Fun for Monday: The Finished Book Tag

I stumbled across this tag over at Words of the Roses, which she got from the A Book Olive’s channel, but was first created by Headless Books. (I love these lines of connections that get made each time a tag passes on … it makes me think of those chain letters we used to do as kids – or fail to do, in my case because, seriously, who has ten friends??!)

Anyway, onwards!


Do you keep a list of the books you have read?

Yes. I’ve been keeping lists of my reading consistently since my twenties (I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I keep yearly notebooks for a whole host of things, and this is one of the things that goes in there). I also started using Goodreads after a friend told me about it, because I wanted to create as complete a list of my reading from childhood to present as was possible. I spent a long time before Goodreads trawling various places to find out the titles to stories I remembered from school and (because I’m visual by nature) collecting pictures of book covers I remembered to stimulate my memory. I’m a sad little muppet so this was all incredibly fun for me!

And now that I do the bloggy thing I also keep a reading for review notebook in the back of which I keep a list of posts made and dates so that I can keep track.

Needless to say, I’m very fond of lists.


If you record statistics, what statistics do you record?

I don’t record statistics, but I find the stats function on Goodreads interesting. The things I remember about a book are not useful when it comes to posts in which you want to look at, say, your favourite fantasy settings, or the best dragon companions (all of them, obviously), so I’m starting to make more Goodreads shelves to help me filter through what I’ve read with a mind to what I might want to talk about. Before I had three shelves: fiction, non-fiction and all-time favourites, (thanks Past Me, that’s not terribly helpful).


Do you give star ratings for books and if so, what do you score books out of and how do you come about this score?

So, I don’t give star ratings out here (if you can’t tell whether I liked something from what I have to say then stars sure aren’t going to help you), but I do in my notebooks and on Goodreads. I don’t like the Goodreads star system particularly, because if I don’t like something then it should get no stars, but I just pretend they’re not stars and I’m fine. In my notebooks I use a five star system like so:

*A least one thing of interest in this book

**I can think of someone I’d recommend this to

***Might be worth a reread

****I try not to give four stars to anything because I don’t like the number 4, but if I do it means there was a least one thing I didn’t like in an otherwise near-perfect book

*****I will reread this, I want it on my bookshelves, I will recommend it indiscriminately, as near to perfect as it’s possible to get.

If I don’t give a book any stars it’s because it was meh. If I actively disliked it I usually add a grumpy or poopy face.

If a book was worth stars and it was funny or made me feel good about life it gets a happy face.


Do you review books?

Yes, I do. I do that here *waves*. And I’m really enjoying myself!


Where do you put your finished books?

I’d say about 70% of my books are borrowed from the library, so obviously they go back there, although I do abuse my library powers and take them out for a slightly longer loan period than normal sometimes, (but only if they’re not requested by other users – I’m not a monster).

Another 25% of my reading material comes from second-hand bookstores, charity shops and library book sales. A couple of things might happen to these book when I’ve read them: if I loved the book it goes on our permanent bookshelves (well, it’s the permanent book boxes at the moment as we’ve yet to buy bookcases in these new digs of ours); if I liked it and can think of someone else who might enjoy it I pass it along; if it was meh or worse, or if I just can’t imagine rereading it I will take it back to a second-hand bookstore or charity shop.

The final 5% of the books I read are brand spanking new. There are really only two things I do with brand new books: if I love them, I keep them; everything else gets donated to the library (we had our book fund severely cut a couple of years ago and you can tell, which makes me burn with equal parts shame and rage).


How do you pick your next book?

My favourite way to pick a new book to read is to grab three or five that appeal to me and read the opening paragraph of each and just go with whichever one grabs me, but I don’t seem to get to do that so much these days. This bloggy thing has me thinking about a month in advance now (I’m a pretty slow reader), so sometimes I’ll choose something because I said I’d read it in my blog or in the comments, because it fits an upcoming theme (looking at you Vintage SciFi Month and Wyrd and Wonder), or because it’s a library book I’ve renewed a couple of times and I’m starting to feel guilty about still having it out when I was so super excited about it when it came in.


Do you have any other rituals for when you have finished a book?

I like to check through my notes if I’ve made any, and I always like to find out who did the cover art/design. Then I write it down in my other notebook, although sometimes it takes me a day or two to decide on how many stars (if any) to give because sometimes a book needs to settle in me first. I don’t update my Goodreads account straight away; I tend to do that every couple of weeks. Then the book stays on my desk until I’ve written up my thoughts on it (I need it to be physically present when I do this – couldn’t tell you why), and/or I’ve decided what to do with it.


I don’t know if I dare tag anyone (fear of rejection rearing its ugly head)…

…Oh, heck, let’s do it (shoots fear of rejection down with finger guns and kicks its corpse out of the way) … I’m going to tag imyril, Ola and Piotrek, Maddalena, dragons and zombies and Lynn (hope I’ve done it right?). No worries if you’re not interested of course. And anyone else who fancies having a go – go for it! I’ll be interested to read any and all answers so please put a link in the comments for me to find you.




  1. Lists are great, as long as they are organized. My book lists go back to 2000 but between starting out in a paper spiral notebook and then getting mashed together over on blogger and then all the moving around I’ve done over the years (blogger, goodreads, booklikes, leafmarks and now wordpress), my stuff tends to be a mess.

    Just one note, for the sites you tagged. You’ll need to tag a specific page on their site for them to be notified that you tagged them. You did that with DZ and her home page, but the others might not get notified. I usually try to link to someone’s “About” page so anyone following links gets an idea of who the person is. Obviously not everyone has those, especially people who’ve gone dotcom, dotorg, etc.

    And thanks for putting up your star rating list, even if you don’t really use it here. It is good to have some idea of what you differentiate on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooh, thank you! I wasn’t sure how to do the whole tagging thing at all. I’ll go change those links now. I appreciate the help Bookstooge. 🙂
      I actually thought about you when I put my rating system in this post – I remember you saying before that you like to see how people rate books.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glad to help. I’m not sure how those who aren’t on a site interact with notifications, but I’m assuming it is pretty much the same idea. Link to a specific page and they get notified.

        I DO like seeing peoples’ rating systems. Mainly because a review can be subjective, ie, I can give a book 4 stars but then only write about all the bad things in and make it sound like I hated the book. I’ve done THAT too often 😀 I realize the rating is subjective too though, hahahahaa.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooooooh lists 💙 I’ll happily add this to my plans for 2020 – and your notes on using shelves to help you find books for specific themes reminds me that my tagging is woefully behind since I started doing more Goodreads than LibraryThing. Maybe I’ll make a 2020 goal be go back to doing LibraryThing – I loved my community there are the tagging system was so much easier!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Interesting you’ve read so many books from the library. I only managed six, just a twelfth of my total this year, and though I also read two from a holiday let all the rest are either rereads or backlogs from obsessive accumulating — which will take years to reduce to a manageable level.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice tag! I admire your discipline, getting books from library and returning both them, and some of the ones you bought… I might to move in this direction, as available space diminishes, but perhaps not in yet in 2020 😉
    I already have “A to Z for book bloggers” you did some time ago on my radar, but I like this tag as well, we’ll see 🙂


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