Make “owned” non-exclusive with wish list / reading / finished

The way “owned” is handled on Natively is kinda weird in my opinion. Whether I own a book or not is completely independent of whether I have currently read it or not, and it makes the overview a bit messy I find. I think it would be better if “owned” was a separate kind of tag that books could be listed under that did not conflict with the other ones.

“Wish list” is also a bit ambiguous and might in turn be split into “want to read” and “want to buy” for better clarity if this was implemented.

I think of “owned” as the same as Bookmeter’s 積読 list, which I find convenient. I believe that was the original intent if I remember correctly.

Personally I have no desire to track books I own separately from that and would find it confusing if “currently reading” or “read” books could also be marked as “owned”. I understand that some people might want that, especially if they borrow or sell books a lot, but custom lists can be used for that purpose. Would you feel differently if “owned” was named something else to indicate that it meant 積読?


I tend to use my Owned list as essentially an Unread list for things I own; I personally wouldn’t have much use for tracking books I own specifically, since all the books I read I own. That might not be the case for everyone, like seanblue said, of course.


Same. And you can always make a custom list if you want to track your owned books. They are non-exclusive.


I’m personally using the private custom field to track where I read the book from or where I own it, but yeah I guess right now you can not search from there and custom lists would make more sense.

Yeah, this has been a discussion since the very start of Natively :slight_smile:

I personally agree with @Megumin and @seanblue that letting ‘Owned’ operate as a tsundoku list works well.

As they suggest, you can make a custom list with your owned books… which essentially does operate as an ‘owned’ tag if the custom lists functionality is working well. I’d be curious what the use cases are for a separate ‘owned’ marker.

@Megumin I think we should keep this thread open for discussion and I’m fine with moving it into trello, but it should be marked as speculative.


I suppose it’s less of a use-case and more of a peeve of mine, really. I just find it very weird to have books disappear from a section called “owned” once I start reading them, and in general to have ongoing series kinda spread all over the place in my book list. There’s also some books I happen to own and kinda don’t plan on reading anymore (got an ebook containing a whole series, dropped the series after two volumes), and both options of keeping it in owned (where it will forever taunt me) or removing it (which is a lie since I do own it) bug me. I do understand that’s very much a me problem though.

Perhaps it’s simply the name that’s misleading.


Yeah, I was confused by the categories at first, too. I think it’s because the other labels are actions you do to the books (I’m reading the book, I finished the book, I stopped the book), while “owned” is a state of being (The book is owned by me).
(Also, at first I thought “owned” meant something that I no longer own, as in “I owned it, but then I sold it”, because “owned” is past tense.)

My suggestions to replace “Owned”:
– Queued (or In Queue)
– Up Next
– Ready (or Ready to Read)

I’d also suggest adding a small icon on the My Books page that shows the order:
Wish List --> Owned/Queued --> Reading --> Stopped --> Finished

I think the closest in spirit to 積読 which it’s emulating would be “book pile” which I rather like, but I’m not sure would be as immediately intuitive


I’m not a huge fan of these suggestions, for the simple reason that not all the books I own I intend on reading anytime soon, if at all; some I have some for collection reasons. If ‘Owned’ is changed, those books suddenly have no home. I could make a separate custom tag for them, but they still have to live in one of the default shelves, and none would apply to them.


@cat “book pile” – I kinda like that. :slight_smile: (but yeah, maybe not intuitive)

@eefara I kind of agree with you. I kinda have the same problem. For me, I find the “Stopped” category less useful at the moment, and so I put books that I don’t plan to read soon in there. It seems like you and I could use another category, to separate “will read soon” and “won’t read soon”. Maybe “Queued” and “Archived”?
Although, adding another category might become cumbersome. Maybe a flag within “Owned”? (to mark “will read soon” from “won’t read soon”)


Isn’t that what custom shelves are for?


Why not just use the transcription Tsundoku? That word has entered the English language as a loanword. It has a wiki page and dictionary entry and all, and there isn’t really an exact term for it in English. The closest is probably TBR, but that kinda implies that you actually plan to read them and not just collect them.

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I feel the same way. If I want a “queue” category, I’ll make a custom shelf. For me, “Owned” is the best option (well, actually I like the 積読/Tsundoku option the most except for the fact that fewer people will know what that means). So count me as a vote for not changing “Owned”


I’m not using “Owned” anymore either, but for me it’s a filter problem: I’d love to uses it as a 積読 category, but when I try to decide what book to read next, I usually want to choose from my unowned books (Wish List) and my 積読 pile (Owned) - but there’s no way to view both mixed together in the “My Books” list.

So now instead all books I own stay in the Wish list, and I have a 積読 custom list. It’s a bit annoying because I have to remember to remove books from the list once I start reading them, but at least I can see Wish List + 積読 at the same time (by just clicking Wish List).


First, great discussion! It’s interesting to hear different perspectives!

But, I’m confused. Can someone help explain?
– Some people like “Owned” but they use it as a parking lot for ‘inactive’ books. Do you mix ‘inactive’ and ‘active’ books together? If it’s a parking lot, then wouldn’t a different name be better – it still seems “Owned” is not the best name?
– With Reading, Stopped, and Finished, you still own the book, right? When you move a soon-to-read “Owned” book to “Reading”, then it gets removed from “Owned”, even though you still own it. Doesn’t that get confusing, or at least redundant? (hence, the OP’s request)
– If I make a custom shelf for “queued” books, then there’s 2 things to change when I move it to “Reading” (change the state & remove the tag). So it seems making a custom shelf is more inconvenient for this purpose, right?
– Why is it the only option to change “Owned” or not change it? Why can’t there be another category or another label to help people with different organization styles?
– Maybe the question is whether people want labels to indicate stages of progress (queued, reading, stopped, finished) or state of being (owned, borrowed, loaned, stored/parked, trashed :man_shrugging: )?

(Btw, I’m not opposed to any of the ideas – I’m just trying to understand better. :slight_smile: )


I check some books out from the library and I give away books after reading as often as I can find people nearby who will take em, so not entirely true :joy:

This said, I inconsistently mark things as owned to begin with so I don’t have a horse in this race. I care if books are read, unread, or stopped. Beyond that is just icing for me.


same. Once a book has been read, it goes out the door the first chance I get. :see_no_evil: I literally use the “owned” label as “I have some version of this book available to me and it is ready to be read, if I so choose”
Personally, If I wanted to mark books I own, I would create a custom shelf. (I am not very good at keeping custom shelves up to date on natively, though :sweat_smile:)


No it’s not confusing or redundant. “Owned” in the context of Natively means 積読. This unambiguously means that you have the book in your possession and haven’t read it yet. I understand that this isn’t implied with the English word “owned”, but those of us who use Bookmeter are used to it. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s an English word that makes this perfectly clear.

I think a site like Natively is for tracking progress. You get stats on how many books or pages you’ve read after all. Not how many books are sitting on your bookshelf or how many books you borrowed from the library. That’s why “Owned” should also be treated as a state of progress in this context. And since all the groups are states of progress, they can be shown in a state diagram with state transitions, similar to what you showed several posts back.


Just want to chime in here too, good discussion going :slight_smile:

First, I just want to say that everyone has different workflows and we have to acknowledge the system won’t work optimally for everyone… but I think it can work pretty darn well for everyone!

Second, yeah I think we can all agree the english word ‘Owned’ is not entirely a state of progress like Tsundoku. Indeed, I believe I took the idea for a ‘Owned’ list from bookmeter? Or perhaps it was suggested? Regardless, I think it is a pretty common workflow to regard bought things as a different priority than simple wish list. I wouldn’t want to use the word tsundoku as it’s not a commonly known word… I know people here have had confusion with how to use ‘Owned’, but in general people do seem to follow the intended use (before in progress after wish list). We could put an explainer on it.

Third, since no system will completely work for everyone, I’d encourage everyone to specify use cases which are inconvenient for you now, not just theoretically. Something like @Legato mentioned with not being able to select both Owned and Wish List is very useful and informative. Now, I’d encourage you to drill down further (is it a large inconvenience to have to browse two lists? How are you searching through those lists to find your next book?), but explaining your real needs and issues drives the product to prioritize actually useful things rather than trying to solve potential, but not actual issues.

Lastly, I just want to acknowledge that we really only want one list of default progress states and that the list should be short. Remember the UIs these are used in… it’s in a dropdown used in a lot of places. A lot of people only use wish list / in progress / finished and we don’t want a lot of bloat for no reason! So, we should be very wary of adding complexity if we really don’t need to. The hope was that individual users can add as much complexity as they want through the custom lists.

Keep up the good discussion, we all want to hear your thoughts! :slight_smile: