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Library Updates

Aug 28

[ARCHIVED] Keeping Track of What You Read by Andrea Lorenz

The original item was published from August 28, 2020 11:43 AM to August 28, 2020 11:55 AM

I read A LOT. I read science fiction and fantasy novels, true crime, historical fiction, graphic novels and picture books. So many picture books. In any given year, I will read between seventy and one hundred and fifty books. Because part of my job is to recommend books to you, it’s important for me to keep track of what I read. There are lots of different ways to do this and today I’m going to highlight my favorites.


I would be lost without Goodreads. It’s primarily how I keep track of what I want to read, what I’m currently reading, and what I’ve already read. When you’ve created your Goodreads account and profile (it is free to create a Goodreads account), you can then start curating the books you’ve read or want to read. The way you keep track of books on Goodreads is by shelf. You start with some default shelves - read, currently read, and to read – but can add an infinite number of shelves. I have shelves for each year, different genres, even books I own vs books I borrowed from the library. That isn’t all that Goodreads is good for. You can write reviews and give star ratings to books you’ve read, read others’ reviews, join discussion boards, and enter book giveaways. Goodreads has an app and a website and I like that I can access it on the go (especially if I’m in a bookstore or the library and want to look back on what I’ve shelved as “to read”)

screenshot of my account in library catalog
History and Lists in the Library Catalog

To turn the History feature on,
you need to log in to your library account in our catalog using your library card number and password. (Don’t remember your password?Give us a call and we can reset it in a jiffy!)

  • Click on My Account in the upper right hand corner, then click on Account Preferences.

  • In Account Preferences, click on Search and History Preferences.

  • Click on the checkbox next to Keep history of checked out items? and all the items you check out after that will be kept in your account!

Now you can see your list under Items Checked Out and Check Out History tabs.

If you are browsing the library catalog and see a book that you want to read but are already in the middle of five, you can add it to a list. You can create a list from My Lists or directly from the catalog.

  • When you’re logged in, you will get a button next to the title of a book that says Add to my list.

  • From there you can create a new list or add it to one you’ve already created.

I have lists for Possible Storytime Books, Picture Book Biographies, and Nonfiction I Want To Read Eventually.

photograph of handwritten book log book
Pen and Paper

There’s nothing like good, old fashioned pen and paper too. I’ve kept several lists of books I’ve already read and books I want to read throughout the years. My mom even bought me a notebook for this that had space for titles, authors and even a review!Some library patrons will write their initials on the date due sticker at the back of the book, letting them easily flip to the back to see if they’ve read that one or not. (We’re cool with this – we still put the date due stickers in the back of books specifically for this reason).

Whatever way you decide to it, keeping track of the books you read is a great way to supplement your memory. If you want any more insight or help with any of these methods I’ve mentioned, let us know at the library!We’re happy to help fellow book lovers!