Keeping Track of What I’ve Read

At the circulation desk, we are often asked if we keep a record of what people have read. Sometimes people forget if they’ve read a certain book or not, or they’ve read a great book and cannot remember the title, and people just want us to help them remember.

Topsham Public Library does not keep records of what patrons have checked out. Once a person returns an item, and the item is checked in, the item disappears from the patron’s record and we cannot see what they have checked out in the past. Privacy is important and to protect the privacy of our patrons, we do not keep track of what people have checked out.

If you are like me, you need some way to remember what you’ve read so that you don’t check out the same book over and over again, or to help you remember a really good book you’ve read. I have little notebooks. Right now I have 3 full notebooks and I’m half-way through my fourth. There are problems with this. The main problem I have is remember where I put my notebooks. Not only do I have to keep track of where my notebooks are, but I don’t carry those notebooks with me, so they do me no good when I’m at the library or the bookstore and the notebooks are at home.

I have decided to try something new. goodreads is an app that keeps track of what you’ve read. Not only does it keep track of what you’ve read, you can keep a to-read list as well, so you’re not wasting time figuring out what to read next or trying to remember a title that you’ve been wanting to read.

goodreads has been around for years, but I have been hesitant to sign up because I liked my notebook system and I try to stay away from technology if at all possible. My decision to try goodreads has also corresponded with my attempt to simplify. My house is littered with little pieces of paper covered in titles that I want to read but haven’t got to yet and the papers are multiplying like mice and it looks cluttered and messy and aaaaaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. I need it all in one place. goodreads also lets you rate what you’ve read using a 5 star system, and if you enjoy writing reviews of the books you’ve read, you can do that too.

Now, goodreads is an app, so they try and get you to connect with social media, and to add friends but I won’t have it. You do not have to connect your goodreads account to social media if you don’t want to. If you want to, they make it easy for you, but I have not opted for that. And know, if you do write a review, that review may be seen by any goodreads user who looks up that title.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes. So far so good.

Do you have a system to keep track of what you’ve read? What is it? Are there other apps that help you keep track of your reading out there that you like?