How To Keep Track of What You've Read
If there is one problem I could solve for you, it would be to help you to remember what you've read. Every day in the store, I hear customers bemoan that they forgot their list! For those of you who do remember, I see elaborate lists that I can tell you've spent a lot of time compiling and keeping track of on pen and paper. However, if it's easy to forget your list, here's a few ideas I have for you, first with paper and ink and then digitally.
For paper and ink users: If you're used to writing or typing your lists in a spreadsheet, I recommend having a bag like this one that is only for taking to the bookstore and leaving your list in there. When you come home and take your books inside to unload, your list will be where you can edit it and when you're done, stick it back in the bag. If you visit a bookstore like mine, where you trade books for credit, put those books in there, too, as you finish reading them (and maybe even a pair of reading glasses! It's another common comment I often hear from customers who forgot them.). Then your bag will be ready to grab when you come for a visit and everything will be in one place.
Do you need an idea for a good notebook? Here's what I use for my paper and ink lists. I like red because it's my store's color and it helps me remember it's where I take notes about my business, but there are lots of colors and sizes to choose from.
For app users: Goodreads and Litsy are both apps you can download onto a smartphone, though Litsy is currently only available on iOS. I have more familiarity with Goodreads, but if you're interested in connecting with an online community of readers, I have heard that Litsy is a better option. Here's a review from a friend of mine:
"Litsy is easy to use and has a simple purpose: to share and discuss books. Litsy's readers and reviewers are no pressure and kind. I’ve expanded my TBR(to be read list), read books I wouldn’t have and joined mailing book clubs. It feels easy, welcoming and likeminded." --Jennifer
Goodreads is connected to Amazon and has a strong search engine. I use their three basic shelves to keep track of my books: Want to Read, Currently Reading, and Read, but the options for shelves are unlimited. For example, you could make an "Unfinished" shelf when you abandon a read or "My Favorite Mystery Authors". Goodreads provides a five star rating to help you remember books and authors you've liked or not enjoyed. I like being able to sort my books, which are in the several hundreds, by my rating and the date I finished them. There are other options for sorting as well. For example, you can sort by author to help you know which books of an author's you haven't read.
Are you interested in seeing my library, what I've read, and how I rate them? Here's a link to my page you are welcome to browse.
If you would like some help with setting up your library on your smartphone, don't hesitate to ask me the next time you stop by Paper & Ink Books.
Someday, I hope to merge my inventory with your lists so I can help you keep track and let you know what I have available for you. Stay tuned! In the meantime, here is where you can access my updated inventory.
How do you best like to keep track of your books? Let me know in the comments or the next time you're in the store. Let's do all we can to help you discover your next good story.