About Me: How do you keep track of review books?

Posted September 11, 2014 by Lola in Lola's Ramblings / 20 Comments


About Me is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or review. About Me posts usually are about books, but are more personal discussions of a certain topic. If an About Me post is about a non-book topic it gets the non-book content posts tag.

Today I am going to talk about review books, I know some people make spread sheets or something like that to keep track of their review copies and when to read them. So I want to talk about my system for review books, if you can actually call it a system.

How do I keep track of review books?
While I don’t have a very neat system for keeping track of review books, it works for me. Basically every time I receive a book for review I add it my for-review shelf on Goodreads. If I have read a review book they will go to my got-a-copy-for-review-reviewed shelf (yeah the name of that shelf is a bit long, but I couldn’t think of a way to make clear what I meant in less words).
If the review book in question has a deadline for when I have to review it, usually the case with review books for tours only, then I’ll add an event to my google calendar which say review XX and I make that event red. If I have read the book I change it to white. So mainly I use Goodreads to keep track of which books I have for review and Google Calendar to keep track of when I have to read them.

How do I decide what to read next?
I am a mood reader, so usually I just pick up whatever book I am in the mood for. While that sounds a bit simplified I actually have some sort of system for it. It basically goes like this:

  1. Check Google calendar. When deciding what to read next the first step is to check my google calendar to see if I have any upcoming deadline reviews. If I have one I’ll probably start that book unless I am really not in the mood for, this also depens on how soon the deadline is. If I don’t have an upcoming deadline reviews I’ll go to the next step.
  2. Check my goodreads for review shelf. If I don’t have any upcoming deadlines, I take a look at my for review shelf to see if there’s a review book that catches my attention. If there’s a review book that I want to read now I’ll start that one, if not on to the next step
  3. Search my mind for any recently acquired books. If I don’t have a deadline book and none of the books I have for review catch my attention I try to remember any new books I recently got. Often this is more a subconscious process where the books I got recently are just more near the top of my mind and when wondering what to read those are usually the first to come to mind.
  4. Check out the other books I own. Then if none of those steps lead to a book to read I finally take a look at my goodreads shelves for to-read and books-that-I-own and see if any book catches my attention. Or I stand in front of my bookshelves and see if there’s a hardcopy book that I want to read.

Nowadays I just have a sort of list in my mind of books that I have to/ want to read next. This list is usually made of deadlines books, reviews book I want to read soon and non-review books I want to read soon and then rearranged in a list and then when I finish my current read I just go on to the next item on my list. I like deciding what to read next before I finish my current read, but the mood reader in me sometimes hates this as well as it eliminates the mood aspect a bit. I do keep my mood in mind when making this list in my head and sometimes switch things around depending on my mood. Okay now I’ll make it sounds way more complicated then it actually is, but I hope it sort of makes sense :).

So my question to you is:

How do you keep track of review books? And how do you decide in which order to read them?

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20 responses to “About Me: How do you keep track of review books?

  1. It’s always so interesting to see how other people go about scheduling their reading. I like your use of Goodreads with yours, having them all on one shelf must be very convenient (and I should go make one myself as well).

    I’m a lot less organised – I have a blog calendar in which I write down the posts I want to post on that day, and if I have a book review set for a certain date I’ll put it in there. Once in a while I’ll check if I have a deadline coming up, and then I’ll read that one. But usually I just kinda flounder between review books and my own books, not in any particular order.
    Celine recently posted…Review: The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall KulperMy Profile

    • I like beign able to have all my review books on one shelf and just scroll past them to see if any of them catch my attention. Although sometimes I forget to remove them from that shelf when I have read them, oops.

      On my google calendar I also write down which post i have scheduled for eahc day and I use some coour coded system where purple in blog post and then green are things in my personal life, like when my mom comes to visit. And I use two different shades of light blue and green for the blog tours I organize and when to send out invoices and media kits. In busy months it can look very overwhelming. But I think having a blogging calendar is very handy to keep track of everything, I don’t know what I would do without my calendar.

  2. I function much in the same way you do, Lola. On Goodreads, I have a shelf called ARC and another called Review Books. And I have also created separate shelves with the release date month for example one eARC will only be released in December so it’s on my ARC shelf and on my Dec-2014 shelf.
    I read books depending on my mood, too, and I really don’t like it if I feel like I have to read a certain book right now. And I’m really trying to limit my ARCs because I have so many books I have bought, some pre-orders from authors I adore others parts of series I love, and I sometimes don’t have the time to read those straight away.
    Great post, Lola πŸ™‚
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Up Close and (un)Conventional #7 – OrganizationMy Profile

    • Sounds like you have a well working system! I prefer to use google calendar for the actual deadlines, but I see the possibilities of having a shelf for that as well.
      I am trying to limit my ARC’s as well and have been trying to get review copies without deadlines, as that put less pressure on my reading schedule and let’s me read by mood. Although I feel guilty sometimes when I get a review copy and months or even years later still haven’t read it.
      Thanks for stopping by Lexxie!

  3. Your system is a lot better than mine, I don’t really have one at all, haha. I mainly add all my stuff to two different Goodreads shelves and hope I remember to check them periodically so I can get reviews out on time (I almost never remember to check) I really like the idea of using the calendar though, I should probably start doing that. As for choosing my next read, I just pick up whatever I have at the time that sounds interesting.

    • It sounds more organized then it actually is, I think most of it is in my head and goodreads and google calendar are handy for keeping track of things. I like being able to pick whatever sound sinteresting, although I have some review deadlines at the moment which prevent me from doing that.

  4. I track my books in 2 places – on my Goodreads review shelf and also on an excel spreadsheet. I thought GR would be enough but I can’t include all the info I want like publication date, etc and be able to see it at a glance. Excel works perfectly for me. I don’t overly worry about the order I read books in though. I just read according to the mood I’m in as that works better for me.
    Your system sounds like it’s working well for you.
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Book Review : Free to Fall by Lauren MillerMy Profile

    • Indeed Goodreads only doesn’t give enough information, I can see how using excel next to it would be a good option as well. You can fit as much information as you want in an excel sheet.
      For me google calendar works for now, luckily I don’t accept too many books with deadlines.

  5. Well, compared to your reviewing system, mine is actually pretty sucky.

    Let me see…

    How do I keep track of review books?

    If I have acquired an ARC, I immediately put them on my Currently-Reading shelf. I don’t care if I already have accumulated 20 ARCs in just a month, I’ll just cram all of them in my Currently-reading shelf. I’m too lazy to make another shelf intended for arcs-to-review. But anyway, the problem with my current system is that it makes everything mixed up because aside from the ARCs, I also have other books there that are not ARCs but I’m also reading.

    Moreover, I also list all my to-read-and-review ARCs on a piece of paper with their publication dates. I find this system so much easier to keep track of my ARCs because I don’t have to click regularly click the ARCs on my goodreads shelf just to re-check their publication dates. The list is pretty helpful too because I can stay updated even if my work assigned me to places where there’s no internet connection. πŸ˜€

    How do I decide what to read next?

    If I run out of ARCs, I just pick any book that I am in the mood to read. If I have ARCs, that’s another thing. I am very busy person (just like everyone else) so I cannot afford just to pick a random book out of the blue while I still have ARCs that have submission deadlines. So if I have ARCs, I usually stop myself from picking other books and just concentrate on my ARCs. I pick them up based on their publication dates.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Review: City Of StairsMy Profile

    • I use my currently reading shelf only for books that I am currently reading. Writing things down is really handy sometimes, I always have a noteblock next to my computer to jolt things down if I need to. And indeed you don’t need an internet connection for that :).

      I am quite busy with review books at the moment, so I can’t mood read as often as I want to and sometimes it’s nice to know what to read next already.

    • How fun to hear you have the same system as I do. Goodreads is so handy for keeping trakc of books and review books. I never get any physical ARC’s, but I imagine I would just put them werever there’s space on my shelf.

  6. It sounds like you have a really good system there! I don’t get like STACKS of review books so I don’t really have to worry about keeping track. I just have mental notes. I usually read books according to release dates, instead of, say, mood reading…so I’m rarely behind. Remembering to POST the reviews is another matter entirely. πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #31 || the week of reading rageMy Profile

    • I don’t get stacks either, but I accumulated quite a lot of e-books I got for review over the years, some I got a while back and still haven’t read. Reading in order of release dates does make sure you are rarely behind, but unfortunately it just desn’t work me.
      I never have that problem of remembering when to post the reviews, I usually schedule my review on my blog directly after reviewing it. And as I don’t read as fast nowadays I am always happy when I finally have a review to post, lol.

  7. Sounds similar to my tracking “system” (if you can really call it that), with some small changes. Books that I get for a tour go straight into my calendar – I just use my regular Google calendar, the same one I use for things like kids’ doctors’ appointments (that way everything’s in one place). I actually don’t specifically mark those books in any special way on Goodreads because I know they’ll be accounted for since they’re on my calendar. Once they’ve been posted, I just delete the entry from my calendar completely and mark the book as Fiction-Addiction-Read (meaning that I’ve read the book and reviewed it on FYFA – ALL books I review get marked this way, whether they were specifically given to me for review or not).

    For other random review books, I mark them as To-Review on Goodreads and then check there when I want a new book to read (unless some other book has struck my fancy). I often sort my To-Review books by publication date so I can try to post my reviews close to their publication dates if possible. Doesn’t always work that way, but I try. Once I’ve read and reviewed the book, it goes into that Fiction-Addiction-Read category.

    This seems to work pretty well for me. For a while, I wasn’t really keeping good track of my review books and some of them were getting lost in the shuffle – I definitely needed a system!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 9/14/14My Profile

    • Yeah calling it a system isn’t really the right term for what I do, but it works! I also put everything on the same google calendar, my dentist appointment, Pita’s medicine, Lola’s Blog tours, when to send invoices and media kits, my blogging schedule and review deadlines all in one place. I do colour code everything so I can still easily see everything.

      And indeed if you add every book on you calendar you don’t need to add them on goodreads as well. I often get rveiew books withotu deadlines and I would forget about them otherwise.

      I wish I could be more structured about posting close to release dates, it would be nice for the authors. Luckily I don’t get too mnay ARC’s beside form netgalley, so it’s usually not too big of an issue.

      I also needed a system, without one it just feels so unorderd and I forget things and I like to feel ordered.

  8. My mental TBR and Goodreads is honestly the way to go. I am not an organized person when it comes to this, to be completely honest, and I add it wherever when I only feel like it. It’s so messy I know! I tried making a spreadsheet, to use Wunderlist, but I just. can’t. organize. And like you, I’m a moody reader so I’m unpredictable. I guess if it’s an ARC, depends whether or not the release date is near and if I’m in the mood for it.
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: The Whispering Skull by Jonathan StroudMy Profile

    • Yeah being a mood reader can really interfere with organizing. I love being organized though, so I make it work somehow. And as long as it work for you, who cares that your system is a little messy?

    • Sometimes I feel so quilty, because some of those review books I already have so long, but then again I mention I am a mood reader in my review policy. If I force myself to read a certain book, it just doesn’t work.

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