Currating a Library

I’ve been thinking about is being pickier about the physical books I buy - we only have so much room in our house and I only have so much money. Reading forums like Show Me Your Prettiest Books! here, or following Bookstagram & book subReddit makes me want a more beautiful library.

But, it’s all well and good to say that, but keeping track of which edition from which publisher et al is not (to me anyway) terribly straightforward. I guess I could use Amazon, but…Amazon :slight_smile: and I’ve been burned by having a certain edition on a list and getting a newer one by the time I get around to buying it (I also want my wife and family to not be afraid of getting me books for fear of “getting it wrong.”)

Maybe a spreadsheet is my best option, but I figure who better to give advice than my most bookish friends?


You could try curating books on The Story Graph or GoodReads…both do a pretty good job of having all possible editions of books listed (I’m picky about making sure I add the specific edition I’m reading, which gets tricky because I get UK covers sometimes and Owlcrate books) and both have options to create your own tags for the books you add to lists (tags on TSG and I think shelves on GR). So you could add the specific edition you want to your TBR and then have a to-buy tag or a physical book wishlist tag or something like that. And then friends/family can go to that tag/shelf and see the whole listing without you having to transcribe everything into a spreadsheet (possible downside - friends/family might have to have an account on either of those sites to see your book details)!


I hadn’t thought about SG/GR - I always just think of them for recording purposes. Thanks!


Ooop, I meant to post earlier, but I’ve been a tad sidetracked with the start of the semester! SG and GR are great options, especially since Goodreads lets you scan specific books and editions by the cover or ISBN - that makes it a lot easier to add books rather than manually typing. My wife and I went the spreadsheet catalog route so it’s easy for us to find things we’re looking for, but we use it for our games and movies as well as our electronics. Here’s a sample (we have over 400 books, so a snippet is a lot :sweat_smile:):

We prioritized the information that was important to us, so most of them don’t have a specific edition marked, but it’s easy to add a column or put it in the “Notes” section. We also have tabs where we put books, movies, etc., that we would like. If you’re looking for maximum customizability, a spreadsheet is the way to go, but it’s a lot of front-end work to get it functioning how you want it!


Thanks! I use GR/TSG fairly extensively for books I own, it’s about tracking the book editions I want to buy that’s been the sticking point. I’m working on @Tinker’s idea right now and it seems to be working out.


And remember, if you’re using TSG and you have an edition you can’t find, you’ve got a friend on the inside :wink: let me know and I can fix things


It’s good to know people.