Tracking My Monthly Reads with Goodreads


It really isn’t such a big surprise that I’ve been slacking off when it comes to tracking my monthly reads. I have these lovely reading spreadsheets, but they’re not much use unless I’m actually using them!

Last month I started keeping track of my reads by creating a folder for April reads on my  laptop and then saving jpgs of book covers into the folder every once in a while when I was creating a blog post, since I normally talk about my reading so I usually need to download book covers to go with a post.

At the end of the month when I was writing my monthly wrap-up post, I had to spend some time entering everything in that folder into my spreadsheets (I use two because they track different things and I’m not Google spreadsheet-savvy enough to merge the two spreadsheets into one). A bit time-consuming and I’m not looking forward to going through the process again when I write my May wrap-up post.

So it occurred to me the other day that Goodreads might be a better way for me to track my monthly reads. I haven’t exactly been diligent about updating my bookshelves there, but the thing is, the Goodreads iPhone app is easy to use and I’m thinking the increased accessibility will probably make it easier for me to track my monthly reads. I’m thinking about using bookshelves tagged with the month and year, and I can sort other bookshelves (like “audiobooks” and “POV characters and authors”) by date so I can see what my stats are like for each month.

I also decided to see how other people were using Goodreads. This post, Get Organized on Goodreads, gave me some good ideas (like temporarily hiding my activity from my update feed so I don’t flood my friends’ feeds with all my changes—definitely going to do that when I roll up my sleeves and wade in to get my shelves organized!).

And there was a Bloggiesta mini-challenge on How to Make Goodreads Work for You from The Book Addicts Guide back in 2013! Very interesting read, and I learned something very helpful: in addition to the three “exclusive” shelves Goodreads gives you (Read, To Read, Currently Reading), you can make other exclusive shelves. Not that this has anything to do with tracking my monthly reads, but I’d love to set up an exclusive shelf called “TBR-Books Owned” so I can keep track of what books are on my to-read list that I actually own. That way, I can use the “To Read” shelf as my Wishlist.

I seem to go through phases with Goodreads, sometimes being very diligent about updating my currently reading progress, and sometimes not bothering to even add a current read. My Read shelf should hold so many more books than it currently holds. But it’s definitely an easy way for me to track my monthly reads, so come June, I’m going to get those shelves organized and start tracking my June reads!

How are you using Goodreads right now?

8 thoughts on “Tracking My Monthly Reads with Goodreads

  1. Heidenkind

    Two things: one, Goodreads automatically keeps track of the date you read a book and displays it on your My Books page, so adding monthly shelves isn’t necessary. I just organize them by date and it’s very easy to see what’ve read that month. Two, there’s an option to check if you own a book or not (I think it’s under the More Options link), so you could just create an exclusive wishlish shelf and mark the books you own on tbr as “I own it.” Then you wouldn’t have to change it after you read it.

    I don’t keep track of my tbr on Goodreads at all. I have way too many books for that. I just focus on what I’ve read, but it’s still a great organization and record keeping tool.

  2. Suey

    I’m very diligent at Goodreads, but use just the basics. I don’t create shelves and just use to keep track of what I’ve read. I should look into using it a bit more creatively I think.

  3. Athira

    I use Goodreads mostly for tracking my reads. I’ve used it heavily in the past when I was part of book clubs and did plenty of challenges. Lately, I’ve stopped doing all those and been more of a passive member. I like it better this way, for now. I would love to be more active some day, maybe when things get settled.

  4. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I wasn’t using Goodreads forever….and finally started last year. I have my own spreadsheet that’s my true master list and now supplement with Goodreads. Sometimes I’ll enter things into GR if Im in a hurry (esp if I hear about a new book I want to read) and go back and update my spreadsheet later.

    The folders I use are the basic ones and then audiobooks, arcs, and DNFs.

    Great tip on hiding your activity when organizing!

  5. Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

    I use Goodreads to track my reading, but that’s about it. I did add an exclusive shelf for DNF books, but want to add more. I’m terribly behind with most of my spreadsheets, but I’m pretty good with updating Goodreads! Even if it makes me feel guilty because I’m so far behind with my reading goal!

  6. Brette

    I decided that this year I would review every single book I have read on Goodreads. I’ve managed to do it for the most part, except for books I started and didn’t finish. I really wanted to know how many books I actually read in a year. I don’t use the other bookshelves there though. When I see a book I want to read I put it in my Amazon cart. Then I see if my library has it and I request it there. Once it comes in and I read it, I remove it from my Amazon cart. Once in a while I will order Kindles for books my library doesn’t get, usually when I am traveling and I clean out my Amazon cart that way. I do keep a list on Goodreads of books I have written.

  7. Ti

    I use Goodreads all the time. I don’t get too crazy with shelves. I typically have the I Want To Read – To Read shelf and Currently Reading and I have a shelf I use called TBR Pronto that reminds me of my immediate reads like a book tour or something. I do have a shelf for all of my review copies just to have a history of what was sent to me, but that’s pretty much it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>