I recently finished reading a book that has been taking up space on my to-be-read list for a long time now. As soon as I was done with the last page, I smiled. There’s a sense of satisfaction whenever I reach the end a literary fling with a good book that doesn’t really compare to anything else. Knowing the hours spent with my face pressed closely in between printed paper, balancing a forkful of food in one hand and a paperback in the other, is just the greatest. I quickly grabbed my phone to make note of this achievement and realized that there are probably a lot of people out there who can make use of this book tracking system I’ve been using since 2008. It’s this website I’m highlighting today and trust me when I say it is handy.
Goodreads does what avid readers try to manage, but usually fail miserably at. It keeps a record of the books you’ve read, books you want to read, books you’re currently reading, things you loved, things you liked, things that were so-so. It does all of these FOR YOU. The way it works is unbelievably simple: You open an account, either by creating a username or linking through Facebook, and then you start searching book titles. With every title you find, you’re given the option to list it as a book you’ve read, a book you want to read or a book you’re reading. You can also create a category to go along with these “shelves”. I use “things I’ve read and liked” and “things I’ve read and loved” as my additional ratings. Once you’ve started listing books, you’ll be amazed by how many titles come to you after being read and forgotten! Another great advantage is that you can search by using titles, author names or the ISBN number related to the book. That’s right! If you love a specific author, but they’ve written like a thousand-plus books, all you have to do is search the author name and everything they’ve written will be listed. All you have to do is click!
An additional feature that Goodreads has which I LOVE is that they’ve developed an app for your phone! Yes, you read that right. You can keep track of book recommendations in a neat and organized way now without having to depend on that scrap of paper that will inevitably end up scrunched up in the bottom of your purse/bag/laptop case/car floor/shoe. You can actually use your phone to scan the bar code on the back of the book! (I have an Iphone, so I’m not sure how this works for other models.)
The website is a way to procrastinate as well, since it offers fun things like trivia, quizzes, lists of recommended readings created by readers and an events section that lets you know when an event you might be interested in is happening, all based on the books you’ve selected for you “shelves”! You can also add friends to your profile! This way you can see what they’ve been reading, they can recommend a good title or you can feel accomplished/a sense of shame once you see how much you’ve read compared to your friends
All in all, I love this website. I use it constantly. I recommend it to everyone I know who loves to read as much as I do. So go check it out and feel the relief that comes with knowing that someone else is keeping track of all the things you’ve read, so you don’t end up accidentally buying a third copy of (insert book title here).