I’m a pretty dedicated Type A, but even I drew the line at my borderline-OCD friend’s array of spreadsheets tracking his annual book, music, and movie consumption. It just seemed like way too much administrative time that could be better spent on the couch, reading more books. Until recently, that is, when a few embarrassing memory lapses (like re-requesting a book from the library that I’d already borrowed and read… guess it wasn’t that memorable) convinced me that I needed a trackable system. Enter Goodreads.
Goodreads has been around for a few years now, and its claim to fame is stacking a reading-habits-tracking system on top of a social network. Not only can you rate your favorite books, add titles to your “to-read” list and change their status as you work your way through them, and add info on exactly when you read them, but you can share recommendations with friends, see what they’re reading, and chat about specific books via comments and messages. Statisticians can generate reports on the total number of books (or pages) they’ve read in a given period, search books read by publication year, or set themselves reading goals and allow Goodreads to give you progress updates. If that’s too much information for you, just use the features that appeal to you and ignore the rest.
So far, I’m enjoying the ability to keep a detailed list of my reading history, although I haven’t gone back and rated too many of my pre-2011 reads. Curious? You can find me on Goodreads, check out what I’m working on, and say hi. Fortunately for us all, there’s no “read about 50 pages, couldn’t get into it, and never went back” category, because that would probably be my biggest list.