Tracking Your Reading

After being asked for book recommendations for the umpteenth time, I finally decided to track my reading all of last year and into this year. Not only do I have access to easy recommendations, but also a genuine sense of accomplishment comes over you towards the end of the year. You can also track daily reading, set goals, and many other options.

You can customize how much time you put into a reading app (I like to log when I read and do ratings at the end!), but there is also a tremendous amount of options for apps and websites to use. Here are a couple I can vouch for, The StoryGraph being my tracker-of-choice.

Option 1 (The Obvious One): Goodreads

Love it or hate it, Goodreads is an integral part of any librarian’s life. Patrons know it, and whether we like it or not, often swear by it (I once had a patron insist I look up the books they were checking out on Goodreads—if it was under 4 stars, back to the stacks with it). Goodreads is free, it is comprehensive, and it has an incredibly active reviewing community. You can attach both your Amazon account and your Libby account to Goodreads to make tracking even easier. Goodreads also offers recommendations and reading stats, along with helpful widgets to add to your email signature, and many more features I am sure I am unaware of.

Goodreads is the vanilla with sprinkles of reading trackers. Well-known and reliable.

Option 2 (The One for Data-Lovers): The StoryGraph (SG)

To be honest, I saw someone who has been a book nerd and writer for their whole lives using SG, and I checked it out. I’ve been hooked ever since. SG is attractive to me because of two things: the pointed questions in a review instead of just a blank space for a paragraph, and the data tracking. For comparison, here’s what Goodreads asks when you review a book:

 Compare this with what SG asks:

The guided reviews are great, but the real star is the content warnings. Eventually, I am sure every service will have some version of this, but SG is leading the way. Additionally, SG focuses on stats throughout your yearly reading journey—tracking what moods you favor, the pace of books, how large they are, genres, and more. That said, there is a paid version of SG that I am wholly unfamiliar with, as I get everything I need from the free version. Here’s an example of a year-end data set:

Other options:

These are the only two I am intimately familiar with, but there are many options out there (including good old-fashioned pen-and-paper tracking/journaling!). Here is a site with a list of helpful suggestions:

What programs/websites/apps do you use? Any tips/tricks you’d like to share? Drop me a line at:

Happy tracking!

Cameron R.S. Smith | Cooper-Siegel Community Library