Why & How To Keep Track of Books? The Best Book Reading Trackers

Book Reading Tracker

Most of us do not realize the importance of a book reading tracker — at least not until we find ourselves in a situation where we bump into a book and we can’t quite recall if we have read it or simply glanced at it at the bookstore or newsstand.

In this article, we shall take a look at the importance of book tracking, how to keep track of books you read, and what effective book tracking methods you can use so that you can ultimately take your reading to the next level effortlessly.

While the choice is obvious for us in terms of the best method to keep track of the books to read, we will present several options so you can make your own choice. Using a reading app like Basmo has a very wide range of benefits, but feel free to keep reading to understand how other methods work and why we think Basmo is the way to go.

The agony! A self-proclaimed bookworm, standing right in the middle of your favorite bookstore, scratching your head as your brain shifts into overdrive because it tries so hard to remember some of the books you’ve read.

So annoying, right? Well, believe it or not, this is a common condition that most bookworms who know that reading books makes you smarter are battling with.

The average American, for instance, reads or glances over 100,000 words a day. Without some kind of reading tracking system, remembering some of the titles you have read in the past is an uphill task. And this is just about the titles! What about remembering the key information in all the books you read?

Some people have a somewhat mild “forgetting curve”, yet others experience a more pronounced one, which makes remembering books, plots, or even characters difficult. But while you might argue that certain books might not have been interesting enough to remember and that’s why they are forgettable, the least you can do is remember having read them, right?

What Is Book Tracking?

Book tracking is a tactic that helps bookworms around the world to keep track of all the books that they read and allows them to also keep some of those memories fresh in their minds.

Book tracking is nothing new. People have done it ever since reading became a mainstream thing. They would jolt down the titles of the books they read and sometimes even a few key facts from each book or a few favorite quotes.

The key difference between us and the “early” bookworms is that they would do it with pen and paper. Today, you don’t have to sacrifice an entire bookshelf just to keep your physical reading journals and notebooks. You can do everything digitally and far more easily.

Why Should I Start Tracking the Books I Read?

We all benefit from tracking our books in different ways. These are some of the most common ones:

  1. Organize your reading lists. It makes it super easy to remember what you have read in the past, what you are currently reading, and the books you plan to read in the future.
  2. Reach your reading goals. Tracking the books you read also helps you to reach your reading goals a bit faster and in a structured manner. It will also help you monitor your progress and motivate you to read more or even expand your reading niche.
  3. Enhance your memory. Our memory isn’t always as reliable as we’d like it to be. It’s not personal, it’s just how our brain is wired. The good thing is that, with a little help, your memory can be enhanced – at least when it comes to books that you’ve read.
  4. Become a great resource for others. By tracking the books you have read, you become a great resource for other readers. This is particularly beneficial if you belong to a book club or have friends or family that are just beginning to read books. You can comfortably recommend different books that they will find interesting and insightful.
  5. Achieve your milestones. Tracking what you have read in the past also gives you a sense of achievement. Reading books doesn’t come naturally to most of us. With so much going on in our lives, finding time to sit and read a couple of chapters is a huge challenge. So, when you look back at how many books you’ve managed to read over time despite these challenges, you will definitely appreciate those milestones.
  6. Become a better reader. Book tracking will make you a better reader and even boost your book analysis skills. This way you can quite easily identify your biases, and empower you to get into reading out of your comfort zone.

What Is a Book Reading Tracker?

A book reading tracker is a digital tool designed to easily help you to keep track of all the books that you have read, are currently reading, or plan to read in the future. 

With a book reading tracker app, your reading experience can be significantly enhanced as you get to fully immerse yourself in books without necessarily worrying that you might forget all about the experience or even the book itself.

A good book tracking app, therefore, helps you to free up the much-needed memory space in your brain by taking over this tedious but very important task.

I know — scribbling things on a notebook has its charm. But it’s 2023 — a reading tracker app is a must-have for bookworms. With scores of amazing books being released on a daily basis, keeping track of what you want to read gets pretty hard.

So, if you care about building a healthy reading habit, then it’s high time you said goodbye to those hurriedly written to-read lists on post-it notes and delegate that task to technology.

No, you don’t have to say goodbye to your cherished notebooks. Just think of your digital book tracker as a central hub that keeps all the information related to your books neatly organized. You can jot down your favorite quotes or other key information from the books you’ve read on any support you like. But it’s always helpful to have a centralized database.

A book reading tracker like Basmo can significantly enhance your book reading experience and help you to hit your reading targets.

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Track the books you read, monitor the time you spend reading and keep notes on your reading habits and how it makes you feel. You can set yourself targets for the time you spend reading and you can get notified whenever you’re behind on your reading time. 

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How to Use a Book Tracker App to Track Your Reading

How many books are you planning to read this year? A simple answer to this question would be to randomly pick a number based on the number of books you read the previous year or two.

While this is still okay, this age-old tactic is not based on any scientific method of book reading planning and, to be brutally honest, it can be an epic fail – an outcome that can forever discourage you from pursuing your favorite leisure activity.

This is where a book tracker comes in handy:

Organizing Your Books in Lists

This is a feature that will come in handy especially if you like to read more than one type or genre of books. For instance, you can divide your books by genre: romance novels, mystery novels, short stories, and so on. Or you can divide them into books you read for pleasure and books you read for work or school.

In Basmo, for instance, you can organize your books in collections and name them any name you see fit. You can do this in three easy steps:

  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.

Keep Track of the Books You’ve Read

This is, perhaps, the most important function of a reading tracker app: to help you remember what you’ve read and how you felt about every book you’ve read. Did you like it or did you hate it? Did it make you emotional? What is your favorite quote in each book?

Don’t worry. You don’t have to write all of this by hand.

For example, with Basmo,  you can easily organize your books — for instance, books read in 2023 and books finished in 2023. 

You can add books to the Finished list in two ways:

  1. Tap on any book in any collection. Tap the 3 dot icon from the right top corner. Tap Mark as Finished and the book will be automatically added to your Finished list.
  2. From the home screen in your Basmo app, go to Book Collections and tap Finished. Then, use the + sign at the top right-hand corner of your screen to add any book to this list.

Plus, you can also set start and finish dates for each book you read and the app will generate stats of your reading progress. 

Track Your Reading Time

How much time did you spend reading today? Could you spend more tomorrow? And how long does it take you to finish an average novel?

A good reading tracker app should be able to help you answer all these questions and many others at a glance, in your dashboard.

To track your reading time in Basmo:

  1. Simply tap on any book in any collection.
  2. Then tap the Start session button if it’s a new book or the Continue from page X if it’s a book you’ve already started. This will start the counter.
  3. As soon as you tap End session the statistics will appear on your dashboard.

Reading Statistics

In order to improve your reading habit, you have to know where you stand first, right? This is why you need access to some reading statistics.

The number of books read, the number of pages read, or the amount of time spent reading are just a few examples of reading statistics that can help improve your reading performance.

Basmo offers all of these statistics at a glance and many others.

Reading Goals

Plus, you can easily set annual reading goals and the app will make sure you stay on track every day!

To set reading goals in Basmo:

  1. Go to the Goals tab on your home screen. You will see the daily and yearly reading goals that were automatically added to your account when you first installed the app.
  2. To change these goals, simply tap Adjust goal. The changes will appear immediately.

What are The Best Reading Tracker Apps?

The internet is filled with tens of book tracking apps, which makes it somewhat difficult to choose the right reading tracker. However, despite the ballooning number of book reading tracker apps, only a handful stand out and actually deliver a decent book tracking experience. 

Below is a shortlist of notable reading tracker apps and methods worth mentioning.

1. Basmo

Basmo is a book tracker designed for lovers of all types of books — it can also track eBooks and audiobooks, so everything on your reading list is safe with this app. Basmo has a free version that you can use forever (it is NOT a free trial with a time limit), so it’s ideal for book lovers on a budget too.

Basmo App

This is the ideal book reading tracker for those that are looking to become better and accomplished readers.

With Basmo, you can track your reading progress, see your personalized book stats, analytics, and tips on your reading behavior, track your book reading goals as well as design and curate inspirational and motivational quotes. How cool is that?

2. Goodreads

This is another popular book tracker. This one is particularly common among readers who are constantly looking for new books to read or just searching for summaries. However, when it comes to tracking your actual reading and safeguarding valuable information from every book you’ve read, it leaves a bit to be desired. 

Goodreads App

Luckily for you though, this is not the only option and there is actually a pretty great selection of Goodreads alternatives, many of which are actually a whole lot better.

3. Bookly

Marketed as the ultimate reading assistant, Bookly is a reading app launched a couple of years ago. While the number of books you can track at a time is only 10 in the free version, this changes to unlimited as soon as you become a premium user. 

Bookly App

Some users have complained that the app is rather glitchy at times and that the book library available within Bookly lacks quite a lot of important titles. While it is clearly not the best option out there, it does what it’s supposed to do to a certain extent.

4. The StoryGraph

With a quite intuitive algorithm and a book tracker clearly inspired from Goodreads, the Storygraph is certain readers’ go-to solution for keeping track of their reading habits. 

What stands out about The Storygraph is its ability to make book recommendations based on books read in the past and even based on your mood.

The StoryGraph App

Quite a lot is missing though, both in terms of features and in terms of functionality. For example, despite actually coming as an app both for iOS and Android users, this is just a mere illusion. The apps actually open the exact same website platform you would access directly from a browser, and come with no special design, no additional features, being basically just a form of shortcut to the main website.

5. Book Breeze

While some users have described this reading app as “bare bones” referring to its look and number of features, Book Breeze does what it’s supposed to do.

Book Breeze App

It doesn’t do much of anything else though, making it one of the least desired book tracking methods on our list. 

6. Reading List

Another rather basic reading app, Reading List has been used by people all over the world in order to get their reading habits in order.

Reading List

While the book tracking feature works just fine, other features have been reported to work rather poorly giving inaccurate statistics or not at all. Plus, even though the app is free, users will need to pay for most of the important features. 

In addition to book tracking apps, there are other ways to track the books you’ve read or plan to read. Here are the most popular ones:

7. The spreadsheet method

This is a common reading tracking method that saves readers the hustle of memorizing all the books they have read. It is, perhaps, the first digital solution to follow the age-old notebook and pen.

You can use a spreadsheet program that is locally hosted on your computer or a cloud-hosted option like Google Sheets. The advantage of the latter is that you can also access the list from any device, as well as customize it to include items that you want to highlight in the books.

Book tracking spreadsheet templates

You can create your own spreadsheet or you can use one of these book tracking spreadsheet templates (All you need to do is click File, then Make a Copy to save your own version to your Google Drive):

However, using spreadsheets is time-consuming when setting it up for the first time and even more complicated if you have no clue how spreadsheets work in the first place.

8. Notion Reading Tracker System template

Another interesting book tracking method is the predefined Notion template designed for this particular task. It is a method that has been working well for some readers, but the fact that Notion as a whole was designed with a completely different purpose in mind is obvious right from the start. 

Notion Reading Tracker System Template

The Notion book tracking template is quite difficult to set up and can get challenging to use especially once the number of books you add starts growing beyond a certain number. We have all the appreciation for Notion as a project management tool, but it doesn’t really hold a candle to dedicated reading apps, let alone Basmo.

9. Specialized websites

Some readers prefer to go for book trackers that are only available in browsers. They are easy to access both from a desktop and from a mobile device. Here’s a couple of the most popular book tracking websites.

As you will probably be able to tell right from the start if you decide to use any of these, they are not ideal. Having a dedicated app comes with a lot of benefits both in terms of accessibility, number of features and even security, while using websites can become rather inconvenient. 

10. Reading Journals (Printable or Physical)

Another option is to remain loyal to the old ways of doing things. That means keeping a reading journal can be an effective book tracking method to a certain extent. It is not ideal, but we have to admit that it has a certain appeal. 

There are several options available for those who decide to go for this pen and paper method of book tracking:

  • Using a printable template for your journal. Pinterest and Etsy do have quite a large number of templates available to choose from. 
  • Buying a readily available physical journal. It is obviously the easiest of these two, but it does come at a cost and leaves a lot to desire in terms of personalization options.

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How to Choose the Best Book Tracking App

Not sure how to choose the best book tracking app? We get it! There are quite a few options out there and it can be hard to navigate between them all. 

Here’s a suggestion that’s worked for avid readers all over the world: instead of tweaking your reading habits to an app, why not get the app that’s built for your routine from the get-go? This means that you can easily forego the most popular book tracking apps and look for something that suits your needs.

Start by looking at book tracking apps that have a few key features:

  1. Track the books you’ve read by years. So you can easily see what you’ve read when. Your book lists can be organized by year for a helpful bird’s-eye-view into your reading progress.
  2. Track different types of books. Like ebooks, audiobooks, or printed books. A good book tracking app needs to offer an option to track all these book types. It will help you remember what type of books you’ve read and which you enjoyed more.

    For instance, you may like the audiobook experience of a novel, but you’d rather have a printed book for mandatory school readings.
  3. Track what you are currently reading or plan your next read. This will help you use book statuses (or lists) to organize and track your current and next reads.

    In the Basmo app, we have a few concepts that are of great help for readers:

    Currently reading – for avid readers are reading a few books at the same time. With this feature, you can easily track what you are reading now.

    Want to read – a list that you can use to track books you’d love to read in the future.

    To be read – a shortlist of books you are planning to read next.
  4. Set bookmarks. This will help you track how far in the book you are. You will know what your progress with the book is, how many pages you’ve read, or how many pages you have left to read. Also, it will be much easier for you to resume your reading from the page (minute/percent) you left it at.
  5. Ability to track your reading goals. You should be able to set goals easily and to see the statistics and your progress at a glance in your dashboard.

    With Basmo, for instance, you can set daily and yearly goals. You can track your reading progress in the Goals section of the app. Also, by tracking the books you’ve read we can predict if you’ll achieve your goal or not by the end of the allotted time.
  6. Track your reading time. By following your reading time you can track the time spent on reading a book. Better yet, you’ll get insights into your reading speed and predict how much time you have left to finish a book. Based on this data, you can create and improve your reading habits.

Wrapping Things Up

Remembering the books, journals, and magazines you have read over time is an essential part of the reading and knowledge-acquiring experience. If you want to enjoy reading without the pain of trying to recall all the books you’ve read (the good, the bad, and the ugly) a book reading tracker is what you need.

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