How to Create And Organize an Effective Reading List

Reading List

A reading list. It sounds so simple in the large scheme of things but it could be what is standing between you and meeting your goals.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Deep, right?

Now, let’s briefly put this iconic quote into context, shall we?

We all want to succeed in every little task we embark on. Whether it’s at home where you want to successfully complete a DIY project, at the office where you want to land that elusive promotion but can’t quite figure out how to go about it, or even at the gym… remember the fitness goal you set out as part of your New Year’s resolution?

To achieve all these objectives, you must have a plan in place. Success doesn’t just happen without some sort of strategy. So, in a nutshell, if you don’t take time to put a plan together, your goals will have little chance of being met.

Many of us love to read books. Some of us even set yearly targets of how many books to read and push ourselves to break our own records. This is admirable not to mention motivating.

However, if you are a serious book reader or if reading is an activity you are planning to take on, you can’t start reading books randomly without following some sort of structure or strategy that includes a reading list or a book list.

A reading list is not your typical to-do list that’s scribbled onto a sticky note and which most of the time always ends up sitting pretty on your computer screen.

If you want to take your book reading to the next level, then you have to know how to organize books using a reading list.

Why Do I Need to Create a Reading List & What Are the Benefits?

Whether you are a seasoned bookworm or just a beginner, a book reading list is an essential part of the entire reading experience. Many people don’t enjoy reading books as much as they used to and this is simply because the whole experience doesn’t thrill them anymore or they simply can’t keep up.

If you are one of these people and you want to reignite that good old reading passion, then take a look at the list below that will help you understand why you need to create an effective reading list.

1. To Keep Tabs on the Books You’ve Read

Most bookworms and beginners alike start off with a passion and a drive to read as many books as they can. The thrill that comes with breaking your own book reading record is second to none. 

But as the list of books you’ve read gets longer, the chances of forgetting some of the books you’ve finished years ago also go higher.

This, believe it or not, will eventually slow you down as you spend a good chunk of your time trying to recall the books that you’ve read, what they were all about, the authors, or even the plot. This alone can be frustrating to the extent where you eventually start losing interest in reading more books.

2. To Save Your Valuable Time

If reading is important to you then you need to set aside adequate time so that you can do it effectively. If you spend the majority of your time sifting through your bookshelf desperately trying to find out if the books that a fellow bookworm has recommended are among the ones you’ve read, then you are in for a challenging reading experience.

An effective reading list eliminates this annoying and energy-depriving exercise by making it remarkably easy to identify the books you’ve read and those that you haven’t.   

3. To Become a Great Resource to Other Readers

Birds of a feather stick together, right? Just as you’ve benefitted from other readers’ experiences and recommendations in the past, you can help others find books they would love. And, why not, become an influencer in the process?

The main purpose of reading books is to obtain knowledge, get valuable insights, and most importantly, learn from the author’s experience. The more books you read, the more knowledge and insights you get. With this, you ultimately become a reference point for other bookworms who would want to constantly tap into your deep knowledge of books. 

4. To Track Your Achievements

Reading consistently is not that easy. It takes time and money. For instance, the average annual expenditure on books per consumer unit in the United States was 25.42 U.S. dollars in 2019. 

Annual expediture on books per consumer unit in the USA from 2007 to 2019
Image Source: Statista

According to Pew Research, 72 percent of Americans say they have read a book in the past 12 months in any format.  

Print Books vs Ebooks
Image Source: Pew Research Center

Hitting a reading milestone is, therefore, an important step in your book reading journey. It acts as a motivator and inspires you to achieve more, even when you feel like this is an expensive hobby or like you can’t keep up with other readers. This is what an effective reading list can help you do – keep you motivated by tracking your book reading achievements.

5. To Significantly Boost Your Reading Skills and Become a Rockstar Reader

One common goal among avid readers is to get out of their comfort zone and expand their niche to include other topics. Without an effective reading list, this goal is hard to achieve. A reading list will help you to segment your topics accordingly making it possible for you to identify your weaknesses and strengths per niche.

Now that you are familiar with why you now need an effective reading list, let’s tackle the process of creating one that will work for you.

How do I create and organize an effective reading list?

The process of creating an effective reading list doesn’t necessarily have to be overly complicated. There are a number of methods that you can use to create or organize your reading list. 

Your ultimate reading list will depend on what exactly you want to accomplish at the end of the day. With this in mind, you can create a reading list using:

1. A spreadsheet

This is what most beginner readers use to create a reading list. If you are familiar with spreadsheets, you can create a reading list to include book titles, authors’ details, genre, when you acquired the book, and when you finished reading it. You can also include your own synopsis or add comments. But while this is a great way to start, most people are not familiar with spreadsheets, which will make this method ineffective.

2. A books read & books to read list

This is arguably one of the simplest reading lists you can create. All you need is to write down every book you successfully manage to read and those that you are planning to read at some point. The downside is that your list is somewhat limited and lacks depth. This kind of reading list robs you of a great opportunity to further analyze your books – a key attribute that helps you better understand stories and plots. 

3. A reading tracker app

The internet is now home to a variety of productivity applications that have been designed to help us perform tasks efficiently. Reading books can be enhanced significantly if you use a specialized app that allows you to create and organize a book list. These apps are packed with handy features that will make your reading experience more enjoyable and more worthwhile.

What Tools Can I Use to Create a Reading List?

A good and effective reading list is determined by the tool you use to create it in the first place. As mentioned earlier, one of the most effective ways to create a value-adding reading list is using a digital book organizer or simply a book list app.

A quick search in app stores will reveal scores of book tracking apps like Goodreads, which is popular among readers that are looking to explore new books or just searching for summaries. Listy is also widely used among the book reading community and is particularly known for allowing its users to share quotes from the book they’re reading and even tag the books.

What happens if you want an app that has it all — comprehensive book list-building capabilities, the ability to tag books, to save quotes, or even to scan the pages you liked best? 

If you’re the kind of reader who doesn’t want to compromise on keeping tabs on the books they’ve read, you have to check out Basmo – a revolutionary book tracker designed for lovers of all types of books. Basmo allows book readers to effectively track all sorts of books from printed books and eBooks to audiobooks.

With Basmo, everything on your reading list is safe within the app. Basmo also has a free version that you can use forever (it is NOT a free trial with a time limit), making it ideal for book lovers that are operating on a tight budget.

Ready to start creating your reading list?
Try Basmo book tracker today!

It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

What Is the Best Way to Keep a Reading List?

As mentioned before, you can use a spreadsheet, various apps, or even the good ol’ pen and paper. But all of these have one thing in common: they make it super easy to lose your entire book list.

Can you imagine losing years’ worth of book notes and references?

Creating and storing your reading list in a digital format using a book list app is the most effective method that can help you become a smarter reader. With a tried-and-tested app like Basmo, your reading can dramatically improve.

While traditional methods of keeping a reading list still work, they are time-consuming, difficult to maintain, not to mention prone to errors and inconsistencies – all of which can drastically affect your reading flow and schedule.

The best way to boost your reading experience is by using a reading list app, which is a more convenient method, secure and accurate way of capturing your reading habits

How Do I Create and Organize a Reading List with Basmo?

It’s so easy to create and organize a reading list with Basmo that you could do it in your sleep after the first try. Check out this simple 3-step process:

  1. Go to the My Books tab on your Basmo home screen.
  2. Scroll down to Book Collections and tap View all collections.
  3. Tap + Create book collection to add a new collection.
  4. You can name it anything you want and start adding books to it.

That’s it! Rinse and repeat for every new list you want to create. Of course, you can always move books between lists, add or delete new books to an existing list, and so on.

But Basmo is more than a booklist app. It can help you get more value out of every page you read — whether you read it for fun or for school or work.

For instance, with Basmo, you can easily and conveniently scan your favorite pages. This is a remarkable feature that helps you to instantly save ideas that you plan to implement in the future or quotes you loved.

Reading targets can also be easily set using the Basmo app. This feature will make it super easy for you to set and attain your reading milestones. Such achievements are a great motivator that can, in turn, encourage you to read more books.


What you have read, what you are currently reading, and what you plan to read next are serious matters to any avid reader. If you’re set to meet your reading goals, increase your reading speed, or help others discover new books, a good reading list app is a must.

Ready to take your reading game to the next level?
Try Basmo book tracker today!

It’s 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

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