Add a "blank book" to allow the user to track reading material not applicable to Natively

Description of your request or bug report:
I would like to request that a “blank book” entry of sorts be added to Natively so that users can track things they’ve read that aren’t tracked on Natively due to format reasons (VNs, doujinshi, news articles, etc.).

This blank book would be extremely customizable on the user’s end, but not searchable from the main search bar(*). Fields I had in mind that the user could customize:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Cover image
  • Page count
  • Publication Date
  • Format of the work
  • A link space to link to the content if it’s hosted online, to a Wikipedia entry, etc., whatever might be useful

The user should be able to rate the blank book, but not grade it. Other users could see a user’s blank book(s) while browsing their library. I’m not 100% sure what you’d do about JP level; probably just leave that as N/A for the blank book? Or let that be a field the user can manually select based on their best judgement.

As for where/how you could add a blank book, perhaps there could be an option in your library (under the add custom tag option, perhaps) and on the search results page (perhaps near the top, above the search results themselves?).

(*) Thinking about this afterwards: it would be interesting to let users search for others’ blank books, and if they add it to their library, it creates a duplicate, so that user B can edit the information on the book without it changing the information on user A’s copy. This is a bit beyond my initial thoughts on scope, though, so I’ll leave this here.

Trello link:

I back this request - I have some Pixiv/twitter comics (気になっている人は男じゃなかった! ー https://twitter.com/agu_knzm/status/1512998788025110532) and VNs /games(逆転裁判所)I would love to be able to log, though god knows how you would track progress on the games.

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I suppose you could try to get character counts for each chapter, if possible, and guestimate based off of that? Compare it to the average number of characters per page in a novel? Or you could just track progress by chapter/case numbers: I’ve finished the first case out of five, so I’m 1/5 of the way done. It’s not exact, but it’s an interesting problem to think about. :thinking:

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Apologies on the delayed response! Lots of details to work out here, but approve the general outline. I think games should be handled separately, but potentially people will use this as a crutch :sweat_smile:

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Are there any updates?

Since it’s still in “requested” phase (according to trello) and not the “to do” phase, I’m assuming not :sweat_smile:

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Correct. Unfortunately it’s not in the foreseeable product plan, just really focused on other things right now :confused:

Of course, if it continues to be upvoted I’ll take that into account.

If it were a quick addition it’d be one thing, but my suspicion is that it’s not.

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Oh I’d definitely love to see this as a feature. A big reason why I stopped updating my books here was because several can’t be listed. Hope to see it happen one day :pray:

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Please see the General Activity Logging ticket and let me know your thoughts! Would this be an acceptable substitute to blank books? Blank books would have the benefit of living in your library, but outside that, I think general activity logging would cover most of our needs.

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The thing with blank books is that it allows me to add books that are not in Natively, and potentially hard to add.

For example these two books:

1st one was given for those who went to see the YuruCamp movie during the first weeks.

The second one is giving at Pokemon Centers for certain purchase amounts.

Both of them don’t have official Amazon listings, they don’t have ISBNs as well.
Logging only the activity makes it disregard that you actually have a physical/digital media in your library.

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I kinda assumed that it would be possible to say “finished” or “reading/watching/on-going”, even for the general thing :thinking:

Then that entry would be added to the relevant category in your library.

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Maybe I miss-understood @brandon’s proposal but doesn’t seem like?

I mean that wouldn’t allow me for example to get it displayed in my library, or have a review, or anything relevant at all. But again, maybe I’m just miss understanding.

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This is what I was thinking. The activity logging would only increase your page count and / or chapters read + time spent if you choose to add that as well.

There would be no rating, no reviews, no increase in your ‘books finished’ count. You could write some thoughts in your activity log’s notes.

I could, of course, have a mechanism for increase your book count finished as well, but I fear that may get too complicated.

The nice thing about the activity log is that it’d be a catch all for a lot of things, and you could record your activity and potentially later backfill formal objects if they get implemented (like blank books… or even just a more flexible book submission process).

But perhaps the blank book still does have some value as an independent request too.

The general activity logging sounds like a nice compromise between blank book and no blank book, but I’m with @Megumin here; my ideal would be to have something I can see in my library, add to a list, leave a short review on, give a rating to, etc.

The activity logging as in regards to imagining it just sounds so impersonal, I guess? My ultimate goal isn’t to log the stuff in a spreadsheet, it’s to display it.

(And at this point blank “book” would be outdated terminology, granted; it would make sense to expand it to the audiovisual section as well. I’m just using it as a catch-all term here.)

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This seems to make it a bit complicated for maintaining, if you have a big activity log of those items.

Backfilling would require going back on your activity and matching it to the blank book. For that to happen, you would have to go one by one, and being able to filter and associate easily. To be honest, sounds like a pain and something I would probably not do it.

I’m already struggling with the time I’m going to have to invest to remake my library with content tags / custom lists, from stuff that I saved somewhere else, and some of it was saved until now in the notes section. (Not that I’m complaining directly, it’s a self-complain as is something I brought upon myself)

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Agreed!

It does operate as a catchall / backup, but you’re right a crummy one. If you’re a sharing / mostly book-focused / less tracking inclined user, I think the activity logs aren’t great.

If you’re a user who’s already inclined to track all their activities with something like polylogger / toggle / something else, than the activity logs will be great.

It’s mostly focused towards the latter group, with some benefits to the former. At least that’s my thinking.

Thanks for all this feedback, helps my thinking a lot :slight_smile:

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I feel like both the general activity logging and blank book are complementary.

I’d love to have all of my tracking data in one place, and it’d be nice to be able to have that reading time not necessarily linked to a specific book.

For example,

I’ve been reading with a group of people, so my reading time for those books is all over the place, between reading before and re-reading with the group, but I still want to track it. Just not straight up on Natively currently, as that would mess up my reading speed stats.

However I’d still like to be able to add those blank books, to track stuff that can’t be added to Natively. Maybe even assign it a level, so that I can see my progress through those ressources as well.

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Oh, okay, I misunderstood then.

I thought that rather than a blank book, it would be a blank anything and one would just add the relevant info.

Well, a blank anything would be nice, but blank books are the thing I need.

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Been lurking the blank book discussion for a while, just tagging on what would make my ideal “blank book” from a doujinshi/fanworks reading perspective.

  • Adds to books/pages read this year
  • Ability to set page number, date started/finished, current pages read, and add library tags
  • All book info invisible to other users, as I wouldn’t want the info of my fan creator mutuals to be publicly available and searchable through google/natively. I wouldn’t use a feature that would make the title/author visible to others as it feels like it would go against fandom etiquette. Doubly so if you’re allowing reviews, as this could lead to fanwork creators finding negative reviews of their work on natively.
  • For the same reason as above, I think not allowing the user to upload a cover is for the best unless the book is totally invisible as anything other than a stat to other users.
  • No reviews or difficulty ratings, just allow me to use the notes feature like with normal books

My main problem really is that I read about 1000 pages of a doujinshi novel series last year which doesn’t show when I want to see how much I read last year.

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Do you mind if I ask what fandom etiquette is, out of curiosity? (kinda out of topic, but maybe relevant too; that seems like a very counterintuitive behavior to me)

personally, I want all my custom books to be visible, gradable, etc, like regular books.

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