Categorized | Book Clubs, Books, Random Goodies

5 Ways to Organize Your Reading Piles

When it comes to my reading, I’m annoyingly organized. Luckily, when I confessed this fact in a meeting with our team, Ainsley and Katerina confessed that, they too, have a system in terms of figuring out what they’ll be reading next. This led us to believe that there are many of you out there, or there are those out there that are looking for a little direction when it comes to cataloging your never ending book piles.

1. Goodreads This site is so helpful for me. Sometimes I forget what books I want to read—there are just so many!—GoodReads lets me add books to my “To Read” shelf so I can just look there and decide what to read next. I also like keeping track of which books I’ve read. I have shelves for books read in 2011 and 2012—soon one for 2013. And I love the that there’s an app for my iPhone so when I’ve just finished a book, no matter where I am, I can add it to my “Read” shelf right away. – AINSLEY

2. Excel Spreadsheet The joy of having an eReader is that all your books can travel with you on one easy-to-use device. I love my Kindle and it’s almost always with me. The other thing that I carry with me is an excel spreadsheet with all the books listed on the device. Why, you ask? Because I like to see what I’m working with; cover images, descriptions, on sale dates, etc. It may be a bit dorky, but it really helps me prioritize my reading! – LINDSEY

3. Chapter Samplers I never know when inspiration will strike. Sometimes I find a book I want to read but have already planned what I’m going to reading next, sometimes I’m not in the mood for a particular topic, and sometimes the reality is that certain books need to be read first because of the work we do. To combat the forgetfulness that comes when I see a book and don’t instantly write the title down, I use my Kindle to help me remember. I look up the book and download just a sample chapter. The samples are free from the Kindle store and I keep a folder on my Kindle called ‘samples’. When I’ve finished what I’m reading and need a new book, I can browse through the samples to see what catches my eye. The samples not only help to remind me that I wanted to read a particular book, they also give me the opportunity to read a chapter or two to see if I want to continue reading. – KATERINA

4. Book Journal When you read a lot of books, it’s always helpful to document what you’ve read, jot down your favourite quotes and write down why you did or didn’t love a character. Book journals provide a space to recount your feelings about a novel, but they’re also great for writing down your notes from your book club or books you’re looking forward to reading. Whatever your motive, a book journal is a great way to organize your reading piles!


5. Pinterest The social media channel that sucks you in as soon as you type in It’s described as “a content sharing service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to their pinboard.” (Source) But what if you used it to organize those never ending book piles? On Pinterest, you can create a board with titles like, “Books I’ve read in 2012″ or be a little more specific like “Books that had me in tears.”

Whatever way you choose to organize your books is entirely up to you, but we hope that we were able to provide some tips and tricks. Share your organization techniques below in the comments!

About Lindsey

Lindsey Reeder is obsessed with chocolate, coffee and books. It only made sense that she would choose a career in book publishing with a last name like Reeder. As a Coordinator in Online Marketing for Random House of Canada, Lindsey spends her days tweeting and blogging about books that make her laugh, make her cry and everything in between. Follow Lindsey on Twitter at @reederreads or @RandomHouseCA.

13 Responses to “5 Ways to Organize Your Reading Piles”

  1. Thanks for this helpful post. You should see my stack of books! Since I am a book reviewer, my stack(s) are endless!

    Happy reading!

  2. Bill Lee says:

    I am obsessive-compulsive about my book lists. I have a 20-page, 2-column, 8pt.type Word document of the books I have read. I started it in 1992. My Books to Read list is 37 pages long, larger type and two columns, alpha by author. The first column is coded: NL (not available at the public library), L (lthe library has a copy), Read (I have read it but not yet moved it to the Books Read list. There are about 35 titles in each column–about 2,600 titles yet to read! I subscirbe to Publisher’s Weekly so I get advance notice of books published. I’m a retired (recently) editor of business textbooks so I have even more time now to obsess over books, but I also wouldn’t turn down an editing assignment. My next goal is to begin writing my first book of fiction.

  3. I love using Goodreads too, though for me nothing beats being able to actually see my books on shelves – a problem because they’re all stacked two or three deep, plus I’ve already shipped more than half my personal library back home – so I’ve started an Excel spreadsheet of all the books I currently have at the flat, and I’m noting down the countries they’re set in too, because of reading challenges. Otherwise I never know what I have! I like your idea of adding a cover image. Sometimes when I look at titles in the abstract, I draw a blank in my head.

    My big problem is remembering what I have on my Kindle, and when I browse through the titles there, most of them I have no idea what they are! Wish they came with cover images too!

    • Linda L. says:

      I got a Kobo for Christmas and it shows the cover image. It’s a great help since I tend to be more visual and the cover helps my powers of recall. The downside is that if they publish a book with a different cover, I sometimes end up with a second copy!

  4. I’ve got so many books spread all over that I’ve bought duplicates. I use LibraryThing for keeping track of the books I own and where they are.

    I also use Pinterest to pin the cover of “added to my ereader” which covers all the formats I read in.

    I’ve tried excel, a journal(s), GoodReads. LT seems to be working but there is room for improvement.

    • NeverWithoutABook says:

      I’ve been using LibraryThing for about 6 yrs now. It works best for me although I did try GoodReads for awhile. Kept getting to much spam mail tho. LibraryThing has a wonderful review program as well as a Member Giveaway program and I enjoy the perks of both! Keeping organized is a must for me and LibraryThing alerts me whenever I try to enter a book I already own! Saves me a lot of time and money!

  5. Colleen says:

    I don’t know how I lived before Goodreads… I also love that it’s got an iPhone/iPad app and I hooked my account up to my Twitter feed ages ago to tweet my progress updates automatically. But, my favourite part is the barcode scanner – makes it so (read: too) easy to add books to my wishlist while I’m in the bookstore or to add the books I just got for Christmas to my TBR list. LOVE Goodreads :)

    Another app to check out is ReadMore. I think it’s 99 cents. Basically, you add your TBR books to it (it also has a scanner) and it creates a little virtual pile. When you start reading a book, you tap it and it brings up a screen with a button that says “Begin Reading” and you hit that and let it tick away (no actual ticking sound) while you read. When you’re done, you enter the page you finished on and then it will tell you how far along you are in %, how many pages you have left, how much you’ve read of it in the last two weeks, how long you’ve been reading for, how many sessions you’ve read, how long those sessions have been on average, and then it will predict when it thinks you’ll finish, how much time it will take you to finish, etc. It’s AWESOME.

  6. Darlene says:

    I love Goodreads as well, and I am not Excel savvy so instead use a table in MS Word to keep track of my review books.

    Thanks to Colleen’s suggestion, I’m going to look into the ReadMore app as well!

  7. Mrs B. says:

    I use Goodreads. The nice thing about it is if I am at the Library and cannot remember a title I can access Goodreads from the computer there

  8. janet says:

    Great ideas … May I add a 6th?

    I call it the “Give it a rest, you are not going to read that as you have had it for ages so donate it to your local library for their collection or book sale and give yourself a pat on the back”!

  9. Rosalyn says:

    Saved аѕ a favoritе, I liκе youг site!


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