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As New Year’s Eve dawns, we can’t help but reflect on the year gone by and what we may (or may not) have accomplished. For some of us, that includes a forgotten reading goal and an ever-increasing TBR (to be read) pile. Or perhaps it’s missed release dates from our favorite authors or maybe not scooping a deal on a desired ebook.
If this is you (like it is me!), then join me in being more proactive when it comes to managing your to be read lists and resolve to read more in 2020!
Here are 4 tools that can help organize your reading and achieve this goal.
Goodreads is a staple for readers. If you’ve ever attempted to organize your reading you may have stumbled upon this site.
This website utilizes a feature called Shelves to help organize your reading. Shelves are simply virtual lists you can set up under the My Books section of your profile. You can create whatever shelves you’d like. For example, if you find a new author you love and want to read their backlist, you can set up a shelf for that. Say it’s Julia Quinn. You can select Create Shelf and enter the name julia-quinn.
By adding books to individual shelves, you can not only organize your books but also obtain further information about them. This specifically is important when managing release dates. You can find expected publication dates directly on the book’s page on Goodreads. Never miss another release date thanks to your Goodreads want-to-read shelf.
Goodreads tools are endless. Goodreads groups and reading challenges are great features to help you stay engaged with your reading throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to explore this great resource.
Amazon Wish Lists
While Amazon owns Goodreads, Amazon Wish Lists is another incredibly valuable tool when it comes time to organize your reading.
If a book on your wish list has a price drop, you’ll receive an email notification. I love this feature and always put books on my Amazon wish list to be sure to receive such notifications. This is a great tool if (like me!) you operate on a very strict book budget.
Amazon allows you to create any wish list you desire and make them public or private. Public lists are great when loved ones, friends, or colleagues are curious about what to get you for holidays or birthdays. Share your list with them!
You can also add comments to the items you place on your wish lists as seen here:
You can add a comment about why you wanted this book, how you discovered it, if you already own a copy but want another one, and what the priority is for obtaining this book.
Finally, you can keep track of new release dates as any upcoming releases will display their publication dates directly under the titles on your wish list.
Bookbub works a little differently in that their lists are set as Wishlist, Owned, Reading, Finished, Not Interested. This tool gives you a little more set structure, so if you’re looking for something simple, this tool might be the right fit to help you organize your reading.
Again, this tool doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Goodreads or Amazon but it will help you keep track of the books you’ve read, wish to read, and those you’re currently working through.
The valuable piece of Bookbub is that you will receive an email notification if Bookbub ever has a deal on a book on your wish list. Amazon has this same feature, but not all ebook sales occur on Amazon. If there’s a deal on it, Bookbub will know and send you an email alert. Never miss a deal again.
You may have noticed that not any one tool keeps everything together in an easily sortable format. I use a Google doc in my Google Drive for that.
First, why a Google doc in my Google Drive?
Because it’s easy to use, and I can access it anywhere including on my phone. Here is what it looks like:
This is perfect if I’m standing in front of a table of books on sale and can’t remember if I already read it or requested it from the library. I only keep the books I’m currently seeking to read on this list. Books I’ve completed in previous years I note on my Goodreads Read shelf and remove from this running list in my Google Drive.
Second, a Google Doc is entirely customizable. So here I have a list for the Books I’m actively seeking to read, but you’ll also notice a second tab for New Releases. Let’s check that out.
On the new releases tab, I keep track of all of the upcoming releases I want to read. I’m doing this because I want to be more proactive in my reading. Too often I find myself trudging through the hundreds of books I have on my Kindle that were purchased because they were on sale, the book description sounded good, or it was free. I would spend all my reading time on these books that I happened across (and while this is a great way to find new authors!) I wasn’t focusing on the new releases of authors I love. My fellow bookstagrammers would gush about books, and I would think gee, I’m missing out because I must read these 72 books on my Kindle.
Not any more.
Life is too short to read a book just because you already downloaded it. I want to read the books I want to read, not the ones I happen to have. This may not be for everyone, but for me, I want more control over my reading.
How Will You Organize Your Reading?
As I said above, not every tool does every job, but the resources are there to find what works for you. How do you organize your reading? Will you join me in resolving to be more productive in your reading in 2020?