3 Ways to Keep Track of Your Books

I have several ways of keeping track of the books I read as a writer - one of them is my Moleskine Book Journal

# 1 My Book Journal

I have kept track of the books I have been reading since 2011. At first, I used a little notebook which I decorated with clippings of book covers I would find in book magazines. Today I use the Book Journal from Moleskine which has a lot of features but usually, I just jot down the title of the book, the name of the author and the date read.

I love quotes and often think while reading that I should write down favorite sentences but instead I keep on reading believing that I will be able to find the quote again. Sometimes I do other times I flip through the finished book without being able to find the paragraph and it only lingers on in my memory. But when I do find it I write it down in my Moleskine book journal where there is a box for each book just for that purpose. And apart from seeing the accumulative list of books read, that is my favorite part about keeping a journal of my reading.

Action | Write down a favorite quote from the book you are currently reading and also write down what it is you like about it.

# 2 The KonMari Method by Marie Kondo and Books

Marie Kondo shares in her book “The life-changing magic of tidying up” that in the beginning when she purged her bookcase she would write down the favorite parts from the discarded books and when this turned out to be too laboriously she would rip out the page and keep it in a folder. She ends the story by telling that she now does neither because she never looked through it anyway.

I could never make myself tear out a page of a book ( I only once wrecked a book and that was when I was a teen dreaming about being an author and therefore ripped out the entire book of its cover so I could fill in the book cover myself) Instead my version of this is to take a photo of a passage I really like especially if it is from a library book that I have to return.

I love the concept of tidying up and I have applied the question “does it bring joy” to most of my belongings but as the average book lover, this concept meets its match when it comes to my books. That is why when I went through my bookcases the last time I did not manage to discard a single book. But another one of her tips helped me organize them in a better way. Furthermore, it gave me some clarity now knowing that I had asked the question of every single book. The tip was to put all the books on the floor.

English is not my first language so the books in English only take up a small part of my library. So instead of going through all my books ( as she otherwise suggests) I only took down the English ones which were placed randomly among my other books and piled them up on the floor. Then to be a good sport I did ask the question “does it spark joy” and then inevitably came up with a reason for each book. Then I piled them into new groupings and put them back on three empty shelves.

How I organize my books with some of the steps from the KonMari method.

Action | Put all your books in fiction on the floor. Be honest to yourself about why this particular volume brings you joy. Then decide a way to organize the books who made the cut – is it going to be by category, author, book cover or read and yet to read? Lastly, put this compiled treasure back on the (perhaps now cleaned) bookshelf.

#3 Goodreads and all the books

The next thing I did was to add the books to my Goodreads profile.

Because another way to manage your reading list is to keep track of them virtually. I just did this the other day when I joined Goodreads. It is a manageable way to fill up your virtual bookcases. But beware it is a dangerous wormhole that can take time away from actually writing and reading. So even though I had a lot of fun I only permitted myself to add the books I have currently read and now also this list of my books in English in my bookcase. Doing it in this way I also hope it will be a good add on to this blog.

Action | If you want something right away to keep track of your reading you can download this free printable (no e-mail asked) by clicking the button.

Printable to keep track of the books read

When it is filled out you can add the books to your Goodreads bookshelf of read books or group them into a more specific bookshelf.

I hope that you feel inspired to start, take up again or expand the ways in which you keep track of your books and reading. Happy reading and writing.

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