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How Do You Count Comics on Goodreads?

Gina Nicoll

Staff Writer

Gina Nicoll is a writer and research student in Toronto, Canada.

I have a problem. I haven’t updated my Goodreads in months because I can’t decide how I want to add the comics I’ve read.

If I read it in single issues, should I mark each separate issue as read? Or should I, like some comics fans I know, only mark the trade as read, even when that’s not the format I read it in? Or do I pick the listing for the deluxe edition or omnibus or whichever edition the most amount of issues are collected in to get it as close to a “traditional book” as possible for Goodreads purposes?

Now that I’m reading more and more single issues, I am doubting myself. If I mark each issue of Lumberjanes #5-8 as read, because that’s how I read them, instead of marking Lumberjanes Vol. 2 as read, Goodreads makes it seem like I’ve read four books and counts all four toward my reading challenge once I add the date I read them. Does that artificially inflate my number of books read and make it sound more impressive than it actually is?

But then why mark the trade or deluxe edition as what I read when it’s not what I actually read? I like to remember the experience and how, when, and why I read things the way I did. If I look back and see I read Saga Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 and then issues #13-14 in singles, I remember how I read the first trade on a whim, wanting to try it out but not expecting to love it, only to become so obsessed I made my first ever trip to a comics shop the next day to pick up the second trade and the next issues they had because I couldn’t wait for the third trade. I don’t know if that memory would have been as accessible if I waited to mark only Saga Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 as read.

Plus the obsessive organizer in me likes to add books to my “own” shelf on Goodreads when I have a physical copy. If I add single issues as read and mark which ones I own, it’ll save me in the not uncommon situation where I’m in a comics shop and forget which number I’ve collected up to. I can pull out my phone and check the Goodreads app and avoid duplicate purchases. (I know, I know, I could set up a pull list, but I’m a scared newbie who doesn’t like commitment, okay?)

Currently I’m leaning toward adding comics in the format I read them in, even for singles. It still makes me feel like I’m cheating on my Goodreads reading challenge, but I think the ease of organizing and remembering make it worth it to me. Plus I could adjust my reading goal to account for 20 or so single issues a year on top of what it might otherwise be.

However, while I read singles more often than I used to, I’m still not like some comics fans who read in that format primarily. For you, would adding dozens upon dozens of single issues get annoying? Would it make it messier to organize Goodreads and be harder to rate? That would also have way more of an impact on your reading challenge count, if that matters to you.

Or do you keep your Goodreads for prose books and save your comics tracking for elsewhere?

Or am I, like with seemingly everything else in my life, overthinking things? Scratch that. I know I’m overthinking this, but comics nerd problems, you guys. What do you do?