Thursday, 14 July 2016

Five Reasons To Complete A Book Inventory

Before getting into this post I thought I'd share my 'definition' of a book inventory - I'm well aware of what a book inventory is, as I'm sure all of you are, but I would just like to clarify that when I refer to a book inventory in this post I'm not talking a professional book inventory, I'm just talking about taking stock of books within a personal book collection.

A couple of months ago I decided I wanted to complete a book inventory on my collection; I'd never undertaken such a task previously and I was really excited to get going, despite being oblivious to the size of the task before me. The act of performing an inventory, even on my minimal book collection (I came away with 140 titles total), was time consuming, and I do wish I had done a little more research on where to keep stock of the books I own - ultimately I wrote them all down in a big list, and will be transferring them to Goodreads (as of yet I have not done this).

Despite the little troubles I encountered, I would 100% complete another book inventory, and today I'm sharing five reasons why you should too!

Having knowledge of the books you own, especially if you have a larger than average book collection, is beneficial for many reasons. One of the reasons I decided to undertake my book inventory was simply because I was curious of the number of books I owned, and I mean if I'm going to count them all I might as well go the extra step of taking stock properly, right? Detailed knowledge of the books you own is also great if you're someone who keeps stats of what you read.

Leading on from the above point, having all your books gathered in the one place (not confined and looking pretty on your shelves) can be quite a reality check - I had no idea I owned 140 books until they were there before my eyes, and my collection looked a lot larger when scattered on my bed and floor. One thing you can do when your books are all laid out is put them into piles of read and unread - that in itself can be eye opening!

It is so much easier to weed through the books you own when they are a. off of your shelves and properly arranged before you, and b. when you realise just how many books you do own. I'm quite good at decluttering my shelves personally, but I know for many they have great difficulty parting with books; I think this method could be quite useful to those.

I don't know about you, but one of my least favourite tasks when it comes to my book collection is the dusting off. Of course I clean my shelves regularly, but I don't pull out my books and dust the books themselves nor the space under the books as often as I probably should be doing. When taking stock of your books, it is prime dusting time.

My bookshelves help me to feel inspired, inspired to discover and explore, inspired to pick up the books on them, inspired to read, and because of that I find I'm often reorganising them. Much like decluttering, I think book collectors can fall in to the two categories - those who organise often, and those happy with their collection as is. Neither is right or wrong, but the next time you decide to have a reorganise, just think whilst all your books are off your shelves you could be completing a book inventory.

Have you ever completed a book inventory? If not, does the idea appeal to you?


  1. I've never done a book inventory and I'm almost a little scared too! This does sound really useful and I have shelves that really needed to be scrubbed off. I may have to dedicate a Saturday to really pulling out all my books and reevaluate them and do my own inventory. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I'd never completed a book inventory until this experience, but I thought despite it being a daunting task, it's better to complete the inventory now as opposed to when my collection is perhaps double the size!! It's a time consuming task, but 100% worth it in my opinion. You'll have to let me know how it goes if and when you do an inventory :-)

  2. I do enjoy having an inventory of my books on GR as well!

    If you have a smartphone, adding your inventory to Goodreads can be expedited quite a bit by using the GR app's barcode scanner. I am still pretty new to smartphones, but have been enjoying the ease of adding books from the library to my shelves using the app -- the biggest benefit I think is how you zero in on your exact edition without having to wade through all the different ones listed on the site -- a big timesaver if you really want the inventory to be as accurate as possible!

    1. Oh, wow, that does seem like it would be a great tool when adding books to Goodreads - thanks for the tip, Christine!

  3. I definitely need to do a book inventory, since I have approximately ten times the number of books you do. In fact, I started one in January, but it has kind of stalled out. I'll have to get going on it again! :)

    1. With that many books I can definitely see why your inventory fizzled out - it took me quite a while to complete mine with not much more than 100 books in my collection. Good luck with completing your inventory, Julie!


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