You’ve probably worked out by now that I have a bit of a book addiction. OK – a big book addiction. I love them – even the ones I haven’t enjoyed reading. My house is full of them. And my Kindle’s fast filling with the electronic variety. I’m not a book hoarder though – once they’ve been read, they’re out of here via Amazon Marketplace or BookMooch depending on their condition. But there are always more coming in. I’m sure the postman’s sick of ringing my doorbell! And I don’t plan to stop any time soon.
Last time I counted, I had about 400 books waiting to be read and, at my current pace, it’s going to take 8 years to read them. In the meantime, I have the pleasure of living in a library. But this does beg a question: How should I catalogue them? Or even: Should I catalogue them? Maybe I should just get on with the reading?
I’ve tried various methods to keep track of my books. I’ve used paper reading journals, card index systems, LibraryThing, BookCrossing, GoodReads, Shelfari. For the past year I’ve just been reading them in any old order and blogging the reviews but the advent of the Kindle has made this problematic. It was easy to decide what to read next when all of my books were sitting on a shelf (or in a crate, but we won’t dwell on that indignity!) but given the choice of a paper or an electronic book at each point of selection, I’ve found myself in a bit of a quandry. Really, I want to read my books in the order in which they enter the house so if an eBook arrived before a paperback it should be given priority and vice versa. So do I need to keep a list of what the postman brings interspersed with my visits to the Kindle store?
After playing about with LibraryThing for a while I’ve ended up going for a card-index system. As each book enters the house I’ll write a card for it and add it to the bundle. When the book’s been read and reviewed the card will be filed under author’s surname (I have the dividers all ready). And I want to go back to reviewing in a paper, handwritten journal because I write better that way for some reason. Of course, this new system may go the way of all the others. I’ll never be a librarian and I’ll never be organised. But I’ll always be a reader!
How do you catalogue your books?