Thursday, January 20, 2011

How to Keep Track of What You've Read, Want to Read and Should Read

If you are like me, you have read a ton of books!  If you, too have struggled with keeping track of what you have already read (to make sure that you don't reread), what you want to read, or even get an idea of what you might like next, I have a website for you!

In the "old days", you could only make your lists via a spreadsheet program or table within a text document.  I wanted to keep track of my books, especially ones that I had that were signed or special edition for some reason.

In the "really old days", you had to do it by hand in a tablet or what I had "A Booklover's Journal".  Although, sadly, my journal is markedly unfilled, even though I had read enough books to have filled more than a couple of them.  Even my spreadsheet is not a complete list of my books.  It was just too hard to enter the books.

I stumbled across a new website in my search for information on how to blog.
As someone who LOVES making lists (I know, weird, huh?), I used a spreadsheet for everything; books, movies, addresses, etc.   I found that while different programs have come and gone, you can always transfer or import using a .csv file.   I really love how easy this site is to use.
1. First, you must create an account to start.  It was VERY simple.  I used my existed gmail account and added my name and password.  That's it.
2.  It also allows you to add friends by uploading your address book.  I skipped this step.
3.  You can of course just move forward and record books.

Since I already had an extensive list made up in excel, I imported my list.  It took a few minutes for it to verify the books.  It prefers isbn (international standard book number - or the number that you see on the back of a book by it's barcode), but you could also use title and author.  Again, very simple.  I clicked the "import" box and searched my hard drive for my spreadsheet.  That's it.  A note:  The first time that I tried, it did not like what I titled my columns and was not set up for the newer excel.  It prefers .csv, but it can use .xls or .txt files, too.  I changed my column headers and file type and done.

Another option for adding your titles is to use search what they have already.  They have an extensive list of books and it brings up the jacket cover and everything.  Very simple to type in the author or title, etc and find the book that you want.  Once you have found the correct title, you can either click "add to my books" and choose "read", "To read" or "currently reading" or you can just click the rating star that you want to give it and it will automatically add it to your list of titles that you have read.

They have 2 other options that I have not tried just yet.  To upload from your Amazon wish list and worse come to worse - to simply add a new title manually.

I have started the task of adding my insane list of books that I have already read, but you could just start fresh with what you reading now.

It also gives the option of seeing and sharing reviews of your friends, joining book discussions, reading reviews and more.  It is a neat system.  I figured that I would post mine for you via a widget they offer.  I have made a pledge on their website to read 20 books this year.  You can select any number you want and it tracks your progress.

Enjoy a good book!

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