Simple Book Tracker

One thing that I would like created is a simple book tracking system that would allow people to have an account that showed the books they’ve read this year, set goals for themselves, compete against friends, compare against other people, and create groups.

Initially, I thought about this from my perspective. It would be nice if Annie and I could track the books we read each year, and compete against each other. Since I read faster than her (but she remembers more about what she’s read than I do), we would both set reasonable goals, and then compete on getting to 100% as a way to push ourselves to make reading more of a priority in our lives, since it is constantly something that gets pushed to the back burner.

Beyond that though, I could see it as a simple system for classrooms or schools to compete and compare, or for people just to track the books they read each year.

It would start with a simple account creation system. Users would then log in after confirming their e-mail address and set a goal of books and/or pages per period of time. So I could log in and say that I want to read twelve books in the next twelve months, and as I finish each book, I would let the system know, and it would show me some stats about how I’m doing. I would have a goal marker as a visual representation of how far I’ve come. I could see the list of what I’ve read, and I could compare how I’m doing against other users on the site or against all users to see if I’m doing better or worse than average.

The system would have to hook into an API of some sort to pull details about the books, like the cover art, number of pages, and whatnot, and when people are entering a book title, it should do some AJAX magic to show potential search results to make data entry quick.

I know about Goodreads, but that is more of a review site, and has less to do with setting goals and more to do with showing your friends which books you’ve read. I think there isn’t enough done regarding setting goals, and challenging oneself in modern society, and so I’d love to see applications pick up on that need and fill the void.

5 responses to “Simple Book Tracker”

  1. I only use GoodReads as a mechanism to track what I’ve read. Setting goals and such is nice, I guess. Might be easier to bug them into adding that functionality.

    Your system wouldn’t really work for audiobook listeners, though.. How many pages are there in an hour of audiobook? Or, in my case, two hours (I listen to audiobooks and podcasts at 2x speed).

  2. For audio books you could track chapters or sections or percentage of book read or time.
    I think doing a review of the book is important too. Especially for a slow reader to showcase their impressive retention

    • Bah. I can’t be bothered to track that. I just post it up when I’m done, as I use GoodReads to track *what* I’ve read. I rate the book via the 0-5 star system.

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