This post is in response to My Secret to Reading A Lot of Books. I felt like Dan was only touching the edges of this subject, so I wanted to put in my five cents to expand. And voila – a librarian at work.
My Secret to Reading a Lot of Books
Since high school, I’ve considered myself an avid reader of books. Small. Large. Graphic. Zines. You name it – I’m probably going to read it at some point. I studied English – Creative Writing in college in order for me to explore more writing. While I’m not particularly good at writing myself, I’ve come to love all kinds of books. The worst part of reading a lot is trying to keep track of what you’ve read and what you want to read.
I can’t tell you how many times someone tells about a book they’ve read so enthusiastically that I want to read that book too. Then, by the time I get to the book store, I’ve completely forgotten which book.
If your goal is to read a lot–like mine is–there are a few obstacles to overcome:
- Keeping track of the books you want to read
- Refining the list down to ones you’re going to read in the near feature
- Actually reading them
- Retaining the important parts
Keeping Track of What You Want to Read
Goodreads – This is the website I’ve been using for the past six months. I love it. There are three basic lists: to read, currently reading and read. Then there are options to add more lists. Since my goal is to read all the books mentioned in the Gilmore Girls, I have that list ready. I know what I’m going to read next. There is a social networking aspect too and I can recommend books to friends that are also using the service.
LibraryThing – As the website says, LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers. It allows you to create an online library of the books you’ve read, want to read and also the books you’ve lent out. You are able to group these any way you wish. You can create tags (folksonomy) and ratings for the books too.
Refining the List
What Should I Read Next? – All you have to do is enter a book you like and the site will analyse their database to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next. It’s fairly simple. If you join, then you can create lists.
YourNextRead – This one can connect with your Goodreads account. Then you can import all of your shelves from Goodreads into YourNextRead, and vice versa.
Actually Reading the Books
This is most likely the hardest part of this post. Who has time to read? Commuting has been the biggest hurdle to overcome for me in wanting to read, but I found my solution. Audio. Audiobooks are my savior. I even check them out from my library. I’m saving money. I can read one-to-two books a week this way. Get on board, fellow readers. It’s a revolution.
Retaining Important Parts
Use your Goodreads account to write about your favorite parts of the book once you’ve finished. Not only will you have good notes to refer back to, but you will also be informing potential readers about said book. Oh, the magic of social media.