Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I hate my sister.

Okay, those are strong words.

But my sister introduced me to Goodreads this weekend. A cataloging website is the last thing I need in my life. I mean, I should be preparing to move to the City of Lights—not spending hours playing online.

I started cataloging the books I’ve read several years ago. Actually, I stole the idea from my older sister. She literally created her own card catalog. On 3 x 5 cards, she wrote biographical information and a review for each book she read.

I was impressed by this endeavor and wanted to be just like her. I started my own card catalogue. But unlike my sister, I am lazy. Soon, I just couldn’t make the effort to fill out the cards.

Instead, I started a spreadsheet of the books I read. On the spreadsheet, I listed the title, author, and date (month/year) read.

I love keeping track of books. I feel a certain sense of accomplishment watching my list grow. I can also look back and see trends in my life—the phases when I read many books and few.

For example, I spent a summer scanning slides for work (snore). I read lots of books that year. The semester I took a contemporary literature class in grad school, I read exclusively national award winners. The month I moved to the armpit of America, I read hardly anything—I must have been too depressed by my surroundings.

Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered LibraryThing. I spent hours importing my spreadsheet.

And I did exactly the same thing this weekend on Goodreads.

I am still a LibraryThing advocate, but Goodreads has some nice features. For example, you can list the date you read a book. I wish LibraryThing would add that element (I’ve been including this information in my “tags,” which is completely useless to other readers).

You can also add reviews to Goodreads. I added a few last night and was delighted today when someone I’m not related to actually commented on one of them.

The point is to keep track of what you read, regardless of the method. If only I’d started decades ago, I could remember all the glorious books (and the smut and junk) I’ve read.

Here's a glimpse of my Goodreads page:


Wanna-Be Lit said...

Hey, where's the glimpse of your page? It's blank below the colon.

Blogger said...

It looks like Goodreads' "widget" is broken, so I have replaced it with a much more boring one. Sigh.