I promised myself I wouldn’t do it: I promised myself I wouldn’t overwhelm myself by curating a “want to read” list on Goodreads. And now I’ve gone and done it.
Admission: I didn’t use Goodreads
much ever before this year. I had an account, but it was like…
If I did visit Goodreads, it was to look up a book or quote, not to track the books I read. For that, I had an Excel spreadsheet. Which was fun, for a while. It allowed me to create tables, charts, and pies of random information related to my reading. The pie charts were my favorite. Who can argue with pie?
via GIPHY – This hamster eating a tiny pie has nothing whatsoever to do with my reading life. It’s just too cute not to share. Squeee!
What changed is, I got bored of my Excel spreadsheets. After a few years, it began to feel sort of coldly efficient, like I was tracking sales figures or medical symptoms. I keep a reading journal, but it’s not the most helpful for at-a-glance information. Sometimes, I want to know what my most read genre was in a given year or how to spell the name of an author whose book I read months ago.
To summarize: I was looking for a new way to track my reading.
So fine. I decided to give Goodreads a shot. For tracking only. Absolutely no 1 – 5 star ratings would be made by me (mostly*). No “want to read” list. Because I want to read all the books, ever. Plus, I have 300 of my own books to read**, and that’s just on my Nook. So seriously: Absolutely no “want to read” list!
Maybe you’re thinking, “You cannot expect me to believe you don’t keep lists of books you want to read.” Of course I keep lists of books I want to read. I write them down in … places: scribbled on the backs of receipts and in the margins of notebooks. Also in my phone’s “notes” app. Sometimes, I take photos of book covers.
What you’ve probably notice: They’re dispersed, disorganized non-methods. This is by design! I can’t possibly keep track of all these random titles in all these random places. Divide and conquer is my strategy.
Except … people recommend books to me on Goodreads. Really interesting, appealing books. And there’s my “want to read” section all empty and abandoned. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to just put one little title in there? But then that one little title looks so lonely…
I currently have 21 books in my “want to read” section. Some of you, who have hundreds of books in your “want to read section,” may be thinking, “Ha, amateur!” Sure, 21 may seem like a tiny little number. That’s … what? maybe three, four months of reading?
Yeah, right. That’s what I said when I had 21 books in my Nook library. And now … well, I can’t even talk about it.
Do you have any strategies for me for managing my “want to read” list? How do you keep it manageable?
* In a fit of wild enthusiasm, I admit to giving The Nix by Nathan Hill 5 stars. #sorrynotsorry
** Conservative estimate