Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wish lists?

In the comments to my previous post, Christine made a comment about wish lists - and about how she was thinking about keeping a notebook for books to look out for, rather than little bits of paper, which are all too easy to lose.

And, of course, it made me want to widen the net, and ask all of you how you keep track of books on your wish list?  (I am, of course, assuming that almost all of us are beset by books we want to read on a daily - nay, an hourly, basis. For those of you who aren't... well, just thank your lucky stars that your bank balance isn't under similar threat.)

As for me, I don't actually have a physical wish list anywhere.  I tend to go to Amazon and add things to my wish list there - which explains why there's about a hundred items on it - simply for my own benefit.  My memory is utterly appalling, and it helps to add things there - although quite often I can't remember at all why a book is there.

Mostly, though... well, I just go and buy the book straightaway online.  Bad Simon.

I'd love to know whether you carry around a notebook with suggestions, keep an online list, commit titles to memory, or a mixture of all three - or if, like me, you give your aching memory a rest by simply cutting out the middle man and buying things as soon as you get the idea. (Speaking of which, an impulse Amazon buy the other day was The Maiden Dinosaur by Janet McNeill, as SiaB-reader Tina got in touch to tell me I'd love it... anybody else read it?)

41 comments:

  1. Six Amazon wishlists ( expensive books I hope someone will buy for me, fantasy, "everyday" books people have recommended, detective novels, non-fiction - overlaps with 1 and 5) and, longest of the lot, the Kindle list; another lengthy list on Evernote and, in the same place, a number of complete lists of works by several authors, colour-coded to show books I don't yet have. Plus pages in the back of notebooks, scraps of paper, and post-it notes if I know I'm going to be near the Persephone or other favourite bookshops. But my life *is* ruled by lists.

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  2. There's the Amazon wishlist, then I have a page on my blog where I keep a list of "books to look out for" and where I heard about them. (This can be accessed from my phone, now that I'm creeping into the 21st century.) I also have a folded piece of paper stuck in my wallet, a small notebook in my purse and post it lists from books about books that were made while reading. Yes, like Geranium Cat, I live by lists! :) I don't have enough memory to track wish lists in my head...

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  3. Hi Simon,

    Yea, that book list just keeps growing and growing. I finally just started a document in Google docs (now Drive) for recommended titles. And I also started yearly lists of books I've read. Helps keep me honest. My memory fails me more and more. I like it on Google docs because I can access my list from anywhere, any computer. Love your blog very much.

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  4. Oh dear, I had so many books I was interested in or wanted on so many pieces of paper that I started writing them in a big hardback journal to make sense of it and hopefully have some order to it. But didn't get very far and so most all the bits of paper are in a very full folder...of course I seem to find more books to add to it that I can't get ahead...and then there are the amazon lists, which must be up to around 150 books. There is also a list of titles from abebooks and I always have books I want on ebay. I know I should stop looking sometimes as I have enough unread books to keep me going for a decade...oh and there's a library sale this weekend...

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  5. There are so many books I read about that I think "must have, must have" that I have put the brakes on.Our library has a wish list facility now so when I read of a must have book in a blog or elsewhere I go to the library site and put it on the wish list if they have it. They have most of the ones I ask about. It goes on the wish list there and then I can reserve it when I am out of library books. Am saving heaps of money and shelf space and if they don't have it then I think " too bad" and find after 15 minutes I'm over the fact I won't have it. SEems to work. Best part about library wish list is that it goes to No 100 and then I can copy the entire list and store it elsewhere and start a fresh wish list at library. Great fun reading through it to see what I have on it.

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  6. I used to have the Excel spreadsheet to end all spreadsheets to keep track of my wishlist, including not just title and author but also a summary of the book, where I'd heard about, year it was published...that spreadsheet was a thing of beauty. But it was also a monster: it grew so large that it crashed my computer every time I tried to open it. Since joining LibraryThing, I keep track of most of my wish list there and also tag some books directly within my library's system (which lets me know every time I log on if books from my wish list are currently available).

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  7. I have a notebook I keep in my bag but the main wishlists are on Amazon (books, cds, dvds & Kindle), Book Depository & the Overdrive ebooks at my library. At least those ones are free! I've been trying to put books into a wishlist instead of buying them straightaway which is saving me money & they're always there if I do want to buy them.

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  8. Only 100 items on your amazon wish list? I just checked and have 268 on mine...

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  9. I have an Amazon wishlist with 198 items on it, some of which have been on there for years. I am permitted (by myself) to order from it when the TBR shelf gets down to a certain level that it hasn't got down to for aaaages.

    And I note that I have acquired a few books from it and not deleted them - that way madness lies so there's another task for today!

    Liz

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  10. I keep a 'word' document of books I'm looking for ... my 'Book Search'. This gets updated frequently on recommendations typically from book blogs. Also contains list of books I have / have not got in a series. Occasionally it gets printed off and I always keep a copy in my wallet, so that when in a charity shop or bookshop I can easily check details. Between printings I record new additions in pen/pencil on the paper copy. I also keep a 'word' TBR document with references about the origin of the recommendation.

    Richard.

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  11. Wishlists are a bit of a nightmare really.... I have had so many notebooks and bits of paper over the years it's not true. I have an Amazon wishlist and when I feel I really *mustn't* buy another book at the moment I shove things on there (and in fact Eldest Child got me a Mother's Day book from it, so it does have its uses!) I also have a little "Books to Read" notebook on the go currently which Middle Child gave me for Mother's Day. Mostly, though, I know the kind of things I want and I carry with me notebooks and lists of things I actually own in the categories I like, so that if I see things I might like I can check if I have them - a kind of negative wish-list, if you like, to stop me buying things I already have. Sometimes I get depressed at the thought I won't live long enough to read all the books I want to.......

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  12. My Amazon wish list is indispensable - 695 items and counting.

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  13. Oh Karen has made me feel better! I have a wishlist on amazon, but, bad Litlove, I still seem to spend a lot of money hearing about books I want and, um, buying them. It's the marketplace sellers that get me every time - who can resist a new book for 10p (plus postage and packing at £2.80 as Mr Litlove never tires of reminding me...).

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    1. Yes, but even with the postage and packing, you'd still have to pay more in the shops..... So just remind Mr. Litlove of that if he grumbles!!!!

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  14. My Amazon wishlist is an absolute must - even more so now that I've discovered the iPhone app and can add interesting-looking books by just scanning the barcodes in shops! There's a total of about 450 things, with subsections for books, DVD, kindle books, really expensive art books which I would love to buy but have no space for, and classic books that I feel I should read one day but have no immediate urge to tackle...

    P.S. Another plus with the Amazon app is that when you're at the library, you can just call up your wishlist and remind yourself of all the books you wanted to look out for :-)

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  15. Good post. I like it. It was interesting to read it. Great thank's author for sharing…

    www.paperwritings.com

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  16. I do put books on my Amazon wish list, but since I don't carry my laptop with me and I don't have or want an iPad, I also carry a small Moleskine notebook. I started out just jotting down titles or authors to look for, but that turned into a big mess and I could never find anything. Then I created an 'A' page, a 'B' page, etc., to keep some order to it, alphabetical by author. Of course I've now got several A pages, B pages, etc., but it's better than nothing. I also keep separate lists of books by favorite authors, showing which books I have and which I'm still looking for. I hope I never lose my little black book!

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  17. I have hundreds of titles on my amazon wish list (I have more than one) just so I can keep track.

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  18. I'm not very good at keeping track of books I want to read, so even though I bought a small notebook for it, most of my wishlists are dispersed between evernote, goodreads, mail, facebook, several blog accounts, random post-its, and even twitter... Needless to say, I keep buying books that at in the moment sound vaguely familiar to something I had heard about, but then turned out to be a completely different thing...

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  19. Goodness, that prompted some interesting replies. Thank you Simon for asking the question for me, and to everyone for their ideas - you all sound incredibly well organised! I don't think I could cope with computer lists, and in any case my phone doesn't access the computer, so I'm plumping for a little notebook, because I can carry it round with me (I get most of my books from charity shops and second hand stores), but I'm toying with the idea of listing things alphabetically (or perhaps by genre) in a bid to establish some kind of order. This week's 'finds' were Robert MacFarlane's The Old Ways, which I remembered I wanted, and A Shropshire Lad, which I already have and really couldn't justify buying, but it's a hardback with wonderful wood engravings by Agnes Miller Parker. Absolute bargains at £1.99 apiece!

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  20. I love making lists, but I have trouble keeping my to-buy book lists organized. I have tried many methods, including an Amazon wishlist and goodreads. Within goodreads, I created different shelves for to-read-fiction, to-read-mysteries, to-read-biographies, and to-read-nonfiction, mostly because those books are typically shelved in separate areas and I want to be able to easily access a list of those type of books without having to scroll through the whole lot. Finally, my moleskine day planner came with a blank address diary that has a tab for each letter of the alphabet, so I have repurposed that as a to-read diary as well.

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  21. My Amazon wishlist is *cough* too big! It contains all the books that I don't rush out to buy immediately. I've given up having any others as I forget to update them.

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  22. Well, I usually add books to my Goodreads "to read" list. They're not all books I want to buy, but it helps me keep track when I'm at a favorite bookshop or get an amazon gift card :)

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  23. Goodreads definitely. There is a Want to Read list very easy to access. I prefer it to Amazon because at the same time I can see whether any of my reading buddies have read the book and what they thought of it. I can read their opinions before those of the general reading public which are also there to browse. I like that the summaries on Goodreads tend to be short snapshots, not lengthy, i.e. not the same as reading a blog review.

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  24. I have a wish list on Amazon and one on my mobile phone to which I keep adding books I see when I'm in a book shop and resist something I want to have (yes, that happens...)or things friends or colleagues recommend. Sometimes I take photos of books I want to have to add them to my wish list later. It's a system that works for me, because no matter how much I trust myself to remember the title of a novel I want, I will have forgotten it when I'm home at the end of the day.

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  25. I used to keep the books on individual index cards (that was after trying to keep pieces of loose paper in a file folder.

    When the depth of the "deck" of index cards exceeded 8 inches, I decided to put everything on an Excel spreadsheet. I really love that because I can sort the books in all different ways.

    The only problem I have is that I currently have over 2500 items on the list - and it grows daily. {sigh} I'm just going to have to live a r-e-a-l-l-y long time!

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  26. I keep an online list going in a Word program as most of the books that catch my eye come from the book blogs/journals/reviews I read. Sometimes I add something to my cart on Amazon, as a reminder, even if I am not prompted to buy it immediately.

    I can sync my book list to my phone so when I am out at a bookstore or at the library, it is with me.

    I used to just have titles on little bits of paper floating about which was maddening and really no use at all.

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  27. Like you, I just buy them! I have a horrible memory and can't keep track of lists. I usually do check my library first, but they rarely carry the books I really want so off to Amazon or the Book Depository I go.

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  28. I have two Amazon wishlists, one public where I add things I hope people will buy me, and one private for obscure or out-of-print books that I plan to buy myself- people don't seem to like buying secondhand books as presents. Then there is my gubb.net list of books I'd like to read if not necessarily buy. Then there is my Zotero list for my thesis, which tells me what I ought to be reading RIGHT NOW.

    None of this is terribly accessible when I'm out and about, so I wander bookshops and libraries, knowing that there are dozens of things I want to read but completely unable to remember any of them, and just grabbing books that look appealing instead. I usually enjoy them, so perhaps it isn't really a problem.

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  29. I keep a list on Goodreads, and it has hundreds of books on it. I've been toying with getting rid of it and just getting books out of the library as I hear about them. I've been spending years adding books at a far faster rate than I can ever read them, so the list is only useful as a pool of books to consider reading, not a list to methodically work through. I never actually need to consult the list to come up with something to read, so I'm not sure how helpful it actually is.

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  30. I keep a list on Amazon, to which I add books at a much faster rate than I can read them, or buy them - at the moment I have over 700 books in my wishlist! (Oops)

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  31. Another amazon wishlist user! The night before a planned bookish outing I will log on and write down a few titles to keep my eye out for. Through experience I've learned that once I step across the threshold of a bookshop everything goes a bit hazy in the excitement. Later on I kick myself for not checking on a specific title...now I go armed and prepared!

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  32. I have a couple of online lists, Amazon for the ones I definitely want to buy & Pintrest for the ones that sound interesting but that I might borrow from the library rather than buy

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  33. That's what I started a blog for, partly -- to have somewhere accessible to keep my list! Before that, I had a notebook. But I don't put everything on my list that I find vaguely appealing or want to investigate, I just put things on there that I'm sure I want to read. That helps. I have another list on my computer where I put "vaguely interested" names that I want to keep track of, but it's short. If I forget them, no big deal. I have plenty to read and am sure to run across many more as I go!

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  34. I don't use Amazon at all. Well, unless you consider Goodreads Amazonian! I have my "to-read" list on Goodreads, and put things that strike my fancy to create, as Teresa says, a pool of possible choices. I also have a wishlist on my library account, and a small green hardcover notebook that I keep in my desk to write down titles and authors as I come across them. Since I work in a library, A LOT of books pass through my hands and if I took them all at first glance I'd be reading 40 books a week. If only!

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  35. Ahh... yes, my wishlist is on my iPad... plenty of memory for an enormous list. I am embarrassed to say how many books are on it. It is useful when I go to the library otherwise I get there and can't think of a single book I want to read!

    www.fennellbooks.co.uk

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  36. I used to write down the titles of books I want on random pieces of paper, mostly old receipts, which I also use as bookmarks. Needless to say it was a daft idea so now I tend to go online and just buy a book unless I can’t afford it... then I write it down on some receipt...:)

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  37. Coming in late. I've been away.

    When a desirable book is first brought to my notice, I immediately go to the Toronto Public Library site and order it, or something else by the same author. Then I might put the hold on 'inactive' until I'm ready to read it.

    And for those books not available at the library, I have my Recommended Books word document, in table format, with a link on my desktop.

    Each row contains the name of the book and author, with hyperlinks to where I heard about it (usually DGR, Random Jottings, Simon Stuck in a Book and Leaves and Pages, and a hyperlink to the author's website.

    Obsessive? No, we all seem normal here.

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  38. In the days before social media existed, I would carry a small notebook with me at all times in my purse so that I could just jot down any titles/authors (or subjects I wanted to explore) that appealed to me. The notebook method proved to be unwieldy as I'd run out of paper quite quickly (too many books!).

    Now, I have reverted to technology. Rather than carry a physical notebook, I've created an electronic notebook especially for book notes in the Evernote app on my phone. I check it periodically, and add books to my master list, which exists as my Goodreads to-read shelf. At current count, the to-read shelf lists 866 books.

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  39. I'm actually trying to empty my amazon wishlist as I've heard of people getting blocked from amazon for imaginary(?) offenses. I could live with not buying from amazon anymore but I'd hate to lose my wishlist. So it's back to using an Excel sheet from which I get to buy one book for every two I have read (in a somewhat desperate attempt to get around to reading the books I do already own. Books from swap sites don't count, however, otherwise I'd never stick to this.)

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  40. I keep my wishlist on Amazon but tend to buy the books elsewhere if I can. It means that come Christmas I can point people at my Amazon wishlist, nice and simple. However, I do think ethically I should find an alternative so I'm wondering about just creating a spreadsheet instead. Maybe one day when I have some free time. It would be nice to include a field for where I heard about the book as I always forget that!

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