Bibliophile’s booklists

I am a maniac when it comes to making lists, and book lists are no exception. I currently have the following set up:

Books Read list. I keep a handwritten reading journal where I write down information about the book (author, title, publication year, pages, rating, rereads, etc.), summarize the plot and write my review. The BR list is an Excel file which contains everything the journal does except the summary and review, and which allows me to gather statistics about my reading habits.

The Library list. This is twofold: a master list of all the books I want to read that are available at the various branches of the Reykjavík City Library and the National Library, and a series of smaller lists, broken down by the location of the books. These I print out small and keep in a Filofax that resides in my handbag.

The Wanted list. An auxiliary to the library list that lists books I want to read but not badly enough to buy, which are not available from the library. This list I check about once a month in the hope the books have been added to the collection, and sometimes they have been, especially if they are new. I occasionally put in requests for one or two of these books to be bought, but it takes months before such requests are processed.

The Shopping list. Books to buy when I have money to spend. These are mostly books I have already read, but want to read again and own, or replacement copies for books I own but have lost or want hardcover copies of.

Author list, otherwise known as the Glom List. Divided up into smaller lists by author. When I find an author I really like, I want to keep track of which of their books I own, which I have already read, which I can get from the library, and which I will have to buy. These lists are mostly to do with series that I want to read in order, and books I own but have yet to read and therefore don’t remember the titles of. This list I also keep in the aforementioned Filofax (I have had that thing for 15 years, and I finally found a use for it).

The Owned list. I started making an Access list of all my books several years ago, but am sadly behind schedule. I really should finish it, if only for insurance purposes, but I haven’t got the time.

The TBR list (To Be Read). This is a master list put together from the Wanted list, the Library list, and a list of books in English I own but have not read yet. I keep it online at, along with copies of the Shopping list and a list of books I’ve read in English. Their tagging option is great for organising lists.

Finally, I have two other lists online: my Amazon wishlist, and my TitleTrader wishlist.

You would think I should be well organised with all those lists, right?
Think again. The only ones I regularly consult are the Author and Library lists and the two online wishlists. The rest are there, should I need them, but I don’t use them very often.


twiga92 said…
Ooh, I love lists too! Have you seen yet? I keep my personal library there and it also has tagging. I've got tags for my TBR, permanent collection, books reserved for a friend. I also have my personal library listed in Access and Excel.
Bibliophile said…
I sometimes think I spend more time making lists than I spend following them ;-)

I checked out when was having problems, and decided I could never use a service that only allows me to enter only 200 books for free. Why pay for a service when you can get it for free elsewhere?
Caroline said…
I love lists too, but I have a pda and can save everything a have on my computer there as well. So for instanve a complete list of all the books I have (so that I never buy copies of books I already possess - something which happened to me in the past), list of books I have read and still want to read. Books that I would love to read for my study (the 19th-century novel)and so on and so forth. The only thing that makes me sad somethimes is that I will never be able to read everything on my lists before I die.
Bibliophile said…
Caroline, I know the feeling. I have sometimes wondered if I should make a lifetime reading plan, just to get around reading the books I think are most important for me. Then I remember how my taste in reading material has changed over time, and decide to just use the reading lists and strike books out if I lose interest before I get round to read them.
Angie said…
I'm old-fashioned, I suppose (if I were honest, I'd tell you I'm really just computer literate), because I keep my lists in a spiral notebook.

I have two lists: a "to be read" list and a "books I've read" list.
TBR lists any books I want to read. BIR lists all the books I've read since 1999 to the present.

I used to keep a list of books I own, but I didn't update it enough to keep it going.
AtaiDanu said…
I have lists too, although not quite as many as you do.

I used to carry around an print out that I created from access so I didn't end up buying a book I already own.

I also have a little spiral bound book that lists the books I want to read. It has little notations beside each entry, saying whether the library has it in their collection, whether I have to put in an inter-library loan form for it or if I have to buy/wait for the book.

I admire the fact that you write little synopsis and ratings for the book, I guess my creative juices aren't running enough for me to do that. Hoping to get a PDA so I can take my list with me as it's easier to keep it up to date on the computer (amazon) than on paper.

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