondering, how does everyone keep track of their books? I've been using an Excel spreadsheet which has all my books - this goes back for years. I also use Library Thing, Shelfari and Goodreads. None of the online sites have my complete lists because there's just too many books in my TBR for me to start adding everything. I add them as I go along. I don't really use LT much because after 200 books, you have to pay. The other sites let me list unlimited amounts of books for free.

So, what I'm wondering is what you use? I know we've discussed this before but there are many new bloggers out there and some of the "veteran" bloggers out there who might have a system that I'd like to adopt.

The good thing with my Excel sheet is that all the titles remained, but the authors, date published and my ratings (for those I read) are gone. Many books have the same title, which can be frustrating. I did keep my ratings of books I read in a written journal which I still have. I can recreate it but it's a monumental task that I just don't feel like doing, to be honest :) Maybe in the winter I'll be more into it.

Anyway, how do you all keep track of your books? Online? Spreadsheets? Handwritten journals? Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. O.M.G. !! I would be sick if I lost my database. I've been keeping all my read books in Microsoft works. It lists the author, title, year published, date I read it and my rating of A ( loved it would read anything this author wrote) B ( it was good and I would try something else the author wrote C( don't even think of this author again) Every once in a while (not often enough) I back it up to disc. Your post reminds me I need to do that soon. I also now keep a list on my blog so at least I will have what I have read for this year. I feel so bad for you losing all that info. I know I would be distressed! I hope you can find a way to recover some of it.

  2. I have these small books where I write up the name, author, date and perhaps one or more words about it :D
    have been doing it for years now

  3. 3X5 cards - can't live without them. I keep track of favorites / books I have loaned out / books that I want to get my hands on / and now - books that I've if I can just find where I left that box of 3X5's!

  4. I use index cards as well and keep them in a cute little box. However I am very behind on listing them in there and better get it updated. I list the book title and my rating. I think I'd like to add now when I read it too. I always like to have a hard copy of something - I just don't trust computers completely.

  5. I keep my TBR list in a sparkly pink A6 notebook that fits into my handbag, so when I am browsing the charity shops I can match books to the titles in my notebook. The ones I have read are only stored on my blog under my 100 books post. Perhaps that is not the best place to keep them.

  6. I use a combination of spreadsheets and LibraryThing. Every book I own is listed on LibraryThing, with my rating by it, if I have read it.

    I also use a spreadsheet to track the books I review on my site, with other stats like pages read, my rating, etc., so I can easily access the total picture.

    Books I want to purchase or check out from the library go on yet another spreadsheet.

    I only recently started doing this, so I am sure that I will be tweaking my process as I go. I may ultimately put all of my books on a spreadsheet in addition to using LibraryThing, I just haven't decided.

  7. I use PBS, You can have a list of Books I've read that is unlimited, a list of TBR, a reminder list, and of course your wish list which is limited to 200 books. Until lately, it wasn't important to me to keep any kind of list and I would occasionally buy a book i had already read and find out after the first few pages, but now I read twice as much so I started putting them there when I started swapping books there.

  8. I recently chatted about book recommendations and how people keep track. There were some great comments:

    I have since purchased a software called All My Books and I am loving it.

    So sorry about your database. Ugh!

  9. I'm so glad you blogged this. I have been trying to figure out a way to inventory my books and keep getting flustered and frustrated. I've finally started a journal that I write the ones I'm reading in and as I finish them I make a note and move on. Some day I will have it all online.

  10. Thanks to everyone for the comments. I love the ideas you all have. I never thought about index cards before.

    The good thing with my database is that the titles are all still there. Since I have a handwritten record of what I've already read and the ratings, I can use that too. Although, there are just so many books that have missing info. It looks like almost 6000 books that are now incomplete on my database. Since I work all day on a computer, the last thing I want to do is come home and do that too.

    I think I'll do a little at a time using the handwritten notebook, then as I read books from my TBR, I'll check to see if they are in the database and fill in whatever is missing.

    J Kaye - Thanks for the link. I will definitely check that out too.

    Anyone with anymore ideas, I'd love to hear them.

  11. I cannot handle all the excels and the journals. I maintian my books by GoodReads mostly. The trick is to add books as and when you get them. The moment you finish them update GoodReads or may be do it once a week. It works for me.

    You can always introduce different shelves if you are more organized.

  12. I have been keeping my TBR list on GoodReads. Before that, I kept articles and lists of TBR books in a file in my filing cabinet.

    I used to keep track of the books I read in a Word document. One year my computer crashed and I lost my list! After that I swore I would back up everything (I still haven't done that) or at least print things out (not sure if I've done that).

    I started my blog in January and that's where I keep track of the books I've read now. But, I know I should still keep a back up list somewhere. :-)

  13. I guess, at this point, the best thing is for me to update things as I go along instead of wasting precious reading time trying to get all my books back where they belong. I made some headway yesterday reconstructing my spreadsheet.

    I know I really should have had a backup of the spreadsheet. It's my own fault. A majority of my books are on my Shelfari shelf and a good portion is on Goodreads, too. But then I worry, what if either site were to close? Not that it's going to happen, but what if it does? I think I should have something here too.

  14. I don't envy you the task of putting it all back together, Yvonne. Maybe you can fix it as you go--but take your time. As you said, it will be time consuming. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

    I did not keep a catalog of all the books in my house until I joined LT. I entered over 2000 books in manually. It's a house rule that every book that crosses through the front door has to be entered into LT (unless it's a borrowed book).

    I also keep a spreadsheet of all my TBR books. I probably could give that up now that I have LT, but I'm kind of attached to the list.

    Then there is my spreadsheet of all the books I've read. They're divided by years and I print them out at the end of every year along with my actual reading journal so I have a hard copy available.

  15. I really need a system because right now I don't have one. I do list my reviewed books on both LT and good reads, but nowhere else.


Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog! I always love reading comments and getting to know my readers!

After some careful consideration, I've decided to become an award-free blog. Although I appreciate and am honored by each and every award I've received, your comments and friendship are enough award for me. Thank you all so much for your thoughtfulness.

Due to way too many spam comments, I disabled the Anonymous User comments. We'll see if this works, otherwise I'll have to go back to word verification.