I want to track books I've read and books I want to read.
January 5, 2008 2:58 PM   Subscribe

Where can I keep track, online, of my current list of books read/owned and books I want to read?

I'm a sci-fi/fantasy reader and I run into problems remembering where I am at in a series, especially since I use the public library whenever possible. But they usually only have the first couple books of a series and I end up needing to track down the rest. So I end up with handfuls of post-its with names of books I want to read all over the house.

I've googled my face off, on AskMe and google itself but I can't seem to find a good site for this. I would prefer something free and online. I want to keep track of books I've read/own and a list of books I want to read. Together if possible.

Save me, avid readers of MeFi! I'll be forever grateful.
posted by CwgrlUp to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
How about Library Thing?
posted by korres at 3:03 PM on January 5, 2008

I use LibraryThing to keep track of the books I own, but it doesn't have a way of just marking a book as read, which is a bit of a pain (although it could be done inelegantly using tags). Amazon Wishlists are where books-to-read usually go.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 3:04 PM on January 5, 2008

LibraryThing is excellent for this sort of thing, and is free for the first 200 books. An unlimited, lifetime membership is only $25, and is well worth it if you are even remotely a book person.
posted by griffey at 3:06 PM on January 5, 2008

If you're a facebooker, the iRead plug-in does pretty much exactly what you're talking about. It may also do that icky facebook data-mining thing, though.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:07 PM on January 5, 2008

How about shelfari? Looks like you can have a list of books you've read, books you are reading, and books you plan to read.
posted by clh at 3:07 PM on January 5, 2008

Librarything is the obvious solution, del.icio.us is another option, and the one I prefer.
posted by jamesonandwater at 3:10 PM on January 5, 2008

posted by mattbucher at 3:11 PM on January 5, 2008

4thing librarything. They're working on "collections", which will make it easier to catalog books you want to read, but for the moment I just use amazon's lists for that. Librarything is pretty much unbeatable for cataloging books you already own.
posted by kiltedtaco at 3:12 PM on January 5, 2008

Best answer: 2nding GoodReads. It has three permanent shelfs of "read". "currently reading". "to read" and you can then organize by as many shelfs as you want. I've found it the easiest to use for sorting.
posted by beautifulcheese at 3:18 PM on January 5, 2008

Do you blog? I'm using the Now Reading plugin for WordPress to track my reading, since my blog is essentially just a notepad anyway.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:29 PM on January 5, 2008

Thirding goodreads. Easy to use and sort through, and you can write both public reviews and/or private notes about books on your shelves (they say 'shelf' instead of 'tag').
posted by lovecrafty at 3:50 PM on January 5, 2008

You ask for "free and online," I offer "paid and on my home computer." But what the heck: I use Delicious Library, which syncs with my iPod. I can have a "shelf" of books I want to read, and that list gets transferred to my iPod. If I have my iPod with me, I have the list with me -- no need to get on to a computer when I'm out and about.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:58 PM on January 5, 2008

You could set up a couple of lists in Amazon. Free.
posted by dzot at 4:02 PM on January 5, 2008

Yes - I do this on amazon, which is very easy.

Set up one wishlist of what you want and another of what you've read. You can move items from one list to another very easily.
posted by Pants! at 4:08 PM on January 5, 2008

All Consuming does this for books, music and movies.
posted by madforplaid at 6:11 PM on January 5, 2008

I do it in a Tiddlywiki.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 9:57 PM on January 5, 2008

Seconding All Consuming. I've used it for 2 years now, it's intensely good at categorizing everything you've read down to the day you finish a book (or film or movie or other), plus the ability to leave notes/thoughts/reviews on the items and recommend things to others on the site.
posted by saturnine at 10:36 PM on January 5, 2008

The advantage Shelfari has over LibraryThing is that it lets you record an unlimited number of books for free: LibraryThing is limited to 200 unless you pay.

They both let you categorize books as read and unread.

LibraryThing seems to have a better user interface though.

You can fairly easily import data from one to the other by saving/loading your book list as a file.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:36 AM on January 6, 2008

I'm a bit leery of keeping such a list on sites such as Library Thing, etc. How long will they be around? Do I need to periodically export my list as a backup?

Since I'm not interested in book discussions and recommendations, I chose a different route. I keep my list as plain text on my mobile phone, which is with me nearly everywhere I go. At the library or bookstore? No problem, just pull it out of my pocket. It gets backed up regularly when I sync my phone.

Obviously your choice of phone will affect the practicality of this suggestion.
posted by schrodycat at 7:53 AM on January 6, 2008

Okay, shameless self plug:

If you do use the Amazon Wishlist, you'll probably also find this useful: a Greasemonkey Script for formatting your Amazon Wishlist. Allows you to have an easy printable version as well as a version you can export to CSV.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:44 AM on January 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Some new services:

BookBump - an iTunes-like application with tons of metadata for each title.

22Books - a book list site.
posted by mattbucher at 8:35 AM on January 9, 2008

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