I was thinking about this as I was updating my Instagram stories with my most recent finished books, as well as those I’m currently reading. That seems to be the latest social media trend for tracking book progress and sharing our reads. Last year, we were all updated Twitter threads and moments with books as we finished them, maybe including a mini review too. Lindsey avidly uses the Bookerly app and shares cool graphics for books as she reads and finishes books. Some people do one thing, some people do multiple, some people do nothing.
I think it’s fun to watch reading progress from others and (in general) share mine… but I get so lazy later in the year. I’m just not in the mood to take the picture, especially if it’s of my Kindle screen or I have a poorly formatted egalley. Sometimes I screenshot the Goodreads page and that takes an extra step, plus having the screenshot annoyingly saved on my phone. I’ll get into all that later, but thought I’d go through some of my past preferences for tracking my reading progress on social media and why I went with the ~decision~ I did for 2019.
I used the Twitter moment in 2017, which was kind of annoying for me personally. After finishing the book, marking that on Goodreads, and writing a little review, I would then have to duplicate those steps on Twitter AND track down the photo of the book/Kindle from when I started reading. I also did a bad job of putting them in a thread (replying to the last tweet), so I would often just randomly tweet a number and share that I finished the book. It looked awkward without context in the middle of the feed.
2018 was all about Instagram stories. I made cute covers and lumped them together in two-month increments. I also had stories for “story questions,” meaning those templates you could fill out about yourself, and a “currently reading” story, for when I first started a book. I like this method a bit more because it’s easier to snap the picture, add the number/date/etc., and move on. Like I said before though, it was more annoying if I didn’t have a physical copy or if the cover was crappy on my Kindle screen. I HATED going to Goodreads and all of those extra steps. You can see below how I set everything up:
It sounds stupid maybe, but it took me a little while to decide what method(s) I wanted to use in 2019 for tracking my reading progress on social media. I knew a few things were true after using Twitter and Instagram:
- I didn’t love doing both “currently reading” and “book X / date” posts, because they would look similar and I’d often use the same book picture. The repetition of it all annoyed me but it made sense I guess.
- Going to Goodreads to get a cover screenshot for a story was annoying.
- I wanted a little more oomph from the “finished” book posts – like a rating or mini review? – even though I knew I hated dealing with that much detail when I did it on Twitter.
- I liked the format of insta stories with different months blocked off for finished reads (Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, etc.) because the covers were cute.
- I was thinking of using Bookerly again because it’s a lot of fun to see those stats at the end of the year or for each month.
After thinking through all of that, I decided that my most recent choice for 2018 on Instagram was what I most likely wanted to continue… or something similar in most ways.
Currently reading on Instagram stories
Despite this being an annoying process at times, I do think it’s fun to share current reads. If I like when other people do it, why not do it myself? If I ever decide to stop doing this and storing them in highlights, I don’t think anyone would really notice.
Revamped finished books on Instagram stories
Instead of just posting the book being finished, including the number on the year, and the date, I decided to add a quick star rating too. It’s nice to give my followers a very brief idea of what I thought of the book. You can see above that I gave that read four stars. I use the little sparkly star emoji to represent a half-star, in case a book falls in between. I’m also trying to be a little more consistent formatting-wise, so you’ll see the number and date in the same font and such.
Another failed Bookerly attempt
For my first book of the year, I tried to use Bookerly again. I just cannot time my reads for the life of me! I’m a super distracted reader so I would (a) decide not to stop the timer while I dick around on the internet every 10 minutes or (b) have to go on and stop it. Either way, it’s not a fun process. I’d love to have this info automatically instead of using the app! It’s unfortunately just not for me.