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Topic: I could use some assistance (suggestions) for tracking the books that I hav

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Lanai B. (lbyg) - ,
Subject: I could use some assistance (suggestions) for tracking the books that I hav
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 11/19/2008
Posts: 50
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28 books ago I realized I may have a problem.
 
I started each of these books with great enthusiam and part way through each book realized that I had already read the book.
 
Most I recognized within the 1st chapter.  Some even the 1st couple of sentance.  My favorite was a Kathryn Monk where I knew within the 1st couple of words.
 
Of course, I can't quite figure out when I read all of these great Historical Romances.  12 years ago I lived in NYC and rode the subways so I read all of the time AND 11 to 9 years ago I had a job that consisted of a lot of Airplane travel and Motel stays BUT I only read Mysteries with Forensics, archaeology, Native American, and South Western US themes,  I didn't swith to Historical Romances until 12 months ago.
 
After the last 24 hours I have realisted that I have read the all of Suzanne Enoch books, All of Lorraine Heath's books up until her last 4 book series, The Katie MacAllister Men in Kilts (etc.), everything that D. Mullins, and some odds and ends on my books shelf.
 
After the 3rd Suzanne Enoch book I realized that I could knew I could avoid re-reading something by picking up one of my 2010 books BUT I wanted to see how bad my problem was SO I kep looking at the books on my shelf that were published before I started trading on PBS...
 
That is how I got up to my entertaining number of 28 (and I have 6 more Lorraine Heath books that I am doubtful of).
 
So here is where I am asking for advise...  How do you keep track of the books that you have already read.  I was just using the STARS and the "BIR" notations that PBS has but I am wondering is someone else has discovered something else that is better.
 
Thanks for the Assistance,  Lanai
Date Posted: 3/22/2010 2:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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http://www.fictiondb.com - Choose free or premium (w/o ads + addt'l search capabilities). Track what you have, what you had, what you want. Track what you've read, what you plan to read, whether you liked the book or not. See series in chronological order so you'll know what you're missing. See synopses, cover art, and all the ISBNs assigned to the books you're trying to find.

Kelly, the webmaster behind fictiondb, is a romance fan herself and a PBS member. She does a great job of keeping track of books for me.

Colleen

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 3:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2008
Posts: 1,770
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I used to keep a spreadsheet on my computer, but I got sick of entering all the information.  Now I use book collector software (collectorz.com).  I like it because it accesses the book info online (from Amazon & other sources) but you don't have to BE online to work with it.  I've entered all of my TBR and WL books so far, and now am slowly adding my reminder list books to it.

I hate when I get all excited about a book, only to find out I've already read it!  LOL

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/5/2008
Posts: 741
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I just use the BIR (Books I've read) here on PBS.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 3:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 234
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I created a simple excel spreadsheet..    If a book goes out as an order or as a freebie I then color the line so that I know I don't have it. 

BUT, it's only as good as the person (me) inputting  the data. :)

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2009
Posts: 296
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I think goodreads rocks - and its free.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2009
Posts: 415
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I just started using Goodreads and it seems to be good, but I will have to agree with the spreadsheet idea.  That is how I have been keeping track of everything I have read and want to read. Not only do I have title, author, and if I have read it  I also included columns that show if my local library or best friend has a copy.  You can really personalize a spreadsheet to fit you.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 808
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I used to use goodreads and was even a librarian so I could add synopses. What I found frustrating is that they are ISBN-oriented. So a book that's been published as a hardcover, paperback, anthologized, published in Spanish, etc. could have several listings, each having reviews on that particular ISBN edition of the same book.

Moreover, as I mentioned, I was a librarian for goodreads, constantly adding descriptions/synopses to romance books. I got burned out. I like fictiondb.com because it's first, author-oriented. I can see an author's complete booklist, all her pseudonyms, all her series and related books. With a click, I can see all her books under all her pseudonyms. And most of the books are already described for me which helps jog my memory when I can't remember if I've already read that book. Under a book's description, I can see all the ISBN's under which it has been published in English, including any anthologies in which it has been re-issued.

Goodreads is very flexible when it comes to categorizing books on various "shelves" in your collection, adding reviews and commentaries which can be read by your goodreads friends, and it's good for building a community of like-minded readers.

But for keeping track of authors we like, books we like, and books we want, fictiondb.com is so much easier. I just do a search for an author's name, then click on the blue "+" to show I have it on my shelf, the purple "+" to add it to my wishlist, the gold "+" to indicate I've given it away but keeping it on my BIR list and the comments I've added to it.

Colleen

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 5:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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GOODREADS!!!  And its free.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2008
Posts: 655
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Another goodreads user.  Love it.  I've used LibraryThing as well, but I like Goodreads better.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 6:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2010
Posts: 255
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I've been keeping my list in a little composite book from wally world but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.   I'm gonna try goodreads myself too, I seen Sherri's thingy from another post and it looks pretty neat and alot more organized to me.   Looks alot easier. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2009
Posts: 594
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I use excel, but after reading this post, I think I'm going to try Goodreads.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 7:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,554
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I must be the odd one.  I don't use anything to track books I've read.  I don't use that feature here on PBS, not interested in rating books.  I don't keep a list either on paper or on my computer or on any website.  That's just too much time I could spend reading!

I can usually read the description of a book and remember if I've read it or not.  I very very rarely end up with a second copy of a book I've either read or own.  I don't know why that is, I must have a good memory for what I've read.  Which is weird because I usually can't tell you what day of the week it is or what I did yesterday or even last week.  I guess I remember the important things like books I've read!

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2007
Posts: 38
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For about 30 years I just used a spiral notebook, where I would write the books down as I read them:  Title, author, a sentence summary of plot and the date.  Last year I worked on putting it all into Excel (I like to type and organize :P )   Now I keep adding books to my spiral notebook and will add them to Excel whenever I have time...maybe once a year.

Mary

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2006
Posts: 173
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I use Byron Reference, a database system for romance (you can also bet mystery and scifi modules).  It is more expandable and customizable than fictiondb.com, for example it lets me track and even link to my ebooks, and I can create more folders to categorize books (I've added 'loaned out', 'on order', 'status unknown' for books I've lost track of, etc.).  Its a bit more expensive, especially to get the initial database, but updates are $30 a  year (updates are automatically downloaded several times a year). 


I also subscribe to fictiondb, because I like their links to reviews, and it seems weird but their author series tend to differ so sometimes it helps me fill in missing books. 

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 9:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 190
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I have a group of authors that I like and I print out the bibliography from the authors website and highlight them as I read them.  Also I keep a list of all the books I have read through out the year.

Date Posted: 3/22/2010 9:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I use the BIR here and goodreads. But I do it by title not ISBN.  So when I'm perusing someone's shelf it'll show that I rated the book. 

Also when I'm out and about and see a book I'm interested in-if I have any sense that I might have read it-I write the title/author down and look it up here.

Obviously this isn't full proof but I seem to more likely end up with a duplicate of a TBR book then rebuying one I've already read.

Sometimes when I'm kind of bored or have a few minutes to kill-I'll search an author and then star rate everyone that I know I've read. 

ETA: I guess I'm lucky like Sarah and I can usually tell when I'm looking at buying a book if I've read it already.  What I can't seem to always remember is if I have it in the TBR.  It's been years since I've picked up what I thought was a new to me book and realize it's one I've already read.



Last Edited on: 3/22/10 9:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2010 1:35 AM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2006
Posts: 673
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I used to write handwritten lists but I lost my notebook. Then I kept records on private blogs.

Now I use Goodreads and I am very happy with it. It's a information and social networking all in one site

Subject: Goodreads
Date Posted: 3/23/2010 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2009
Posts: 594
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Yesterday I created an account and verified my email address on Goodreads.  Last night and this morning I added around 200 books and now it says my email address doesn't exist!?!  So I had to re-register, using same name and email address, but I have to start all over adding my books!

Has anyone else had similar problems with Goodreads?

Date Posted: 3/23/2010 3:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2010
Posts: 255
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 Gosh Mary that stinks!  I just started on mine the other day havn't had any problems.   I've been fixing mine for two days can't imagine having to add over 300 books again.   Hopefully it won't mess up on ya again.



Last Edited on: 3/23/10 3:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/23/2010 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2009
Posts: 594
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Not to worry...I started over and everything is going good this time.  I've got almost 700 books entered already!   I also got an iphone app to use so I'll never be without my book lists...;-)

Date Posted: 3/23/2010 11:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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I did eventually start a simple spreadsheet program and use it for grades and month read for an online book group I'm on with several readers.  But, I still use my simple Word Processing file I started several years ago when I also started finding too many dupes (even with a good memory having so many.  I just started one day and kept adding as I had time or went through more, and making sure to add from that point on when I purchase, etc. to keep current ones up to date.  I just type author last name, then first,  indent and list books I want, upcoming and month (that's for quick checking what I might want buying online so it's all there on the PC in one spot no matter the vendor), then under that the books I own for that author.  I use symbols/numbers  and/or colors to indicate series.  You can add in any other stuff you want, but I do mainly owned/want alpha by author, then title.  You could do this easily for just owned if you don't want to add in upcoming.  I used to download the list to my handheld when shopping in a bookstore and planning on buying several, but now I shop 99% of the time online, so I just open the file and look.  It will take some time to add all you already have if you have a lot TBR, but eventually it gets caught up.  Just start with books you buy now, the ones you are currently reading, then add in the rest a few minutes at a time when you have time, at least it's started.  I remember adding to mine when I first started watching TV at commercial breaks or waiting on long phone calls.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 9:06 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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I pretty much never have that problem unless it's with books I read a long time ago & just forgot about.  Usually I can tell by reading the synopsis though.  You would think it would happen more often given the way I immediately forget half of what I read.

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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So here is where I am asking for advise...  How do you keep track of the books that you have already read.

I have over 90 Excel Spreadsheets on the authors I read.  In each spreadsheet I have a worksheet listing all the books they have published (through 2010) and one that lists all their series.  I then have columns next to the books for "Library", "Shelf" and "Read".  I have all the books marked that I can get from the library or that are on my shelf.  When I finish reading a book, I go in and mark it read.  This system works well for me.

BTW, if anyone would like a zip file with the 90+ author spreadsheets (Romance and Romantic Suspense), let me know and I'll send it to you.  You will have to give me your real e-mail address since I can't attach anything to a PM through this forum.  I would be happy to send you a list of what authors are in the zip file before sending it.

 

Date Posted: 3/24/2010 1:16 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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So here is where I am asking for advise...  How do you keep track of the books that you have already read.

Goodreads.  I have a "READ" shelf.

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