Saturday, January 4, 2014

#anz23mthings Thing 10 Social reading

Over time I have investigated a few different book and reading sites. Bookjetty, LibraryThing and Goodreads stand out amongst the ones I have used most. And I think ultimately the choice depends on what you are mainly using the tool for.

These days I use Goodreads regularly and not any of the others.  I don't want to catalogue my books at home. The non-fiction is arranged in broad DDC categories and the fiction is in a bit of a jumble but all in the one bookshelf and it needs weeding. Most of my new purchases are ebooks and I can search for them in their apps.

What I want a reading tool for is primarily to monitor my own reading and to have social interactions with followers and authors.  So I decided a few years ago that Goodreads was the one I wanted to use.  I have nearly 300 friends from a range of backgrounds and covering most elements of my life. I can't ever keep up with what they are reading but I like to see their opinions about new books getting added to my to-read shelf. We don't always agree but that doesn't matter. 

I mostly use the Goodreads app on my iPhone and have it linked to report to other social media about my reading progress. I usually find the books I am reading on there but have occasionally had to catalogue a title not already present.  However, some times I just don't bother recording those titles.

I set an annual target for my reading on Goodreads but I keep it very modestly at 52.  I know people who read 365 a year but I am not really interested in doing that.  I just really want to keep a record of my reading as proof to me that I really still do it.

And therein lies a problem. I really like re-reading books. But if I re-read books the re-reads are not counted towards my annual target as the books still have their original completion date.  I have got around this in previous years by adding shelves called "read-2012" etc.  Or at least I had thought I had. However, this year I have had a real difficulty.

Elizabeth Peters
I reread a whole swag of Elizabeth Peters' books last summer in sweltering, can't do anything heat. So they are counted in my read-2013 shelf.  However, quite late in the year when I was ill and with my cotton-wool head barely capable of reading, I picked up a well-read Elizabeth Peters.  Of course, that didn't get counted either in my target or in my read-2013 shelf as it was already there once. And it got worse. After I had read that book, I went to Elizabeth Peters' site to identify the other books in the series. And I discovered that she had died. So I then reread a swag of her books which I had already reread in January 2013. This means that to calculate my annual reads I need to add the number of these books to the number of the books in my read-2013 shelf.

These calculations are not beyond me, but I really do wish that computers could do the stats for me.  It also really under-estimates the number of books read in Goodreads annual targets IMO.  Or maybe others don't re-read books?  Do you re-read? In total, I read (including re-reads) at least 106 books last year. I say at least as I think here were some others that weren't on file.  I am very happy with that as I had set a target of 52 books, the same as I have now set for 2014.

Goodreads with its iphone app is a tool that I use practically daily and a great example of a mobile tool. You can check out my Goodreads profile here.  Please feel free to add me as your friend.  I am always happy to have more.

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