Tuesday Thingers is a weekly meme aimed at LibraryThing users and enthusiasts, graciously hosted by Wendi of Wendi's Book Corner. This week's topic is all about obtaining and keeping track of the books we review:
How do you get your books for reviewing? (Feel free to participate in the poll below, you can check more than one answer) Do you track them somehow (excel, database, etc), or just put them in a tbr (To Be Read for anyone that doesn't know) pile?
Well, first of all, I guess I should say that for me the emphasis is on reading and enjoying books rather than reviewing. Basically, I blog about books in order to keep myself from sliding back into the non-reading torpor that I seem to have gotten into for several years there. The reviewing is just sort of a corollary of that. I do occasionally request or accept an advance reading copy or free book from an author – but only if it's a book I would have read anyway. For the most part, when I pick up a book, from whatever source, it's because I want to read it, not because I'm looking for something to review.
Most of the books I read are books I've bought myself or received as gifts. In other words, books in my own personal library. And although I try to buy as many as possible in local bookshops and used-book stores, I have to admit that these days more and more of my purchases are from online sources. It's just more convenient and frequently less expensive to obtain them that way. (And it's so much fun getting books in the mail!) But I haven't tried any of the book swapping sites, although I think I'm signed up with both BookMooch and BookCrossing. I do think they're a great idea – I've just been too lazy to get myself actively involved.
I used to get a lot of my books from the library, although recently I haven't been much of a library patron. But quite a few of the books I'm intending to read for challenges this year are titles I don't own and don't really want to buy; so I may be checking out a lot more library books in the near future. Fortunately, we've got a lovely new branch of our local public library within easy driving distance; and their fiction collection seems to be improving all the time. Now if they'd just add a coffee bar, it would be a wonderful place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon!
I'm an inveterate list-maker, so I've always kept pretty close track of the books I read, and that includes the ARCs I receive and read. And I do use computer databases for my various lists – mostly just the Microsoft Works Database program that came with my basic Microsoft package. It's very adaptable and easy to use – doesn't take a great deal of learning time in order to set up a workable database.
I've also taken to using my Good Reads and Shelfari accounts for listing my TBR and "already read" books. Mainly just because I've had those accounts for a while now and could never really think of anything much to use them for. Of course, I use LibraryThing as my main cataloguing site; and I've started using the "50 Book Challenge" discussion group for tracking my year's reading. I would be delighted if this year I were able to graduate to the "75 Book Challenge," but I think that might really be wishful thinking!