How Do You Keep Track of Your Book Library?

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Written by Frankie Cameron

How do you keep track of all the books in your book library? How do you keep track of all the books you read? The great thing about books is that there are constantly new books being added every day. Between traditional and self-published works, there has never been more variety of books or ease of purchase as instant downloads.

Although purchasing all those books can lead to a home library that becomes unmanageable. There are ebooks, print books, library books, and borrowed books. So how do you keep track of your home book library?

There are multiple reasons to track your books.
1. To avoid making duplicate purchases.
2. To help your memory
3. To avoid being a terrible friend who never returns books.
4. To avoid library late charges.

What Should You Track?

You can track multiple things, but here are the things most avid readers track:

  • Favourite authors
  • Favourite books
  • Books to read next
  • Book series
  • Book club books
  • Library books
  • Books you’ve lent
  • Recommended books
  • Book wishlist
  • Books you did not finish
  • Anything you want to…

Book Tracking Methods

The most common book tracking methods are apps, spreadsheets, note-taking programs and reading journals.

Apps

Using apps on your phone or iPad is a great way to track your reading. Listed below are five of the best reading applications.

Goodreads

Goodreads is the most popular book tracking app. With the free Goodreads app on your phone, you can have your list handy the next time you are in a bookstore. You can keep a virtual bookshelf of what you’ve read. It divides your list into currently reading, read, and want to read.

You can add status updates, review books, comment on your friends’ reading habits. You can also check out popular book lists and literary events. Goodreads allows you to create goals. Also, Amazon owns Goodreads, and it interlinks with the Kindle reader.

Goodreads home page

LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a free online service similar to Goodreads that helps you catalogue your books easily. It also gives you book suggestions and connects you with people that read the same books. Using the phone app allows you to scan books into your catalogue instead of having to input them manually.

LibraryThing Home Page

Libib

Libib is another cloud-based website that has both a paid and free plan. It allows you to scan barcodes into your library and access it from your phone. You can track up to 5000 items in over 100 different catalogued libraries.

Libib home page

Gerty

Gerty is primarily an eReader available at the app store, but it allows you to organize your print and eBooks on shelves. It has an incredible note-taking feature that allows you to annotate the book with your thoughts and ideas.

Delicious Library 3

Delicious Library 3 allows you to share books with friends, get book recommendations and track the value of your library.

One downside to using applications is that most apps are social, not private. Also, the developers can discontinue the app in the future and you would lose all your data.

Note-taking Apps

Note-taking programs are another great way to track your book library. You can keep lists on OneNote or Apple Notes on your phone.

OneNote

With OneNote, you can organize your books into sections and pages. The easy navigation and search functions provide an easy way to find what you are looking for. You can use the cloud to store your data on your phone or tablet.

One note screenshot

Apple Notes

Apple Notes is the best place to jot down quick thoughts or to save longer notes filled with checklists, images, web links, scanned documents, handwritten notes, or sketches. 

Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are a great way to track your booklist. With multiple columns that you can sort and an endless number of rows, you can track thousands of books in one sheet. Using the search function allows you to find the book you are looking for easily in seconds. Having your own private database lets you track the data that is most important to you. If you store your spreadsheet in the cloud, you can access it from anywhere.

This is how I track my books. I track Author Name, Book Title, Series Number, Book Type, Fiction or Non-fiction and Series Names. Grey text tells me I have read the book.

Mind Map

Use a Reading Journal

If you are a fan of reading and journaling, then starting a reading journal is perfect for you! This allows you to write in a journal and incorporate the books you are reading or want to read at the same time.

You can use any journals for your reading journals, but they are especially useful for a bullet journal. This way, you have a handy list that you can access simply in your journal. Here are some things you can track in your reading journal:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Date
  • Writing Style
  • Originality
  • Personal Impact
  • Character Rating
  • Genre
  • Relatability
  • Readability
  • Plot
  • Overall Rating
  • Favourite Quotes

Here is an example of a reading journal I sell in my Etsy Store.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, how you track your book library is up to you. Choose which method works best for yourself and get organized. Let me know in the comments how you track your books.

 

Until next time

Frankie

Feature photo by Nothing Ahead from Pexels.

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