How Do You Manage Your Books to Read?

How do you keep track of your books to read?

If you do GTD and have a “books to read” list, do you consider that to be a type of project list, a type of next action list, or some other type of list?

  • Curtis W. Lindsey

    I’ve found I gravitate towards certain types of books, books which fit my main study interests. So in an effort to keep myself a little more well-rounded, I’ve dedicated each month to reading a differt type of book. So for example, March was books on Jesus (my main interest), while April will be books on the Old Testament. Church history, classics, biography, preaching, the spritiual life, and others are among my monthly categories. I try to keep planned a few months in advance which books I will read for the month.

  • Bryan DeWire

    One of my recent thoughts was to arrange my books on the bookshelf by the order in which I would like to read them. I think it would be a good practice. Of course, it’s not something to be legalistic about, so I would try to make it a highly adjustable system.

    Regarding you 2nd question, I’m not intentional enough to have an answer. I think I naturally think of it as a type of project list.

    What’s your answer, Matt?

  • Jeroen Sangers

    I have a shelve in my library reserved for books to read. It is like a very physical list :-)
    Whenever I finish a book I have a look at this shelve and choose the book I like to read next.BTW, I alwys read only one book at the time.

  • Lisa notes…

    I keep a spreadsheet file–“Books to Read”–that lists the title, author, where the recommendation came from, and the current date. Sometimes I add if the library has it and the copyright date.

  • Scott

    Books that I own but haven’t read are in the “to read” list.

    There’s an “in progress” pile by my bed.

  • Brian Current

    I maintain an Amazon “Wish List” of books I might want to get and whenever I hear of a book that sounds appealing, I add it to my Wish List. It’s a quick way to capture my potential reading. I strategically buy them, though, based on what I want to learn, but with the books I already have on my shelf, I do NOT keep an ordered list of what I’ll read next. I let inspiration do that. I suppose that’s not very GTD is it?!

    I try to read what I’m inspired to read, otherwise I wouldn’t read much. I also don’t force myself to start or finish a book. I try to have 2 or even 3 books going at one time. Reading multiple books allows me to get more reading done by keeping my interest and not getting bogged down on one book. We can easily watch many different TV series during the week, why have only 1 book going at a time?

    BTW, Justin Taylor recently posted Reinke on Reading which has several great links on how to capture more reading time, marking notes in your books and reading with purpose in mind. Tony Reinke also talks about how to organize a library. His posts have completely changed the way I read.

    And, Tim Challies also recently posted Random Thoughts on Reading which I thought was helpful.

  • Tom

    I also keep an Amazon Wish List. I don’t have any type of list or timetable in which I will get to the books on the list. I do go through occasionally and remove books that I have changed my mind about.

  • Pat

    I sound a lot like everyone else here. I have an wishlist to keep track of books I want to read, and each time I make a purchase, I go back through and delete any books that I might have read by borrowing them from a friend or the library.

    Then for books I own but haven’t read, I keep a shelf just for them (currently there are about 10 books on it). If I start a book, but don’t finish it, I’ll put it back on that shelf if I actually want to come back to it, or else I’ll put it on another bookshelf if not.

    I don’t keep track of finished books. I don’t think it would be very useful, and I’d probably just take pride in such a list and post it on my blog.

  • Katrina

    I use It’s technically social networking for book lovers, but I could care less about the social side. It’s free, and it less you divide up your books by ‘I plan to read’ ‘I’m reading’ and ‘I’ve Read’ as well as tag them. And with it being online, my book lists are accessible from anywhere. I used to lose lists of things to be read, which was very frustrating. Now I have one central place that I can add to any time I’m near a computer.

  • Demian Farnworth

    I’ve got a list of topics I’d like to learn about in the next five years and so each year I map out the 50 books I want to read based on those topics. And since my blog is topic driven I do view this as a project list.

  • Caroline

    I have been really pleased with and their “to read” list functionality.