For those who love to read, explaining to others why it is absolutely necessary to give into temptation when presented with a new book. Purchasing that new book is almost a compulsion, sometimes it is an urge that simply cannot be ignored. Writer Diane Duane once remarked that reading one book is like eating a single potato chip from an open bag. It might theoretically be possible but in reality, it’s simply not going to happen.
There are ramifications to this unique form of compulsion that sees one purchase books even though there is a substantial pile of books still to be read on flat surfaces around the home of the compulsive. This is one result, the other is a commonplace look of perplexed astonishment at the fact that a book with a different cover, a different typeface, or even a different size or number of pages is, in fact, a book that has been read before.
Clearly, some method of keeping a record of books the reader has enjoyed in the past is essential. The lack of such a method leads to disappointment, frustration, and an anaemic bank account.
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to keep such a record. Here are some that many dedicated readers (and inadvertent collectors of multiple copies of the same title) might find useful.
1. Survival by Spreadsheet
The are many websites that allow you to record and organize the books and the title you have read. however, some of these websites and apps make your ‘library shelves’ available for public comment and perusal. For many people privacy is important – and that’s where Google Sheets comes into play. The information on your books is stored on the Cloud and is entirely private, but shareable with elected others. It’s free and the search capability is extremely powerful. If there is any downside it’s that if you want to really exploit the power of sheets you’re going to need some knowledge of spreadsheet design, patience, and time.
There are some exceptional templates available on the Internet. Some are free and others may require the payment of a small fee. When compared to buying multiple copies of the same book, even if you pay you’ll be saving money in the medium and long term.
2. App Appeal
If you want access to a powerful app for keeping track of up to 5,000 titles, all categorized into ‘libraries’ (your 100 personal catalogs available according to preferences), while on the go then Libib app might just be for you. Your 5,000 titles are free to save, as are those various ‘library’ categorizations. It also allows you the freedom to catalogue other media such as movies and music (two examples). You can make your library public for everyone to see, or keep it to yourself and a trusted few.
3. The Greatness of Goodreads
Goodreads is a fabulous place to keep up to date with new titles and see some great reviews that are truly useful in helping you make your choice of your next literary investment. It’s tremendously popular for good reason. Easy to use and packed full of information on the latest releases and a massive number of classics and other releases.
Goodreads also has a powerful tracking feature. It will allow you to input the titles that you have read into ‘shelves’ which initially consist of ‘Read,’ ‘Currently Reading,’ and ‘Want to Read’. You can add more shelves later to add functionality and depth to the way you categorize titles. it’s also easy to use. Search for a tile, if you find it (you probably will) then click on the green ‘Want to Read’ button next to the title. Then you can save it on any of your shelves, rate it with a starring system – and much else. But remember, shelves and reviews are public.
Keeping an easily accessible record of what you have read may not be the key to eternal happiness, but it can make a great contribution to reducing your frustration, at least that’s a step in the right direction.