The Organized Reader
Welcome, guest blogger Annette, owner of The Book Exchange stores in Port Clinton and Freemont, Ohio.
I frequently have customers complaining that they have no idea which books
they’ve read anymore, or that they have picked up a copy of a book that they
already had at home. When asked if I could contribute to this blog my immediate thought was perhaps I could help some of you to organize your book/reading lists. Making it easier for you to keep track of your reading.
First things first, you can’t organize unless you know what you have. So you’ll need to start by organizing your library at home. At my home (and
the stores) I first separate my books into genre/category. I have one bookshelf for my classics, another for romance, and another for general fiction/mystery etc. I then place them alphabetically by Author, then by
title or series (yes, I am that obsessive). It is a great way to figure out what you have at a glance, as well as quickly allowing you to see what you still need. This obviously won’t help you to remember books you may have read that are not in your collection, but it’s a step in the right direction!
There are many things you can do when it comes to actually taking an “inventory” of what you read. There are free Book Inventory programs all over the Internet. They are a great way of keeping stock of your actual
inventory at home. Some even have the capability to list the person that you loaned it too. You don’t really need to get that in-depth however; all I do is keep a simple spreadsheet document. You can add sheets, one sheet per Author. Label the tab with the Authors name, make a column for the title, and a simple X next to the title will tell you if you’ve read it or not. You even have the ability to add more information about the
book/series, special notes to yourself, who you loaned it to. You can put as much as or as little information as you want into your spreadsheet.
Finally you’ll need to get a list of your Authors books. The great thing about the Internet is that you literally have the world at your fingertips!
For any Author that you want to read or have read you’ll be able to find a list of their books online. Most Authors put a full list on their websites, even breaking them down by series (bless them!). Simply copy and past into your spreadsheet, or enter the books into your program and your list is ready to go! Print a copy for your wallet or purse and whenever you take a jaunt to the bookstore, you’ll know exactly what you need or don’t need!