7 Reading Trackers for your Reading Journal

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Enjoy the following!

Sallie

7 Best Reading Trackers for Book Lovers

Looking for the best reading trackers to keep track of the books you’ve read and the books you want to read? Keeping a reading log is one of the best decisions any reader can make, and will easily and quickly improve your reading life. So if you’re ready to investigate the best reading trackers, read on!

What Is a Reading Tracker?

First, you may be wondering what a reading tracker even is. The concept itself is pretty self-explanatory, but essentially it’s just a way to keep track of the books you read (or the books you want to read in the future).

But reading trackers come in many different forms. There are apps you can use, plenty of printables and bullet journal spreads, spreadsheets, and pretty much any other method you can dream up. Some methods are better than others, though, so today we’re going to talk about a few of the best options for tracking your reading!

Looking for ways to catalog all the books you own? Check out these incredible home library apps!

Why Use a Reading Tracker?

So why should you use a reading tracker? Having a system for tracking the books you read is helpful on many levels, and can also be a lot of fun!

First, tracking your reading can help you focus on reading more instead of worrying about feeling disorganized. Less time worrying about organization means more time for reading.

It can also save you from the awful feeling of forgetting a book you really want to remember, and not being able to find it later! I can’t tell you how many times I used to forget the title of a book I loved and then had to try to find books again from a vague description. Now, because of keeping a reading log, this happens far less frequently since I know exactly where I can find the books I’ve read before.

And, if you use a reading tracker that allows you to take notes, then you can also easily find your thoughts on specific books….even years after you’ve read them. No more thinking “Oh yes…I read that book, but I don’t remember whether it was any good.”

Of course, tracking your reading can also help you when you’re setting reading goals or trying to stay on track to meet your reading goals. Plus, it’s also just a lot of fun to see the books you’ve read add up over time…and to be able to look back at your year (or more) of reading and see everything you loved!

7 Amazing Reading Trackers for Readers

There are many different reading tracking methods, but if you’re ready to try tracking your reading then here are some of the best methods to try.

1. Book Tracking Spreadsheet

Screenshot of Bona Fide Bookworm's Google Sheets reading tracker

One of my favorite book tracking methods is to use a spreadsheet to keep track of the books I’ve read. I love this method because I can easily access my reading log from any device and from anywhere, and since it is stored in the cloud I know I won’t accidentally lose it!

Spreadsheets are also an excellent method to use because you have complete control over your data (unlike using an app, where your data may disappear if something happens to the app or if it shuts down…like Shelfari did in 2016).

With a reading tracking spreadsheet, you can also choose what data you want to include and remove any extraneous items you don’t want to track. It’s your own private database, so you can do whatever you want with it!

That leads me to the next reason you might choose to use a book reading spreadsheet: your data is private. Many online reading trackers are “social,” which means your books, reviews, ratings, etc. are available for anyone in the public to see. Social reading trackers can be fun, but some people prefer to keep their book records private or share them with only a few people. If this is you, then a Google Sheets book tracker could be the way to go.

But are there any downsides to using a reading log spreadsheet? One of the biggest downsides is that it can be a bit time-consuming to set up at first, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing with Excel/Google Sheets.

But fortunately for you, you can bypass this issue by getting the exact reading tracker spreadsheet I use! I’ve done the setup work for you so you can simply enter the data on the books you read to start building your own reading list spreadsheet. Plus, I’ve set it up so you automatically get some cool statistics about the books you read…including how many books you’ve read, how many pages you’ve read, how many books you read in various genres, and more!

2. Goodreads

Screenshot of Goodreads reading catalog books page

When you’re looking to keep track of the books you read, one of the more popular options is to use the reading tracking features on Goodreads. You likely already use Goodreads when you’re looking up new books or searching for summaries, but if you haven’t yet tried out their book tracking capabilities then now is the time to do so!

Essentially, this tracking method allows you to input the books you read into “shelves,” which you can then view or sort to easily find books you’ve read (or want to read). When you first create an account, you’ll automatically be given three shelves: “Read,” “Currently Reading,” and “Want to Read”. However, you can also add extra shelves to keep your reading more organized or to set up your own system of shelves for tracking.

So how does Goodreads book tracking work? To use this reading tracker method, simply search for a book on the Goodreads site and then click on the triangle adjacent to the green “Want to Read” button. This allows you to add the book to any of your shelves, and you can then give the book a star rating, enter a public review, set the dates of when you started and finished reading it, and add other information as well.

Goodreads works well for readers who want a more social reviewing process, as reviews and shelves are public and there’s a whole community here of readers who will interact with you and with your reading choices. It can be quite fun! Goodreads also makes suggestions of what you might like to read next based on the books you’ve added to your shelves, so this can be a good way to find your next favorite read too.

Another thing I like about Goodreads is that they do have an app you can use (although sometimes there are a few glitches!). But this means you can add to your reading list from your desktop, but you can also use the app to add new books or keep track of books read. This is so helpful for when you’re at the library or a bookstore, as you can have an easy-to-access list of the books you want to read (and also avoid buying books you’ve already read or own).

Additionally, I love that Goodreads has some stats options that allow you to see statistics about your reading. I don’t think their stats are as beautiful or easy to use as the stats from some of the other reading trackers on this list, but their “Year in Books” feature is definitely pretty cool and does a good job of summing up your reading from the previous year!

Tip: If you want to switch to Goodreads or switch from Goodreads to another reading tracker method (like to a tracking spreadsheet), you can easily import/export book data so you don’t have to enter it all manually again!

3. LibraryThing

Screenshot of LibraryThing reading catalog homepage

Another good place to track your reading is LibraryThing. Like Goodreads, LibraryThing is a social and public place for keeping a reading log…so you can add all your books for anyone to see and can also interact with others on the platform. This is my second favorite way to catalog my “Books I’ve Read” List (after using my Google Sheets spreadsheet) as this interface is really feature rich and has lots of cool stats to see!

With LibraryThing, you can catalog your books online using your computer or you can use their reading log app on your phone to access or input books from anywhere. I particularly enjoy that you can use the phone app to scan physical books into your catalog, instead of having to input them manually. It saves a lot of time!

The goal of LibraryThing is to create a professional-quality library catalog for all its users, so you can use this reading tracker app to track books read, to keep track of all the books you own, or both. It works by searching over 2,200 libraries, Amazon catalogs, and the Library of Congress so you can easily input books with all their information already included (this includes the Dewey Decimal number, publication information, and even the book’s height and weight!).

Other cool features of the LibraryThing reading tracker include that you can use their automatically created library catalogs, you can create your own catalogs, and that you can tag books with your own tags to help you sort through all the books later. And when you input a new book, there are also places to add reviews, public comments, private comments, and more!

These are only a few of the incredible features LibraryThing has to offer, but one more aspect we shouldn’t neglect to mention is their stats tab. When you click on this tab, it will take you to a whole world of details and trivia about the books you’ve read and your reading habits. Some of these include chart data on when the books you’ve read were published, how many awards the books you’ve read have received, how many total characters there are across your cataloged books, and what distribution of star ratings you’ve given to the books you’ve read.

But LibraryThing doesn’t stop there! They’ll also tell you what percentage of your authors are dead vs. alive, and will give you other fun trivia like the height of your total books stacked on top of each other when compared to other objects…like a hobbit, a double-decker bus, Niagara Falls, and more! As your book list grows, you’ll get new objects to compare it to. If you like fun stats and love to obsessively track your reading, this is definitely the site for you!

You can get a free account on LibraryThing and get started with cataloging your books today. Plus, it’s easy to import your books from another source or export them if you decide to change how you keep a reading log, so it’s a no-brainer to use this incredible service.

4. Libib

Screenshot of Libib reading tracker homepage

Libib is another good method for keeping a reading log, and it has a really clean interface and a free app you can use as well. With a free standard account at Libib, you can track up to 5,000 items in up to 100 different “libraries” (aka personal catalogs)!

Like LibraryThing, this service strives to provide a place for individual readers to create a professional and organized personal library catalog. You can catalog books, movies, music, or even video games through this system, although I personally have only used it to catalog my books.

When you wish to enter a book to your catalog, simply create a new library or use an existing one. Be sure to choose whether you wish your library to be published or not (if you publish it, it is available for anyone in the public to see). You can then enter the book by searching the ISBN or keywords or can enter it manually if it is a rare or antique item. Alternatively, you can use the app to easily scan a physical book and automatically enter it into your catalog!

When you enter a book, be sure to add any tags, notes, set a star rating, or add it to a group (useful for book series so you can have all the books show up together in your catalog). Adding this data makes your library easily searchable, so you can find books alphabetically by title/author, by published date, by tag, or any number of other useful methods.

Your listings will then contain all this information as well as book thumbnails, summaries, and other automatically pulled data about the book so you have everything you need at your fingertips. For books you own, you can also set how many copies you have, what condition the book is in, and how much you paid for it. Plus, there’s a good basic stats page you can visit to learn more about the books you’ve cataloged!

I use Libib mostly for my own collection of books that I actually own rather than books I’ve read from the library or borrowed from friends, but if you want to use it as a way to keep a reading log it definitely has the functionality for this as well. You could even create a library of “read but not owned” books if you like, or add a tag to all the ones you own so you can keep them separate from the ones you’ve only read but haven’t purchased.

On the whole, this is a really amazing interface for tracking a personal library or tracking your reading. It also has a way to import or export books from Libib, so if you are using another reading tracker and want to switch over to this one you can do it easily. So go ahead and check out this cool tracking option today!

5. Printable Reading Journal

Bona Fide Bookworm's Free Printable Reading Tracker

Another popular method for keeping a reading log is to use a printable reading journal. This allows you to print out the exact pages you want to use, and to print as many of them as you want, so your journal is always exactly what you need.

If you want to try out a printable reading journal, you are welcome to get a copy of my printable reading journal that I created for you for free! It provides several of the most common reading journal pages to help you get started in the world of printable reading journals.

6. Physical/Bound Reading Journal

Books to Read Printable

Wondering how to keep track of books read and feeling old school? Then using a physical journal to keep your reading log could be the solution for you! This is a fun method to use for those who love the physical aspect of keeping their reading log on a shelf…or for those who are artistic and want to create their own reading journal in a bullet journal format!

There are lots of reading journals to choose from and the one you pick will depend on your own needs and desires for what you want to track. If you want a pre-formatted journal, then you could consider ones like The Book Lover’s Journal, the Ex Libris Private Reading Journal, or this Reading Journal for Book Lovers.

However, if you prefer customizing what you want to track about each book and having the freedom to create your own lists and sections, then I highly recommend getting a blank bullet journal notebook (like the Leuchtturm 1917 Journal) to create your own reading journal. This is especially fun for those who are artistic, but you don’t have to be artistic to use this method. If you’re looking for pretty designs, you can buy inserts from shops on Etsy or similar sites and then either paste them directly into your notebook or use them as a stencil to trace the design in your journal.

When you’re wondering how to keep a reading log, the physical format of a reading journal can be a really satisfying way to keep track of your books. Of course, you won’t have access to automatically created stats with a physical journal…but the customization and artistic aspects of this method make it worth it for those who love to keep their reading logs on the shelf!

7. Bookshelf Reading Tracker Bookmarks

And last but not least, another reading tracker method you might want to try are these printable bookshelf reading tracker bookmarks!

These bookmarks are offered as a digital download so you can print as many as you want for your own personal use. They allow you to write titles of books you have read on the spines of the books, and you can color in the books if you would like as well.

Since this book tracking method is in bookmark form, you will always have your reading list to hand by tucking it into your latest read. This is a simple and easy way to track your reading, so these are sure to quickly become your new favorite bookmarks!

February Monthly Prompts

Dear Fellow Journalers,

Yes, this is traditionally the month of love, but we know better. This is the month where we write in our Reading Journal. So these prompts comprise a little bit of everything:

~Sallie

  • When was the last time you said “I love you?”
  • What are your 10 favorite romantic movies?
  • What is your favorite romance novel and why?
  • Do you have a favorite fairy tale?
  • What personality trait do you love about yourself?
  • What have you read recently that inspired you?

 

Book Lovers Journal

Dear Fellow Journalers,

J.K.Rowling wrote “I do believe something magical can happen when you read a good book.” I have always been a reader. When I was a youngster, my favorite place to read was a tree in our backyard. As I grew up, I read fairy tales, adventure stories, biographies, and historical fiction. In my bookcase Nancy Drew mysteries share spaces with Murder She Wrote books, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s Diaries, various westerners, and oh yes, some religious, craft and teacher manuals as well.

Books have always been a gateway for me to travel to distant lands, form pictures in my head and lead me on adventures to the Revolutionary War, a prairie in Wyoming or a tea party with Jane Austen.

It wasn’t until I started journaling that I became aware of my literary journey that went way beyond those composition book reports we wrote in school. We’ve all been there when we close the final sentence in a book, heave a sigh and exclaim “now that was a great book!”

All the pages of your book journal should feature the book title, author, publisher, page content, other books to read by the author, your rating, notes. For purposes here I have divided the genres into the following categories with possible prompts/questions: classic, modern, romance, sci-to, horror, mystery, self-help, my favorites, book club, and TBR.

Some questions for Classic literature:

  • Describe the setting and time period.
  • What character (real or imagined) was the most important to the Story?
  • What was the conflict?
  • What was your favorite part of the story?
  • How did you feel about the ending?

Modern stories:

  • Did the Story reflect on your own life?
  • Could the Story actually happen?

Romance stories:

  • Could you tell from the title what the Story was about?
  • How realistic was the Story?
  • Describe the characters. Was the relationship a “good fit”?
  • Was there a “happily ever after”ending?

Sci-fi stories:

  • What prompted you to read the book?Do
  • Did you like the Story?
  • Could this book be made into a movie?

Horror stories:

(Disclaimer-not my favorite genre in book form, tv, or movie!! In fact, Silence of the lambs (a book and a movie) gave me nightmares for weeks!

  • Were you on the edge of your seat?
  • Did you finish the book?
  • Was there a hero?
  • How did the book make you feel?

Mystery stories:

  • How intriguing was the plot?
  • We’re the characters “real” to you?
  • Was there a villain?
  • Did you solve the crime early?

Self-Help books:

  • Why did you buy this book and did it help you?
  • Have you applied any principals or advice from the book to your life?

Favorite stories:

Title, genre, &Times read

Favorite authors – genre, #of books read, favorite one

Books that changed my life – title, author, genre, why and what are your favorite things about the book?

Quotes – title, author, page #

Book Club

  • Books to read
  • Meeting times and notes

TBR (this category tends to take up many pages)

~~~~and as they say, “that’s all folks!”

 

~Sallie

 

 

Revisit Reading Journals

Dear Fellow Journalers,

I thought I’d revisit some old journals that we have talked about in the past. One of the most read series of posts has been the Reading Journal.While much can be said the idea of a Reading Challenge caught my eye. Our local library sponsored a Summer Reading Challenge for adults and children this year and I thought I would share some of the book themes they suggested. This challenge is not so much as how many books you read ( Good Reads) but in what types.

  • Read a book with more than 500 pages.
  • Read a genre you don’t usually read.
  • Read a book published from a decade before you were born.
  • Read a non-fiction book about science.
  • ‘re-read a book you read in high school.
  • Read a travel book.
  • Read a book with a type of food in its title.
  • Read a book with a decorative cover.
  • Read a poetry book
  • Listen to audio book.

~Sallie

Reading Journal

Dear Fellow Journaler,

     Can reading a book change your life?

     We, who love to read, write about our favorites, share our books at book clubs and with friends, and who have stacks of UN-read books agree wholeheartedly. That’s where the idea of a Reading Journal came from, at least for me. I met a lady at a book club who told me that after reading a book she would rate it and write a review. In a way, this exercise became her journal.

For the past couple of years I’ve been writing about this type of journal and I have to admit that of all the journals I’ve written this is one of my favorites. Because “my nose is always in a book” I write in it constantly.Every year I participate in the Good Read Reading Challenge. Even though I set my own goals (25-50) and my own genre I always find it interesting at the end of the year to review which books I really liked. This year I read books written by favorite authors and serials by I also read some that I discovered on Book TV. Among those were a couple of political ones and some interesting biographies.

When you’re hunting for the next big read in your life where do you go? When faced with this dilemma I sometimes remember a tv show called The Twilight Zone. One episode stands out of a timid bank clerk who loved to read so much that he almost lost his job and his marriage. He used to take his books to the bank vault to read during his lunch break. You will have to look the episode up on u-tube – it’s called “Time Enough At Last”. My sources are: Bargain Booksey, Over Drive, Book Bub, Book TV, Free Kindle Books, NoveList, Hoopla, Libby, digital, and my local library’s blog.

Where will your next reading adventure take you?

~Sallie

 

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