Skip to content

In Which My TBR List Grows Some More

September 25, 2009

spreadsheetThis morning, I realised I didn’t feel like writing a review. I learned some time ago not to try to force reviews-they come out stilted and fake-sounding anyway. So I was just going to not post. But then I realised how much I enjoy it when bloggers post additions to their TBR list. I have a very unscientific way to keep track of my list…I look up the books in my library’s catalogue, add them all to a list, e-mail it to myself, and archive that. Since the library’s e-mail address has a very unique word in it, then I can search the archives for that word, and all of the e-mails pop up. (If a book isn’t in my library system, I tack it on to the end of the e-mail.) I used to have this awesome spreadsheet (that’s a screenshot in the pic-click it to open it full size in a new window)…it was colour coded and included a ton of information and also had the books I owned. But then my laptop got attacked by viruses, so the file probably can’t be saved. :/ It’s my own fault for not backing it up, but I haven’t had the heart to start from scratch again! But the problem with my current way of doing it is it’s impossible to sort the books into any kind of order. I need a different system.

Anyway, my point is, it’d be fun to simply use my blog to keep track of my TBR list. So I’m going to try it out…here are some of the recent additions thanks to the book blogosphere. :)

  • Rob of robaroundbooks completely sold me with his post History’s Greatest Travelogue?, which features The Travels of Ibn Buttatah and Travels With a Tangerine by Tim Mackintosh-Smith, the editor of the former volume. But seriously, with a subtitle like A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah, how could I resist?
  • I first saw Built of Booksby Thomas Wright under its European title Oscar’s Books over at Tiina’s A Book Blog of One’s Own. Then this morning Citizen Reader’s review made me rush over to my library’s site and put it on hold.
  • I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see one of Nymeth’s reviews on this list! Her post on Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand makes it sound simply delicious!
  • I discovered Almanac of the Deadby Leslie Marmon Silk via one of from Stacy’s super-fun quizzes! If you haven’t given them a try yet, it’s like having a book game show every week. :D
  • Obviously, the title of The Texicans by Nina Vida would have quite my eye regardless of the context, butMegan of Leafing Through Life’s review has me convinced I should give Westerns another shot! (Two years ago, I attempted Lonesome Dove and gave up 5 pages in.)
  • Jenny of Shelf Love posted a review of Nicola Upson’s An Expert in Murder. Like her, I’m always hesitant about new authors, but Jenny and I are mystery twins (lol) so I trust her! And it’s set in the 30s, which makes me happy.

Tell me: how do you keep track of the books you want to read?

40 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2009 10:18 am

    I lost my master spreadsheet once – switched to Google Docs and now I don’t have to worry about my computer crashing and can access the spreadsheet from anywhere to update.

  2. September 25, 2009 10:22 am

    Sounds typical, but I keep track with Goodreads. I used to just have paper lists, but that was when only 25-30 books were on the list. I also use Goodreads to track where I first heard of a book.

  3. September 25, 2009 10:30 am

    J. Kay’s has been using software called All My Books to keep track of her reading pile.

    Here is her post:

    My list isn’t as gigantic as hers. So I’ve been using Goodreads to keep track of the books that I want to read. The only problem with that is that I can’t make a comment on who enticed me to read that book…so I send myself an email. Once Goodreads has a comment section, then I’d consider it perfect.

  4. September 25, 2009 10:35 am

    My master list is on a spreadsheet on my palm pilot and will eventually be transferred to an iphone when I get one. I track when I added it and who recommended. It’s a multisheet excel spreadsheet with the master list, read soon, library, and maybe sections.

  5. September 25, 2009 10:42 am

    I’ve started using Goodreads as well. Used to use Amazon’s wishlist, but Goodreads has a spot where you can list where you found the book, so I can remember the original website or blog. Just started using this feature and am happy with it so far.

    Good luck!

    • September 25, 2009 1:36 pm

      Where is is that you can record where you found the book? I would love to start using it.

  6. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 25, 2009 10:43 am

    Thanks for the shout out to my quizzes, Eva! Fun post.

  7. September 25, 2009 10:50 am

    Often I just use my GoodReads account to keep track of the books I’d like to read. It’s not as in depth of a system as your old spreadsheet, but I just add titles to my “to read” shelf, and then also tag them with “to buy/borrow” (so that I know it’s not something I have kicking about already).

    I used to just go and add things to my Amazon Wish List, but I don’t wind up buying most of my books through that site, so it seemed better to migrate away from that.

    I do use a spreadsheet to keep track of books I read, so perhaps I could consider modeling something after your departed one! RIP!

  8. September 25, 2009 10:51 am

    I do something similar but yours is so much nicer than mine! I keep it on Google Docs so I can access it anywhere!

  9. September 25, 2009 11:03 am

    I’ve just been keeping a list, with when I heard about it (by month) and where I heard about it. But I really love spreadsheets, so I may have to do something fancy like your old one. ;)

  10. Jacqui permalink
    September 25, 2009 11:13 am

    At the moment Alphabetical by title! and only using Word – it’s long but I don’t keep all the other info you do – perhaps I should?

  11. September 25, 2009 11:30 am

    Delighted you’re taking my recommendation up on reading Ibn Battutah. I know you won’t regret it.

    In retrospect I should have included a couple of extracts to whet the appetite, but in your case it looks like I didn’t have to.

    Good idea with using your blog to keep track of your TBR pile. I guess I do a similar thing through my ‘On the Radar’ posts but it isn’t quite as organised as this.
    Good job and good luck with Ibn

  12. September 25, 2009 11:30 am

    In about half a dozen different little notebooks. Yeah, ridiculously unorganized, I know. Someday I’ll find time to try to put things in some kind of order… Like that luscious spreadsheet you dangled in front of our noses. Man, I’m still drooling…

  13. historyofshe permalink
    September 25, 2009 11:31 am


  14. September 25, 2009 12:08 pm

    I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I want to read in English. The books I want to read on my own language I just list on a very simple Excel table.

    It is interesting how many books have (sometimes very) different titles in the UK and the US. I must say I think I like Oscar’s Books better than Built of Books… Well, the main thing is the actual text of the book of course! :)

    Have a great weekend!


  15. September 25, 2009 12:20 pm

    I use an old fashioned notebook!!

  16. September 25, 2009 12:34 pm

    You’d have to see it to believe it (hmm…) little pieces of paper from those cube notepads, or the backside of a page-a-day calendar: author, title, and blogger if I remember in time. Right now they are stuffed into the elastic band on the outside of a notebook. Very organized.

  17. September 25, 2009 1:12 pm

    I have lists on my computer, in a file, but also a page on my blog with links to all the blog reviews that made me want to read the books! I haven’t updated it in ages, though- so I have tons I need to add to that list. And, sadly, only a few to be removed because I’ve actually read them.

  18. September 25, 2009 1:24 pm

    I’ve been trying to keep my wishlist through my blog for the last few months, and it’s gotten away from me. I’ll still list “finds” there so I can link back to the blogs where I found them, but I’ll be keeping the full list in a “Wishlist” collection on LibraryThing. I think that will work out better. When I went through the last few months of blog posts to see what I’d wish-listed, I found a few titles I’d linked as “new additions to the Wishlist” two or three times, so I clearly need another system :-).

    But if you really want to use a spreadsheet, I’d suggest Google Docs. It’s not as fully-featured as Excel, but you can access it from any computer.

  19. September 25, 2009 1:32 pm

    I am just looking at the spreadsheet with complete amazement. How organised is that!

  20. September 25, 2009 1:50 pm

    I have a Google spreadsheet for my library TBR list so that I can pull it up any time I’m placing holds online or when I’m at the library itself (i use the browser on my iphone). Then I have my Amazon list for books I want to buy — (which I also pull up on my iphone through the Amazon app) when I’m out at any of my favorite local bookstores.

    These are just easy ways to keep the lists handy and portable and they are saved in remote locations so I can’t ever lose them.

  21. September 25, 2009 1:57 pm

    I have a notebook that I’ve divided up into two sections, fiction and non-fiction. I usually have it with me and so if I’m out and about and happen upon a bookstore or have extra time to spare and end up at the library I can find things out of it or add to it (the latter happens more frequently).

    I usually just record the book’s title and author. For a while I tried to write a sentence or two summarizing the book – but I don’t do that anymore.

    I like the spreadsheet idea, I may have to give that a try. Great blog by the way!

  22. September 25, 2009 2:08 pm

    I have a multisheet spreadsheet to track my TBRs. One sheet is books I own, one sheet is books I don’t own, and one sheet is books I’ve requested or ordered. I track author, title, date I added it, and where I heard about it.

    I’ve tried using Google spreadsheets, the Amazon wishlist, and LibraryThing to track wishlist books, but none of them are as nice as Excel for me. (I do use LT to inventory books I own, but Excel lets me look at so much more data at a glance.)

    But now, reading your post, I’m terrified of losing it if my computer dies and wishing I had a system that’s not based on my hard drive! But since I’ve tried so many, I think the better answer is to do a better job of backing up my data.

  23. Claire permalink
    September 25, 2009 2:11 pm

    I use a notebook. I like the idea of moving to Excel, or even using the wishlist function on LibraryThing, but haven’t quite decided to make the move yet…

  24. Pat permalink
    September 25, 2009 2:25 pm

    I myself cannot believe I just read that you haven’t read the great American masterpiece, Lonesome Dove. Oh, Eva, do promise you will give it another chance!

    Always read, but seldom comment, Pat

  25. September 25, 2009 2:39 pm

    Wow, you have a great system. I just have everything in piles on my TBR “shelves”. I like your spreadsheet and really need to take the time to put something similar together…my pile is getting out of control and I am losing track of some ARCs that I need to review.

  26. September 25, 2009 2:48 pm

    Keep track of everything I want to read? Ha! That’s funny! LOL! :-)


  27. September 25, 2009 5:28 pm

    My mother bought me a computer program that is simply cataloguing all the books I own. For keeping track of books I want, I have a journal – I write down the books, authors, and BAD BLOGGERs that got me interested. You’re featured often!! lol

    And I know about stilted posts etc – it’s far more easier to do when it’s flowing, isn’t it?

  28. September 25, 2009 7:20 pm

    wow…this list of yours is very detailed; it is great though.

    For my TBR’s (that I own) i have an excel spreadsheet, by author, title, genre, amazon average rating and where i got the book from.

    Maybe we all should do a post with our lists so we can build off each others…LOL (Isn’t that what enabler’s do??)

    I also have a hand written list of books I hope to read or acquire some day, but do not currently own.

  29. September 25, 2009 7:28 pm

    I’m really disorganized when it comes to keeping track of books I want to read. I have wishlists at Amazon, Powells, and a list of books I’m interested in at my library, too. I should really consolidate them, but I haven’t decided the best method just yet.

  30. September 26, 2009 7:08 am

    I keep everything TBR on my computer. Currently a word list. the nonfiction is by Dewey Decimal number but I havne’t figure out how to organize the fiction. Supposed to be by decade written, but I don’t have time to add all that info. Sometimes I tihnk I’m too organized :) And I’ve been tracking it every week via my blog and then adding those additions to my lists.

    I’m glad to hear about the books you’ve added to your list!

  31. September 26, 2009 11:56 am

    I use a spreadsheet that looks very similar to yours, although there’s always notes written on various materials that I use to keep it updated. I’m forever grabbing things and jotting down titles no matter where I am (lol!)

  32. September 26, 2009 3:32 pm

    I love to read how others keep their TBR list. I started off with an excel spreadsheet and that was good for a while until one time I printed it out and my husband joked and said it could be a small book in itself! haha…

    I’ve moved on now to a program called Bookpedia. It keeps tracks of my wishlist, books read and I can make other lists (like books not read yet), etc. What’s great about Bookpedia is that I can load it on to my iPod which means I have it with me when I go to a library or bookstore. Less room for buying the same book twice! haha…

    The only thing I haven’t kept track of yet which I’d like to one day is who recommended the book to me. Was it a review, a book blogger, etc. I don’t know if that just might complicate things so that’s why I don’t track it yet.

  33. September 26, 2009 6:49 pm

    Wow, that is an enviable level of organization you have! I used to keep an Amazon wishlist going of books I wanted to read/add to my collection but after awhile I just gave up. Now I let the reading winds take me wherever the whim leads me – there are just too many books for me to keep track of out there.

    But kudos to you!

  34. September 27, 2009 8:56 am

    GGlad I managed to convince you to give The Texicans a try. Now what do I need to do to get you to revisit Lonesome Dove? I loved, loved Lonesome Dove. It’s huge, but the pages flew by, and you know when I say that, it must be true, right? ;)

    As for my wishlist? Well, it’s everywhere, it’s in notebooks, it’s on Bookcrossing, it’s in my mind, it’s….well, it’s a disaster. LOL! I need to figure out a place to put it and stick with it! I’m considering moving the whole mess over to LibraryThing, but the task just seems a little too daunting….

  35. September 28, 2009 7:13 am

    Thanks for all of the answers guys!!! You’ve given me so many potentials to keep track of my TBR books, I don’t mismy spreadsheet as much as I used to. ;)

  36. September 29, 2009 9:10 am

    I used to have tons of paper flying about that kept lists of books I wanted to read. But since I started using GoodReads, that’s how I keep track. I also put where I heard about it. However, for books I’ve won or been asked to review, I have a spreadsheet to keep track. That way I know who gave me what, if I have anything coming in the mail, and if I need to do a review ASAP and who to notify when I do.

  37. October 2, 2009 2:03 am

    I put a star next to the reviews in my google reader and then I move that information onto a new blog post and from there I write out my Friday Finds posts!

  38. October 9, 2009 9:40 pm

    That is a very pretty spreadsheet! Mine’s not nearly that fancy.

    But I put it in Google Docs so even if my computer crashes, it will survive. :-)

  39. October 17, 2009 9:37 pm

    I llist them on Goodreads – in my To Read list.

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: