I joined LibraryThing as well as GoodReads and Bookmooch a few years ago, but don’t feel that I’ve ever really taken advantage of any of those services. I mean, I understand in theory why I’d want to have my personal library online, but since the vast majority of books I read are from the public library, I don’t feel my personal collection is really reflective of my interests.
But then Flowerstorm mentioned that she uses LibraryThing tags to keep track of the books she has read every year since 2006, and I thought that this was an awesome idea! And much more useful to me than keeping track of whichever random paperbacks I happen to have at the house. My goal for 2009 was to read 50 books, because I figured back in January that I have more free time than anyone else I know (as I was going to be unemployed for much of the year) and there are so many good books on my “to-read” list.
My current system has been just to write down the books I have finished in a notebook before I bring them back to the library. Being flaky Julia, I of course forget to do this. So basically every month or so I think about what I’ve read lately (“Hmm, wasn’t there some other book I got as well? Maybe I’ll check my overdue charges… “) and jot them down. I added the ones I had listed into my LibraryThing profile (I had no idea there was a “Read but unowned” category – perfect!) and am now up to 43 books for 2009 – most of which I don’t own. But while I was at it, I went ahead and added in some of the books in my collection, as well. I’m going to have to work hard to read 8 more books by the end of the year (remember, I’ve got finals coming up too), especially since I haven’t finished some of the books I’ve put up (I listen to In Cold Blood, for example, when I cycle into the city, and read Eating Animals on the subway, and Great Expectations is something that I read on my iPod Touch¹ when I’m waiting for the bus or whatever.)
So anyway, I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me… In fact, why am I even writing a blog post when I could be finishing a book on my list?
¹ – Well, I used to read it on my iPod Touch, until the damn thing was stolen a few weeks ago.