I haven’t been part of the book blogging community for long (but I’m very happy to be here.) I’ve also been quite unwell over the last week and my inability to settle has resulted in me compulsively reading through all the book blogging sites I can find here on WordPress, as well as checking Litsy over and over again. (Oh Litsy, how I adore you. Seriously folks, there are people over there who do things like hate read and post about One Direction fanfic. Grab some snacks and get over there!) Given this has been this week in particular has been the tail end of July, lots of people are going through their end of month stats and posting their August plans.
This is not the first month I’ve observed this ritual, of course, but it is the first time I’ve paid so much attention to it. And the type of attention people pay to some of their figures.
Let me be clear – I’m not the most organised person in the world. My life is busy. I’m a single parent. I work full time. If I manage to get out of the house of the morning with all my clothes the right side out, I’m pretty happy about the direction of my day. But I can also recognise that one of my flaws is my teeny tiny book addiction.
People track amazing things to do with their reading lives in an effort to be better readers. The whole point of reading is to expose yourself to ideas and situations that are new, am I right? People track pages read. Male to female author split. People of colour? LGBTQ? Audio, ebook or hard copy? Books started versus books finished. How many books they read versus how many they bought.
That last one gave me a twinge the first time it came to my attention. Book acquisition is something that just happens for me. As I ingest most of my books via audio, the Audible Daily Deal is something I check most days – you can get some pretty sweet deals for no more than $3 or $4 US. If something comes up on Litsy which sounds amazing and is cheap, I will grab it so I have it ready to go. I haven’t had a real need to keep a track on my digital acquisitions – it’s not like they take up any physical space in my house (which would be problematic) and I’m always within my budget. But I am aware that my collection is getting a little crazy, and I recognise that I can do something about that to make my purchasing more responsible. In knitting circles, the term SABLE is used to define a large collection of yarn t- Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy. I have fears that I may end up approaching BABLE if I don’t slow down.
So I have done what any red-blooded book lover would do when faced with a problem of statistics collection and organisation. I bought stationery.
I’m taking the opportunity to put into place a few things at once. The plain blue journal will be for noteable quotes. Normally if I’m wanting to take note of something, I will note it on the audio file. Which is problematic if I ever delete it from my device.
The middle journal will help me track my purchases. This will allow me to track what I have bought and why (yes, totally awesome is an acceptable reason), price paid, along with when I eventually read it and any other notes. I’m particularly interested in seeing the lag time between purchase and completion.
The third journal is my list of completed reads. I currently track this on Goodreads, but I think I will enjoy having this information available in a format that I don’t have to switch on.
The only thing not represented that I also wanted to try was some way of tracking books that I’m adding to my TBR without purchasing. But I figure that’s the least of my problems and I shall allow that beast its freedom for the time being.
The other thing people seem to do which staggers me is meticulously plan their TBRs for the coming month. Sorry, that’s just never going to happen. I read to my mood (otherwise what’s the point – required reading seems too much like work!) I have actually purchased some hard copies over the last couple of weeks, just for a change. Look how pretty they are. (Don’t judge me for the two Moriartys, there was a sale.)
I’m hoping to start Nevernight very soon – I’m pretty excited about that one, it looks amazing.
I also have a significant Netgalley pile demanding my attention, and I’m hoping to knock over a good proportion of those titles this month. I do have some very exciting reading awaiting me. I received Netgalley approval for this beauty today, and I’m looking forward to starting on it as well.
How do you organise your reading life? Or are you also reveling in chaos? I would love to hear your tips or tricks.
One way I organized my “want to read but haven’t bought yet” books is to list them on Amazon on a wish list. That way I won’t forget about them! I also keep a running list of books I’ve read in a plain old one subject notebook. I’ve kept it since 1990 (yowza). I also keep a book journal so I can jot down my thoughts on what I read. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so worth it, especially when blogging! I’m also espousing my “embrace your TBR pile! Don’t fret!” philosophy all over Litsy. I was all freaked out about how big my stack was and my husband just said, “But doesn’t buying books make you happy?” and when I said yes, he said, “Then don’t worry about it.” As we say in Louisiana, true dat.
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The Amazon wish list is a good idea – I’ve been trying to locate that feature, but I think it has been moved (on the Aussie site anyway). A list kept since 1990!! I’d love to see what gems you have in there!! I’m with you in the notetaking – I like to do it but the electronic versions just aren’t working for me. Your husband sounds like a wise man – Every now and then I worry that I have worse impulse control than my 14 yr old, but at least I have a bigger budget!!