Welcome Back Guest Shelley Munro…

Today I welcome back one of my favorite guests, author Shelley Munro…


cat-burglarHappy New Year, and thank you very much to Jennifer for inviting me to visit your blog again.


When I first talked to Jennifer about visiting again, I suggested a post about the different New Zealand settings I’ve used in my feline shapeshifter series. I thought it would be a great way to slip in a mention of my newest release, Cat Burglar. Out now at Ellora’s Cave—book six in my Middlemarch Mates series!! <grin> Since I’ve already managed my promo pitch, I thought I’d slap on my reader hat.


The start of a new year is a great time to take stock and make changes. I love reading. I always have, and my love of reading led to writing. Two years ago, I decided I needed to keep a record of the books I read because I can never remember titles. They get lost among all the characters, my shopping list and myriad other things occupying my head. I also wanted to know the split of genres and paperback v e-books I read during the year.


After thinking about various ways to record my reading, I finally decided on a simple Excel spreadsheet. I’ve kept it fairly basic and note details of author, title, genre, if it’s a paperback or e-book, if it’s an erotic romance or not and brief thoughts about the book. I also assign each book with a number so I know how many books I read each year. When the year ends, I open another tab on the spreadsheet and start over. I like my spreadsheet because it’s easy to add to each time I finish reading a book, and I don’t get distracted on the Internet!


My author friends record their reading in other ways. Jory Strong keeps a handwritten journal. Christina Phillips, Wylie Kinson, and Amanda Ashby all record the titles of the books they read on the sidebar of their blogs.


Some people use a word document. Others use Shelfari, Goodreads or Library Thing because they like the interaction with other readers. With an online program like these, you can also see the covers of the books you’ve read and share reviews. I’ve also seen readers set up blogs that are specifically for keeping a record of books read and displaying reviews.


Do you keep a record of the books you read? If so what method do you use to record the books you read each year? Do you make reading resolutions at the beginning of a new year? i.e. to try X new authors or new genres or to read X many books in a year.


CONTEST: Everyone who writes a comment on this post will go into a draw to win a download of Cat Burglar.


Shelley Munro writes spicy erotic romance for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain Publishing. Her latest release is Cat Burglar, which is book six in her Middlemarch Mates series. You can visit her website at www.shelleymunro.com  

For a special sneak preview of chapter one of Cat Burglar (especially for Jennifer’s blog readers) follow this link: http://www.shelleymunro.com/blog/cat-burglar-by-shelley-munro/  


Thanks Shelley for that great post and reminder that authors are readers too.

As for me, I started keeping track of my reads in a notebook last year and even set some goals for myself…I am making different plans for 2009 (more on that tomorrow 😉 ).

But I am curious to see how the blog readers answer your questions…


As Shelley mentioned, I’ll randomly draw a winner from those that comment to receive a download of Cat Burglar.  I’ll announce the winner on Monday, Jan. 5 so be sure to return to see if you won.


24 Responses to Welcome Back Guest Shelley Munro…

  1. Liza says:

    Starting in late March of 2008, I started keeping up with all my books read on a blog. I list each title as I blog about the books. I’ll still do the blog this year, but plan on keeping an Excel spreadsheet to keep a better record this year.

  2. Lindsey Ekland says:

    I do not keep a list of what I read as I read so many books and ebooks. I also have a perfectionist streak and have had trouble deciding on the perfect way to keep a record. I just found Library Thing and thought that might be an interesting way to keep track of books so maybe this year. No goals other than I want to reread all of Sherilyn Kenyon’s books this year and get them all on a shelf together.

  3. Lea says:

    Hi Jennifer and Shelly:

    First of all, let me say your shifter series sounds wonderful and I will definitely add it to my list.

    As to your question, I have never kept track of the books I read until the last 3 or 4 months and even then it has been very sporadic. Now that I have a blog, I’m finding it much easier and tracked my December reading on that. I think I’m either going to set up a separate blog page to keep track of the books I read in 2009 or I will join a separate webpage group. I haven’t decided yet.

    Reading is my love and I don’t want to turn it into a situation were I’m competing against myself to read more books! lol

    Best Regards

  4. No need to enter me, Shelley… I think. I have too many books here but saying no to you is next to impossible!

    You’re going to laugh when I fess up to my system. It’s a Word document! I just list book title and author; if I didn’t finish it, I shrink the font size. At the start of each new year, I simply start a new page.

    How’s THAT for low-tech?

  5. Fedora says:

    Hi, Shelley (and Jennifer!), this past year I started trying to track my reading better, too–I’ve been using an Excel doc similar to yours, I think. I haven’t been keeping track of much more than author and title, though. I have a comments column, where I try to jot down any strong reactions, but otherwise it’s a pretty basic system. 🙂 Alas, my TBR still greatly outstrips my reading pace, but it certainly doesn’t prevent me from adding to the TBR! 😉

  6. JK Coi says:

    Hi Jennifer and Shelley!
    Happy New Year!

    I don’t record my readings, but I like to do short little reviews on my blog for some the books that I’ve read. (Come visit me next week after I’m finished with the two books I just bought today–Lara Adrian’s new one and Anna Campbell’s new one)

    Maybe I should start to track what I read, but I have a whole wal of shelving where every book is in its place, categorized and nice and neat. When the shelf gets too full, then I start to purge the books I know I won’t read again, and I free up more space to put the new ones.

    Then again, I’m reading more ebooks now, tons and tons, and that might be harder for me to keep track of. We’ll see.

    Take care!

    J.K. Coi
    Immortals to Die For

  7. Sandra Cox says:

    Good blog, Shel. Love your cover!

  8. ThatBrunette says:

    I’m not good at keeping track of my reading. I have a book cataloging program that allows me to scan the ISBN number and keep notes on the books. I keep forgetting to actually keep the notes. My ebooks are on my Palm so, it is easier to check which ones I have read by just moving the files.

  9. Hi shelley and Jennifer, I keep a running list on my blog of books I read throughout the year. This year I’m going a bit further with my list and will be writing a post, with several parts, providing mini-reviews for the books I read in 2008.

  10. Cathy M says:

    Hi Shelley and Jenn. I set up an excel spreadsheet to track the books I’ve read as well as a rating system and a quick little note to help jog my memory. Haven’t gotten that creative with my tbb list yet, that just goes in a little binder I keep by the computer.

  11. Helen says:

    I have wanted a system to keep track of what I have read for so long and have never actually done anything about it. I think I would like and excel or word document that I could have 3 lists on My Must get list the TBR pile and then the read books. Unfortunatley i am not very good with creating these types of spreadsheets maybe my daughter will help me.
    The books sound great Shelly

    Have Fun

  12. Liza – I went back and forth before I decided on an Excel spreadsheet but I find it works well for me. I also mention books I read on my blog.

    Lindsey E – I’d be interested to hear what you think of Library Thing and how it works for you.

    Lea – thank you! I understand what you mean about making reading a contest. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t beat my total from the year before, then I thought I was being stupid. I’m very capable of telling myself off! I’m at peace with my reading total now. 🙂

  13. Susan – hi! Your system sounds good to me. Anything that works, is what I say!

    Fedora – My to-read pile just keeps growing too. This year I’m determined to work on the pile of books by the side of my bed. I’m getting tired of dusting them!

    JK – I’m looking forward to reading Lara’s book. I don’t have it in my hot little hands yet, but soon. I’ll stop by your blog to see how you liked it.

  14. Sandra – hello! Thanks. 🙂

    ThatBrunette – I’ve started moving my ebooks to folders so I know I’ve read them too. I think it works well. I combine this with my spreadsheet.

    Barbara – I’ve noticed your list when I’ve visited your blog. 🙂

    Cathy – I forget what I have in my tbr pile. I’ve just refreshed my memory this morning since I’ve decided to take part in some reading challenges this year.

    Helen – thank you! Once you get your spreadsheet set up you’ll find it really easy. I backup mine on a flashdrive just in case as well. Backups never hurt!

  15. Reading Challenges:

    When I was bloghopping the other day I noticed some readers are doing reading challenges for 2009. Since I already read quite a bit, I thought I’d take part in some of these challenges. My posts about the challenges will be up at my blog tomorrow if anyone is interested. 🙂

  16. Brandy W says:

    I do keep a record but only started the last few months. Right now it is just a Word doc for each month. I’m thinking I need a better method but I just haven’t researched it yet. I don’t make reading resolution since I tend to read what catches my fancy. I love new authors and the ones I HAVE to read.

  17. Brandy – As you’ve heard, a few people use a Word doc. I think both Word and Excel work well because they have a “find” or search feature, which comes in handy at times.

  18. Jennifer Y says:

    Shelley, it is funny that you mention Reading Challenges. I decided last week to have one here on the blog for 2009 and will posting the details on it tomorrow…it is called the Random Reading Challenge for 2009.

    It will definitely be a fun…and probably crazy challenge. I hope that other people will join in, but if I am doing it solo, that’s fine too. I just needed something to help change up my reading and work through the TBR for 2009. Since I like coming up with fun things to do here on the blog, I thought I’d invite others to join me in the challenge.

    As I said, all the details for the challenge will be up here on the blog tomorrow, but it won’t be a hard challenge.

  19. Jennifer – I look forward to reading the details. I thought the challenges sounded like fun. 😉

  20. Amy S. says:

    I do keep a record of the books I have read for the last two years. I put the books read in each month. I don’t make any new year’s resolution for books.

  21. Tracey says:

    I haven’t kept a record, but now after reading what other readers do to catalogue where there reading is at, I think I better. Not only that, I just finished reading Jane Fallon’s Got you Back and it was 407 pages long which for me is quite a read, so I am going to start tracking my reading now in a spreadsheet as it will make interesting reading later on in the year when a think I have achieved nothing. Happy New Year everyone – enjoy the sunshine and the holiday break 🙂

  22. Amy – hi. What method do you use to keep track of your reading?

    Tracey – a record like this is always interesting to look back on. I know I read more historical romances last year after looking at the books I read. I used to read a lot of this genre and went right off them. I think I ODed.

  23. Caffey says:

    Hi Shelley!!!! I’m excited about this new one!!

    As you probably realize, many of your readers like series!! How about you for writing them? Do you like to write series, or after a time, does it get harder for you to write more books within a series?

  24. Caffey says:

    Shelley, I forgot to mention that I actually am starting to log what I’m reading for the first time this year! I’m using my blog to do that. But before that I didn’t and would always forget titles and some info so I’m looking forward to doing this and using alot of the ideas others posted here!

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