Posted by: Lisa Hill | May 10, 2011

Wishlists, and how to keep track of recommendations…

As all keen readers know, reading bookblogs is fatal to the bank balance, but every now and again a mild attack of temperance strikes and a likely book is added to a wishlist rather than the credit card bill.   The months go by and along comes a helpful little email advising that the price has dropped.  The only problem is, you can’t remember why you wanted the book or who it was who recommended it to you…should you, or shouldn’t you??

Some months ago I pointed this out in a customer survey, and I can’t have been the only one with the problem because they have come up with this nifty little innovation: for now when you add a book to your wishlist (in the faint hope that The Beloved will buy it for you) you have the option of labelling it (using labels you’ve devised yourself) and you can add notes, URLs of the reviews that inspired your choice and so on.

You can see what I mean from the screen dump above. Trevor wrote an intriguing review of The Assault at The Mookse and the Gripes, and the book went onto my wishlist, labelled RecMookseAndGripes.  When I buy the book, the tempting URL is already there so that I check out why I wanted it, and later on, can give credit to Trevor for suggesting I read it.

With books from other sources lurking on my groaning TBR, I sometimes can’t remember why I bought it or where it came from.  (The TBR at last count had over 500 books on it, so you can see why my memory is tested).  So these days, with books that come to me from other sources, I add it to my GoodReads shelf straightaway  and put something in the private notes or the Recommended By box so that I can give due credit (or blame) when I finally get round to reading it. Sometimes I also add a review URL as well.

Don’t you love the way technology just keeps getting better and better for booklovers?



  1. That seems like a good way Lisa on whole I make a note in my moleskine and when stuck in a shop for a book I look at that and choose one ,all the best stu


    • Moleskines, I love ’em. I use them as travel diaries. But I think I’d need one the size of an encyclopaedia to record all my books in!


  2. That is an excellent system. I use Delicious to bookmark pages – so I save almost every book review I run across, tagged by author. I do like the Book Depository system though.


    • I tried using Delicious, but I never really mastered it. It does have the advantage of not being tied to any particular retailer though.


  3. Very interesting – I have similar problems, but I note that Amazon now let you add books to your Amazon wishlist from any retailer by means of a toolbar button. However, the addition of notes is not a feature they support.

    I am ruthless with my TBR pile and keep moving to a pile on the floor and then despatching it out of the house to various final destinations (oops, sounds like I’m a book Nazi).


  4. I use Goodreads to complile my (not quite as out of control as yours) wishlist and I use the Goodreads iphone app to check our reviews and ratings when I am in bookshops.

    However in my perfect world the Book Depository people would devise a way for me to export or feed my TBR list from Goodreads to my wishlist in BD because to explain to hubby that the list is on the GR site but the purchase needs to happen on the BD site is just tooooo hard.


    • *chuckle*, oh yes, oh yes, Jacinta! That sounds like a perfect innovation!


  5. That’s a fabulous idea. I seem to spend half my waking life trying to remember where I saw something written recently


    • *chuckle* If our brains are this rubbery now, goodness knows what they’ll be like when we’re old folks!


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