Friday, January 17, 2020

Q&A - Book Lists

For years I have recorded the books that I read. I love looking back over those lists. I just kept a  simple title-and-author list in my planner. Sometimes if a book was especially enjoyed I placed a star beside it. If I wanted to remember not to read it again, I might make a note of what I found offensive.

This list works, but I wish I kept a few more details. Which books did I read to my children? Which were audio books? Why did this book deserve a star?

I've considered using something like GoodReads to record my reading, but I hesitate to sign up for one more potential on-line time waster. I don't want to start a system that steals my reading time.

So here is my questions for you.

Do you record the books you read?

Do you use GoodReads, a bullet journal, or some other tool for your lists?

What information have you found helpful to note?

My" Books I Read" is only one list. I have others. "Books to Read."" Books to Look for at a Used Bookstore." "Books Set in the Middle Ages." "Favorite Picture Books." And many more. These lists can be found on documents in my computer, scrawled in notebooks, and scrunched on scraps of paper at the bottom of my purse.

I know. This is only a problem for a Book Geek.

But maybe some of you will admit to be Book-Geek-List-Makers and tell me how you manage your lists.


  1. Hehe... Apparently I'm an unorganized book geek. I love, love books! Old, new... Words! But I don't make lists. 😁

  2. So often I wish I had done this. I'm anxious to see what you come up with! I wonder how I could ever have done it under categories that I could find the books again if I wish. Often I think of something I read in a book and want to recommend the book to someone, but can't remember the title or author anymore. Sad!!

    1. has a section called Book Sleuth where people help you find the books you've "lost" but want to find. One of mine was really obscure, and I believe it was the word "train" and a description of the cover that helped trigger someone's memory. It might be worth a try. :)

  3. I've been tracking my reads for almost two years, and it makes me feel rich just looking over the list. I use regular binder sheets (and keep them in my list binder), noting the title, author, date finished, and, briefly, my overall impression of the book. Thanks for the idea of recording if it was an audio-book or if it was read aloud to children. One of the advantages of reading books to my younger siblings is that I get to books I might otherwise neglect.=)

  4. I have no answers here, but I will be interested to read what others have to say. I used to keep a sort of book journal, where I noted title etc. and then I'd jot down quotes or thoughts as I read. I used an old (unused) day planner that had beautiful pictures and lots of lines to write on, and funnily enough, that helped as I could sometimes remember a book by the picture that I now associated with it - which made it easier to find a quote since it was certainly not organized in any way. So I'll just sit back now and see what the organized booklisters have to say.. (Suz)

  5. In college last year, I started a book journal in Evernote that include quotes or high points I want to remember from the books I've read. Sadly, I haven't kept it up, but I'd like to get back to it. I've realized recently when I wanted to dip back into some of those books for information and quotes, how valuable that was.

  6. I do use Goodreads. I choose to not comment or like my friends books. I just record what I read. It has helped me to reach a yearly goal of 50 plus books.
    Also you can organize the books into shelves. Such as juvenile, cookbooks, health books, fiction, books I disliked etc.
    I’ve gotten lax about doing even that though. Goodreads is not a super “social” social media.
    But I understand trying to avoid online time wasters. I only get on to record what I’m currently reading, what I’ve finished or to add to my to read list.
    I’d switch to a journal of some kind but I would lose my past lists from good reads. I may though. I like the idea of a written copy.

  7. I was inspired by Sarah Mackenzie at and I have a journal notebook with lined pages specifically for keeping track of the books we read. In the left margin I use a circle to designate a book I read, a circle with a smiley face inside for books I read to the kids, a triangle for the audiobooks I listen to, and a triangle with a smiley face inside for the audiobooks the kids and I listen to together. I like to list the book title, author's name, number of pages or length of audiobook, whichever is applicable, and the date started and finished if possible.

  8. As for recording the books I've read - I don't. This post will be interesting to follow! Sometimes I think of a certain book on our shelves that would be great to read to the children, and they're like, "Mom, you read that to us already!" If I had a list, I'd remember. :)

    But this reminds me of a book I thought you'd be glad to know about, if you don't already. The book "All Through the Ages" by Christine Miller is a wonderful resource for finding books that relate to certain time periods or topics in history. I only found out about it within the past few months and haven't used it at all yet. But I expect I will. I thought of you with your book lists that go with the 8th grade CLP history book, and thought maybe you'd enjoy this.

    Mary Beth Martin

  9. I was waiting to see what all the others smart readers would advise. :)

    Yes, I track my reading, but I'm not as organized as some. A Word file for each year is the extent of my records; I list the title and the author but nothing else. Undoubtedly I should...

    A few of us friends have an unofficial low-key Book Club where we report each month's reading to the group. If we have time, we discuss books we recommend and books we emphatically don't. We've dabbled a bit with rankings on style and on content, but often we merely post that month's list of titles and rush on to the next thing.

  10. I don't keep lists per se, but I do keep mental lists of books that I'd like to read. I'm always on the lookout for new titles! And I also like to borrow books from the library; it's much cheaper than buying them! :)

  11. I do not record the books I read but I have written down my daughter's for homeschool records. I do have a journal were I write down sermons I listened too and make notes of needed.

  12. I highly recommend Goodreads! I don’t find it to be a time waster at all.... I love being able to read reviews of books and it has helped me find books I may not have otherwise heard of.

  13. I use and love good reads. It isn't a big time waster for me. Just keep your account a secret so no one can friend you and you don't have to friend anyone else. I like how you can add books to certain shelves. For instance, I have a read aloud shelf. It shows the date(s) I read it along with my quick review and my rating. I can also sort my books based on the ratings I gave them. That way if someone asks for a book recommend, I can just glance back over my 4-5 star books.

  14. Love this topic. Yes, I use Goodreads - compared to social media etc., I don't find it a time waster at all, except maybe when you're first looking at the site.

  15. I started a Pinterest board for the books I have read. Chris W.

  16. I am new to Home Joys and I love it. My husband and I retired to a rural area to restore an old mill. I have listed to hundreds of audio books from the public library. The library lets me download them to my computer or MP3. It has allowed me to listen to books while I sand and paint. I keep track of them on an Excel spreadsheet by alphabetizing the author's last names.

  17. I don't record the books I read myself, but I do record the books that our kids read and that I read to them - for homeschool records.

    (However, you have inspired me! I am going to try to keep a record of my own books this year!)

    I am working on a master booklist for our family, based on both age ranges and various categories, and then I put the child's initial after the book to show that he has read it (or heard it read). That's a work in progress - some of the books in them are from your booklists (and I want to go back and go through the booklists you made before I found your blog!).


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