How to make an unfeasibly long to-read list …

… aka a post about goodreads.com

I started using goodreads about a week ago – after forestofglory’s visit. She showed me her to-read list and I started thinking hm, that sounds like a good way to keep track of what you’ve been reading and what you want to read …

Goodreads BannerI’ve seen goodreads described as books + social networking, and I guess that about sums it up. They have records of books which you can search (but can’t edit, unless you have librarian status), and add your personal connections to – e.g. whether you’ve read it, want to read it, what rating you gave it (stars out of 5), that sort of thing. Books are then on your “shelves” which are essentially tags – you start out with 3 shelves (read, currently-reading, to-read) which are mutually exclusive, and can add extra shelves (which aren’t exclusive) e.g. people add things like “fantasy” “own” “to buy”.

You can make friends with other users, recommend books to each other, write reviews and things like that – which is all pretty cool. But the thing I like best about it is just being able to create a record of what you have read, are reading, and plan to read. Here’s what I’m reading at the moment:

Books: The New Testament: A Very Short Introduction; The Handbag and Wellies Yoga Club; The Princeton Companion to Mathematics

So far, I really like the site. I’m planning to use it both as a way to log my reading (which is pretty sporadic and eclectic – some weeks I’ll read nothing, other weeks I’ll read 5 books) and as a way to follow up my “oh, I mean to read that someday …” plans. The plan is: when I’m browsing in a bookstore or at a friend’s house and see a book that appeals (but that I won’t immediately acquire), I can take a photo of it with my phone and then log it onto goodreads when I get home. Now all I have to do is make lots of library requests and find the time to read them all … a week or so in and I already have 30 books on my to-read list.

Do you use goodreads (or a similar site)? What do you think of it? Do you keep a log of things you’ve read? (and how much do you read?)

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6 Responses to How to make an unfeasibly long to-read list …

  1. Railton says:

    Oooo interesting! I used to keep a “Book of books” which had a list of the books I wanted to read in, followed by the date I eventually read it in. Sadly didn’t keep it up – this might be a good alternative!

    I also have a c.4 foot high pile of books next to my bed to read (mostly compiled during my exams)…. erk!

    • Let me know if you end up signing up – we can be friends!

      What sort of stuff is in your enormous pile of books to read? I’m planning to reread A Game of Thrones next (and then continue onto the others, now that the 5th one is coming out … I’ve only read the 1st and 2nd before).

  2. Railton says:

    Ye, all of the Game of Thrones stuff is in there (all read now – waiting for the next one!), the latter two of Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, “The Machine of Death” (good!), some Terry Prachett, “The Strangest Man” (about Paul Dirac) Gormenghast etc etc. Woo!

    • Woo! I still have to read Game of Thrones … (re-read the first 2 and read the rest for the first time). Ooh, and if you haven’t already read it, I recommend “The Man who loved only Numbers” (biography of Erdos). It’s very good (you mentioning Dirac made me think of it)

  3. Railton says:

    I have read that. I liked it. Have you read “How to be a mathematician” by Halmos?

    I went charity shop shopping for clothes and now have two piles of books to read (the original tower kept collapsing). Oops :-/

    • Ooh, no. I have read some papers by Halmos for my MEd though and he seems like a pretty awesome guy … hm, searching turns up a book called “I want to be a mathematician”, is that the one you were thinking of?

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