Reading apps
September 9, 2019 8:24 PM   Subscribe

What app are you using to track your book reading?

I started using Library Thing on the computer this year. My aim is to keep track of what I've read mostly for myself - I make short 2 or 3 sentence notes not reviews. I don't give stars or ratings. I'm not opposed to a social aspect of a book tracking app but it wouldn't be my main reason to visit.

Now that I've gotten used to tracking I'd like something I can have on my phone for jotting notes on the go. What app are you all using for this these days?
posted by latkes to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I think a lot of people use GoodReads which can do this pretty basically. I have a home grown tool which I use. Not recommending it but just to say that this year I decided to track my reading list also with Twitter. I just have one long thread (well, two actually). Photo of book + title + a sentence or two. Gives me a date, a reminder of what it looked like and a few words. I'm curious what else is available. I write longer reviews using my own tool but I've really enjoyed the mild social features of Twitter for finding other books to read and interacting with other readers.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 PM on September 9, 2019

...I've been using fanfare. Which is not really how it's meant to be used. So I'll be watching this thread with interest.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:32 PM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I like using Litsy, which is also run by the Library Thing team. It is basically like Instagram for books, but I use it mainly to take pictures of blurbs I like of whatever I'm reading at the time, or to note something that I wanted to remember.
posted by toastyk at 9:56 PM on September 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Honestly, I just use a Google spreadsheet. I've found that it's the least hassle, and I love being able to choose exactly what info I enter.
posted by Tamanna at 11:37 PM on September 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

Goodreads. I tend to give star ratings plus tag things (mostly "abandoned" for books I nope out of).
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:51 AM on September 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use Goodreads and really like it, and I don’t really use the social aspect at all. Goodreads can be as simple or as complex as you want. I give star ratings, but you don’t have to do so. You can write reviews/notes, or none at all. You can categorize your books, or simply tag them as ones you’ve read. I find it most useful to keep track of what I want to read—when I’m in a bookstore or read a review, it’s easy to add it to my Want To Read It shelf—you can even scan the bar code of a book to add it really quickly.
posted by bookmammal at 6:08 AM on September 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use a customized WordPress site to do this. You could easily do it with vanilla WordPress by using posts w/ tags & categories.
posted by nosila at 6:11 AM on September 10, 2019

I'm a giant nerd so I just have an Excel sheet. I've tried writing reviews on my blog, and keeping up at GoodReads, but it just started to feel like a chore so I quit.
posted by uberchet at 6:21 AM on September 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use Gerty, which is from the same developer of Marvin. It is a wonderful book reading journal and epub reader. It is very full featured. Notes sync to dropbox.
posted by jadepearl at 6:22 AM on September 10, 2019

I've always used LT and never got into Goodreads, and I'm also not interested in its social-media capabilities. I have two LT accounts. One is simply a tally of books I've read. I used to tag but got bored with it, and because I like books as objects I also make sure all my covers are of the editions I've actually read. The other account has a login name that lets me know it contains only books I haven't yet read but would like to (I read book reviews almost as much as I read books). For this account, I use the LT mobile app on my iPhone (don't know if they have an Android version, sorry). This way, when I'm at the library I can sort by author if I'm wandering the fiction stacks, or by date of entry if I'm looking for something new I recently saw a review of. I really have no complaints at all with the mobile app.
posted by scratch at 9:24 AM on September 10, 2019

I use Evernote. I have one note that serves as an index / straight chronological listing of what I've read. Usually a paragraph or two about my impressions of the book, at most, but occasionally I'll take copious notes, and rather than overload the index with them, I'll make a link (within Evernote) from the index listing to a separate note just for that book. Not very sophisticated or anything (and this started life as a simple listing in Apple Pages, then Word) but Evernote does a good job with smartphone integration (I'm using the free version; not sure how much longer that will be an option, tbh).

(Evernote also contains my list of books I'm interested in, and I'll do a quick review of that when I'm out and about.)
posted by Bron at 10:07 AM on September 10, 2019

Goodreads is right on the kindle so it makes pretty easy. I don’t do anything social with it at all. I read a bunch of dead tree books too and the mobile app is way better than it used to be.

And I think the algorithms work bc I do get good relevant recommendations from amazon now. ( for books at least...)
posted by sio42 at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2019

A simple textfile (organized by month and year) named Reading List, updated whenever I remember to do so. I don't need bells and whistles.
posted by tenderly at 3:17 PM on September 10, 2019

Of interest/relevance: Goodreads is Broken (HN discussion)
posted by WCityMike at 5:38 PM on September 10, 2019

I use an iPhone app literally called Reading List. I'm on an extremely old iPad right now so linking is tricky, but this link might work... if not, search for "Reading List - Book Log" on the App Store.

I do know its developer, so I hope it's OK to recommend it, but I wouldn't use it if it didn't meet my needs. The things I particularly like are that it's quick and easy to use (scan to add a book, swipe to mark it as read), it offers lookup by bar code or manual search as well as full manual entry for anything obscure, and it supports both personal notes and creation of arbitrary lists (so when someone asks me for a recommendation, I can quickly scroll through e.g. all the fantasy novels I've read this year, or all the novellas). The ease of use means I've managed to use it consistently for over two years, which is better than I've ever achieved with pen and paper or a notes app, and at 550 books it's still highly performant.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2019

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