Monday, April 14, 2008

Track What You Read

If you’re a writer, chances are you’re also a reader. A writer can’t live in a vacuum. Not only do we tend to be readers, we need to be readers. We need to read other writers in our genre, study what works, what intrigues us, how other great writers manipulate words and plots. We also need to read writers not in our genre. We should stretch ourselves, and sometimes when we’re actually writing our own books, we need to read works that won’t directly influence our own work-in-progress and voice.

But, if you’re like me and are big readers, you can lose track of what you’ve read. I don’t keep a list of books I’ve read. I read them and put them on the shelf.

A friend of mine, Susan Wittig Albert, introduced me to a way to track what I’ve read. It’s an online site called GoodReads. The site is easy to use and you can list books you’ve read, when you read them, and a brief review of the book. You can also list the book you’re currently reading. And you can see what books your friends who are signed up with GoodReads are reading.

I have to admit, I’m not a good reviewer. Some people are quite proficient at writing reviews. I tend to write brief reviews that are more for my own benefit than for someone else. But the reason I like the site is because it gives me an easy, convenient way to track books I’ve read. I’m a couple of books behind in listing, but that’s because my computer died last week and I’m still trying to get everything back up and running.

But if you’d like a way to keep track of your reading, perhaps share great fiction, nonfiction and resource books, check out GoodReads.

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