Blog Hop: Organized Reading

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: How do you organize your books to be read?

So what you’re asking for here is a glimpse into my obsessive organization?  Well then…

I have a ToBeRead List in an Excel document (tracking titles, where I heard about the book, and when I added it to the list).  I also have a Word document keeping track of my current annual reading challenges, including (where relevant) specific books I want to read for them.  For example, for my “Finish the Series” challenge, I have a list of all the series I’m trying to finish, with notes on progress and number remaining.  I sometimes throw in some color coding–green means the book is on my shelf and purple means a book is relevant for the current “Experience” from Stainless Steel Droppings.  (Colors are totally arbitrary, by the way.)

So–I look at all the lists and pick what I want to read next.  That’s influenced by which books are on a more immediate timeline (review copies or something for a three month “Experience” or my Chunkster challenge, where I’m trying to read one a month) or which goals I need to make more progress on, but it’s also largely a question of what do I feel like.  Which is largely influenced by what I’ve been reading, as I often find myself seeking some kind of balance (too much fantasy, time for sci fi; or if I’ve read lots of thick dry books, I need something light and quick).

I usually have a mental queue of my next four to five books, or about two weeks of reading.  That’s how long I have to anticipate to be able to request a book from the library with reasonable assurance of having it come in (and having time to pick it up!)  Planning too far out means running the risk of needing to return a book before I get to it.

I did warn you–crazy organized!  But I find I enjoy my reading more when I do all of this.  I’m not sure I’m reading better books than back in my days of browsing (I doubt it, in fact) but I anticipate my reading more, which brings another level of enjoyment to it.

And I do every so often ignore the lists and throw something onto the library hold list just because it popped into my head and I want to read it now.  Well, a few books down the queue, typically.  But relatively now. 🙂

Now I’m very curious–how do you pick your next book(s)?

About cherylmahoney

I'm a book review blogger and Fantasy writer. I have published three novels, The Wanderers; The Storyteller and Her Sisters; and The People the Fairies Forget. All can be found on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. In my day job, I'm the Marketing Specialist for Yolo Hospice. Find me on Twitter (@MarvelousTales) and GoodReads (MarvelousTales).
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14 Responses to Blog Hop: Organized Reading

  1. Maria Behar says:

    You have a very interesting, albeit quirky way to organize! Lol. Sounds like it sure helps you with your TBR lists, though!

    Alas, my powers of organization are totally non-existent….. Although I do have several TBR lists on Goodreads and Shelfari, they don’t help me select the next book to read. Not at all! So I’m sort of a free spirit, where TBR lists are concerned!

    I really admire how very organized you are, and wish I could do that type of thing. But I was just born this way! (My mother’s been trying for YEARS to get me to be organized. She’s yet to succeed….)

    Thanks for sharing your book-organizing techniques!! : )

  2. Cheryl that’s a fantastic system, I wish that I had some good organisation system that works for me, alas I’m still awaiting for it 😦

    My Friday Hop

  3. Like others have said that’s very organised! I’m glad to hear that it works so well for you and adds to your enjoyment of the books!

    I’m a bit of a haphazard reader. Right now I’m trying to pick out anywhere between two to four books per month and read those, but I’ve been struggling a bit for the past couple of months. I usually read more books than that in a month, so if I’m not in the mood for the next ‘scheduled’ book I won’t feel bad about reading something else. It’s just enough structure to let me stick to it without feeling restricted in my choices.

  4. Ashling says:

    Impressive! I thought my little Excel spreadsheet for my ARCs was as organized as I could get, but I love your idea about also keeping track of your challenges. I fail at so many of them because I don’t do a good job at remembering how much I’ve done for each of them.

    My BBH response

    Ashling @ Reading, Writing, & Anything but Arithmetic

  5. Wow that is super organised! You would hate my haphazard barely organised to-be-read. For physical books I pile them up on top of my bookshelf because you can’t forget them there. Then on my Kindle I have a TBR folder. That’s pretty much it. Although I must say similar to you I do have a list of review copies so I can keep a track on when I get round to them.

  6. It’s great to be so organized and that being so organized makes you enjoy reading more. It wouldn’t work that way for me, though. I have to be a bit sloppy about my reading so that it doesn’t turn into another chore.

  7. Swamp Adder says:

    I use Goodreads to organize my reading lists (http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10643820-swamp-adder). My to-read list is currently at 252, and I’m going through it more or less in order — though I alternate between “next book on the list” and “next book in one of the series I’m currently reading”. And I try to arrange my to-read list such that books by authors I’m familiar with alternate with books by new-to-me authors.

  8. dianem57 says:

    I eeither hear about a book that sounds interesting from a book review or promotion, or I see it when I am browsing. I can have 4 or 5 stacked up, and I’ll go through those if nothing else crosses my path first. Sometimes I’ll have a stack and then find a book that attracts my attention more so the stack will wait. I am not nearly as organized as you – and I don’t have much of a “to be read” backlog!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I like crazy organized. We must be sisters. 🙂

    I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep my books in the order I need to read them.

    Stop by for my full, organized answer if you like. 🙂

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

  10. Wow you take organizing your books very serious! I’m way to lazy for that lol. Here’s my BBH
    http://moniquesmobooks.blogspot.ca/2013/07/book-blogger-hop-5-july-26th-aug-1st.html

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