First, a complaint. Bookstooge made me set up a LibraryThing account, and now I’m dedicating significant percentage of my free time into moving my catalogue there… I have to agree, it’s an excellent website, and so much fun 🙂 They even have some of my obscure Polish books in the database, although some I have to put in manually.
I did not have time to check the more advanced options, but this week I started adding 50-100 books a day and when I’m done I’ll look what more they have to offer.
But that’s not the main topic of today.
Back in December we were tagged by the excellent Bookforager with The Finished Book Tag. It looked really interesting so added it to my list of tags I want to do someday, and here we are, only four months later 😉
Do you keep a list of the books you have read?
Yes, in a spreadsheet, on Goodreads. I started relatively late, in my mid twenties, before that I only had incomplete offline lists. I’m no longer active on a website where I started, but I moved all my ratings into Goodreads.
It’s silly, but I feel recording the fact I’ve read something makes it more meaningful. I also rate movies watched on IMDB, for the same reason. I might not have time and patience to review everything, but even a date and simple rating refreshes memory, even after a few years. More on lists in the next question 🙂
If you record statistics, what statistics do you record?
Oh, I do, I do, with unhealthy dedication. I use Goodreads and a spreadsheet, and I used to use a third place, a Polish Goodreads-analogue called Biblionetka. It was too much work, to use three systems, and Biblionetka changed their layout to one I really didn’t like, so now it’s only two.
Goodreads you all know. It is great as a source of stats, and I’m always enjoying their “Your Year in Books” yearly compilation. Goodreads is easy to maintain, and you don’t have to actively use the networking features to enjoy multiple benefits.
I might be tempted to also rate books on LibraryThing, if it’s possible to import ratings. Perhaps some of you might be able to offer advice on that in the comments 🙂
Spreadsheet is slightly different. I only put the basic info there, date, author, title, and format (paper/audio/electronic). And only larger books, whereas on Goodreads I’d rate anything that is there, even 20-page comics and some of the books I read to my nieces.
Do you give star ratings for books and if so, what do you score books out of and how do you come about this score?
Yes, I do, on Goodreads. On Re-E and in the spreadsheet it’s a 1-10 scale. I’m rather generous with Goodreads stars. With 1774 books my average rating is 3.90.
That’s because I’m not taking many risks when choosing my books, and also because a decent book I enjoyed gets ***, even if there were some flaws. If I really enjoyed it, it’s ****, and when I love something – I give full *****.
To get **, a book needs to be weak, but with something to save it. There are not many *, but to get this book needs to be weak and completely unenjoyable. Or get me angry for some reason.
I just took a look at my 1-stars, and there are some books I’d probably should rate higher, if I looked at things calmly. Maybe I’ll re-read some of them at some point… and there were times I was too generous.
I consider myself justified by how Goodreads name their ratings. Only * is “did not like”, and I rarely read books I don’t like. *** is “liked it”, and I can honestly said I like books I rated with three stars 🙂
Do you review books?
Well, I’m writing this on a book review blog 🙂 I don’t review as often as I used to, and only a fraction of what I read, but it’s still something I really enjoy. If I feel particularly inspired (or vengeful, if it’s a negative review 😉 ). I wish I was as prolific as, say, some other bloggers from Re-E 😉
Where do you put your finished books?
Back on the bookshelf, mostly. Around 70% of them? Then, there are some ebooks, and audiobooks are deleted from my phone after I finish with them 😉
With less and less shelf space available, my girlfriend started borrowing books she knows I’m looking for from our friends. I have mixed feelings, as the good ones I’d rather have within my reach… That’s one of the reasons why I stopped using libraries, the other being they simply rarely have what I want, as most of my reading is books never published in Poland.
How do you pick your next book?
In a few different ways. Sometimes it’s a book that spent significant time on my TBR and I just feel it’s time. Sometimes, there’s a specific topic I want to explore, genre I want to revisit.
My favourite situation is to just stand in front of my bookshelves and browse, until I find inspiration 🙂
Do you have any other rituals for when you have finished a book?
Not really. The main thing is to record the fact it’s read, and rate the book. I might do some research, on the author or some topics explored by the book, and I move to the next one.
Re-reading bkfrgr’s take on this TAG I noticed she waits with the rating until the book settles in a bit. That’s something I might start doing myself, that might lower my average score, immediately after I’m too immersed in the world I’ve spent some hours in to be objective.
It’s an old tag many blogs already did, so I’m not tagging anyone, but all comments are welcome, and if I reminded someone they haven’t done this one yet, feel free to follow 🙂