Mario Villalobos

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Using My Bookshop Store Page as a Reading Log

  • Notes

Over the weekend, I spent time sprucing up my Bookshop store page. I’ve had the store for a few years, but I hadn’t publicized it, and the only list I had were the books I read in 2020. A few things prompted this activity: I love buying my books at, and I hate how few books I’ve read this year. So I came up with an idea I’m not sure will work forever but works well enough now, and that’s using my store page to both track some of my reading and to promote those books that I love, those books that have shaped who I am today.

I’ve broken up my page into several lists:

  • Currently Reading
  • Up Next
  • Essential Fiction
  • Essential Non-Fiction
  • Year in Reading: 2021
  • Year in Reading: 2020

The first section is made up of two lists: the books I’m currently reading and those books I would like to read next. The latter are books that are sitting on my shelf behind my couch, and they’re books I had hoped to get to this year but didn’t. They also include recent purchases, like The Passenger Box Set by Cormac McCarthy, books I pre-ordered back in March. These two lists will also be the only two lists I will keep updated regularly, as long as I feel like this activity holds any value for me.

Bookshop makes this very easy to maintain. All I have to do is find the book on Bookshop, scroll down until I find the Your Affiliate Link section, then click on Add to My Book Lists. There, I can add or remove books from my lists. I feel like this removes just enough friction that maintaining my lists will be easy.

The second section is made up of two more lists: the fiction and non-fiction books I’ve read that I love and have influenced me in some way. Admittedly, my fiction list is dominated by male authors, mostly Cormac McCarthy and Dennis Lehane, and I wouldn’t have noticed that if I hadn’t made up this list. That is one thing I would like to change about my book selection. If you have any recommendations, email me and let me know. I’m always looking to expand and grow as a person.

My essential non-fiction selection is a bit better on that front, but it’s still a bit sausage-heavy. They are still books that I’ve loved and have shaped my thinking in ways I can’t explain. Book lists and recommendations are inherently personal, which jives with the theme of my website. I mean, this website does exactly what it says on the tin.

Finally, my third section contains and will contain all the books I’ve read in any given year, going back to 2020. My personal reading log goes back to 2010, but I didn’t want to have that many lists on my page, so I’m focusing on just 2020. That also happens to be the year I both started this blog (again) and wrote my first Year in Reading post.

Each one of these “Year in Reading” lists has a short description linking back to my respective blog post, and that is why I don’t have my 2022 list up yet. I have created it, though, and that’s another cool thing Bookshop allows you to do: it allows you to hide lists from your store page. I’ve created my “Year in Reading: 2022” list and have added the books I’ve read into it, but I won’t make it visible until the end of the year sometime, whenever I write my Year in Reading: 2022 post.

I believe all of this will allow me to better track my reading, to help me decide what to read next, and to display my reading journey in a visually appealing way. This also provides one more thing:

The one and only way you, my one reader, can support me.

I’ve never been one to ask anyone for support. I’ve always just done things on my own and asking anyone for help literally gives me hives. But I figured that promoting those books I love can also help someone else out there, if only a little bit. Maybe you’ve never read Cormac McCarthy or Marcus Aurelius, and maybe if you used my store page to buy one or two of these books and read them, then maybe these books would have helped you like they helped me. That’s a pretty cool thought, right?

If anything, this method of tracking my books will help me get reading again. That’s always the ultimate goal.

Oh, one more thing: I have removed all links back to on any previous blog posts that had them. I feel like linking to books using my affiliate links whenever I write about a book is both tedious and a bit disingenuous, like I’m only writing about the book so I could make money off of it or something. That’s not how I roll. If a book is worth writing about, it’s worth writing about, and if it is, I will have added that book to one of my “essential” lists. Check back to my store if you’re ever considering buying a book I’ve written about here. There’s a good chance I will have included it into one of my lists.

And as always, thank you again for reading. That’s really cool. You’re really cool. (Now go buy some books! From my store, preferably, but it’s cool if not. No pressure.)