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Organizing My Personal Library

It’s no secret that I love reading, and I read in every possible format. I have been reading for decades now, and over the years I have accumulated a significant number of books. Unfortunately for me, my precious book collection could not always accompany me every time I moved to a different city.

Over the years, many books had to be given away. There are still a lot of books I keep at my parents’ house. But where ever I am living, I start collecting books.

I remember once when I was moving to a different city I packed up my books and when it was being weighed before loading for transport; it came out to be whooping 40 kilos. All those books went straight to my parent’s place and even my book-loving mother had a tough time accommodating all those books.

My husband too is an avid reader, and he has a great collection of books collected over time. Like me, part of his collection resides in his childhood home. When I moved in with him, it was fun arranging all our books together.

Lately, I have been facing a strange problem. When I go to buy any book on Amazon, I get a message that I had already purchased this book months (if not years) ago. I am sure every book worm faces this problem some time or the other.

I read somewhere that buying books, and reading books are two different hobbies. I happen to enjoy both hobbies a bit too much.

So naturally, I decided to catalogue my entire book collection. It will be my personal library. Now the first challenge was that I have both physical and ebooks. I needed a way to list down the books and know which format I have.

Goodreads seemed like a natural choice. I have been using it for a long time to mark the books I read. This time I could use the same to list every book I have. Goodreads makes it easier to tag my books into physical or ebook format.

The next challenge was to catalogue without getting sucked into the books. I mean, imagine taking out books one by one from the bookshelf and then not opening it and starting to read it. Seems difficult right. I thought so too.

Listing ebooks was faster and the danger of getting sucked into any book was relatively less. So I started there. It took me several hours and after a point, I decided that I am not going to list down the books I have already read. Just the ones I am planning to read. Even that turned out to be a three-digit number.

When I started with my physical books, I stuck to the ones I still haven’t read and the ones I could find on Goodreads in one go. If I was not able to find something, I moved on to the next book. Even with such strict rules, I slipped up once or twice and might have accidentally read a book or two while logging. And to be honest, I am not even sorry I slipped up.

I managed to list out almost 80% of my physical books. Again the number got up to three digits. The remaining 20% of my physical books are not currently available on Goodreads and I am just not in the mood to troubleshoot right now.

Now my Goodreads has books I have read, currently reading and a big list of books I have in a digital or physical format I still need to read. I was surprised to see that I have around 17 books I am currently reading. Can you believe it? I have started reading 17 books and they all are at different stages right now. Some books I started months ago and then I forgot I even started them. I really needed to organize my books just so that I remember which books I am currently reading. And hopefully, I will pick one of those books instead of getting new books. No promises, though.

This whole experience would seem very mundane and even boring to most. But for me, it was full of fun and adventure. I felt like a kid again who entered the library for the very first time. It was a great feeling and I know there are few rare souls out there who might read this post and understand exactly what is making me so excited.


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