I’ve always half-assed organized my books with a combo of an Excel spreadsheet (which I admittedly haven’t updated in months), and Goodreads. Not a great system, honestly. But recently I saw someone in the Epic Reads group on Facebook mention Book Buddy, an app for organizing the books they own, so I downloaded the free demo.
An hour later, I’d bought the full version! It’s amazing!! The demo only allows you to upload 50 books. The full version is $4.99, but it is worth EVERY PENNY! I’m in love! Apple users, rejoice! (As far as I know, it’s not available for Android, unfortunately.)
Book Buddy makes it incredibly easy to upload your books. All you have to do is scan the barcode! I did have a few that it didn’t pick up, but it didn’t happen very often. And when that does happen, you can search manually for the book you’re after. You can even upload your own book cover (which is great for those box exclusive editions)!
You can also scan multiple at once, which makes uploading super quick!
Easy organization & stats
The main thing I love about this app is that I can organize everything I own in one place, and get a quick look at stats, like how many hardcovers I own vs. paperbacks; how many signed copies I own and how many of those are personalized; how many books I’ve read out of my collection and how many left unread; how many sprayed or deckled edged copies I own, etc. It was really important to me to be able to visibly see how many of everything I own! It allows you to rate the books you’ve read (with half stars!!! In your face, Goodreads!) AND there’s a notes section that you can add notes to if needed!
Here I can see how many books I own overall, how many I’ve loaned out, and can mark my favorites! There’s also a ‘Read Next’ where you can add books you want to get to asap.
Books read vs. unread
Tags, categories, and more
There’s tons of ways you can organize the books you own! Here’s a look at how I organize mine:
This is what I use to track all my signed copies! When I have numbered copies I use the book’s notes to indicate which number my copy is, and when it’s a multiple author book signed by only one author, I use the notes to indicate who it’s signed by.
I haven’t uploaded manga yet, and still have some graphic novels to upload. But I love having this option when I’m in the mood for a graphic novel or anthology!
Sometimes I forget where certain editions came from, so this is really helpful for me!
I use the interest levels to organize books by rating (which it does have a sort option for, but I like to have them separated), as well as to indicate books I want to read more than others!
There’s also genres, authors, and series! I’m still working on genres and series. You can only add one genre per book, so I’m doing some fairly broad genres for now (i.e. Adult fantasy & sci-fi, YA urban fantasy, YA high fantasy, YA sci-fi, Contemporary) and I might go back later to refine them with more specific genres (i.e. space sci-fi vs. dystopian), but I mostly just want something broad so I can look at certain genres depending on what I’m in the mood for.
In addition to adding all the books you own, you can also upload books you’ve borrowed. I probably won’t use this much, but it is a handy way to see what books I’ve currently got on loan from the library!
You can create a wishlist of the books you want as well. This is another feature I may not use, because I don’t have many books on my wishlist and I use Amazon for that, too. But still handy to have everything in one place, and to be able to add special editions to it!
The app makes it super easy to find a book when you need to! Even with my Excel spreadsheet, it was a pain in the ass to get to it when I needed to see if I owned a book already – I am SO guilty of buying duplicates on accident – but with Book Buddy, I can pull up the app and do a quick search to see if I own a book in a matter of seconds. So easy!
Best $5 I ever spent
Overall, I am madly in love with this app and can’t praise it enough. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for and didn’t even know it. I highly recommend it!
How do you keep track of the books you own? Is there a similar app that you like?