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How to Keep Track of the Books You Read

Updated on May 17, 2012

If you are an avid reader or even just a person that casually grabs a book here and there, book reader’s journals are wonderful ways to track what you read. These journals come in handy for report writing, cross-referencing, and recommending titles to family and friends.

When starting a book logging system, the most important information you will want to track is the:

  • Title
  • Author
  • # of Pages
  • Summary/Description of the Book
  • Date completed


There are a few ways to go about the tracking of your books. Here are just a few to get you started:

Social Book Reader Sites

Websites such as Shelfari.com, Librarything.com, and Goodreads.com are wonderful resources for book readers because along with the availability of book reviews, online groups, and message boards, these sites also give you inventory options in which you can track all of the books you have read. These digital inventories also allow you to capture the cover of each title, and will offer you recommendations for future reading based on the books you have rated.

Official Book Reader's Journals

There are many of these journals on the market that are made especially for the tracking of books you’ve read. They are usually priced within the $8-15 range and will more than likely fit your basic needs. The only "problems" you may or may not run into with these journals is that sometimes the inside pages are full of information and/or space that you do not necessarily need, they give too much or not enough room for commenting (depending on your style), and limit you to the number of books you can track. All-in-all, for the price, they are good options if you are looking for hard-copy tracking.

Blank Journals

Blank journals will work similarly to book reader’s journals, however, the difference between the two is that unlike an official book reader’s journal, a blank journal will let you completely customize what you would like to track, and how much room you will need. Blank journals can be personalized and decorated to fit your personal style, too.

Electronic Journals

An electronic book reader’s journal offers a totally different technique for tracking the books you read. Unlike with hard-copy journals that offer no search mechanism, an electronic journal created in Microsoft Excel or Word does just that. Users can also choose to categorize their books according to the last read, alphabetically by title or author, or even by rating so that locating a book is a piece of cake. If you’d like to keep a hard copy on file, there is also the option of printing out the entire database, adding it to a portfolio and updating the list when necessary. In my own personal experience, I have ultimately found this method of tracking to be the most efficient as it can be completely customized and searchable to my liking.

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    • Alison Dittmar profile image

      Alison Dittmar 

      7 years ago from PA

      I love the hands on journal idea, as I love having a journal. But, I use Goodreads.com because it is so simple. Great hub!

    • IvoryMelodies profile image

      IvoryMelodies 

      7 years ago

      This idea surprised me, too, but I like it. Thanks!

    • jeanie.stecher profile image

      jeanie.stecher 

      7 years ago from Seattle

      Well, this is quite a good idea. Indeed if we just do things accordingly, we could indeed keep track of it. Nice article Starry.

    • profile image

      shygirl2 

      7 years ago

      I never thought of it before, but think this is a great idea, StarryNightsDiva. :)Something I should do with all my books, and any I purchase for the future. :)

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