How to make books count in Epilogue’s reading goal?

I love the new plug-in summarising what you read in 2022!

I only started with partway through this year so I was wondering if anyone could explain exactly what ensures books are included Epilogue’s reading goal 2022 count.

I understand you have to blog about them for them to count, but does it matter how you do that?


  • Do you have to use the Epilogue app to write the post?
  • Do you have to use the default text? ("Finished reading: … :books: ")
  • Does each book need to have a separate post or can you blog about several in the same one and they’ll all get picked up?
  • I assume you have to include a link to’s page for that book - eg isbn

Thanks for any insights!

Thanks for asking this because we need to write up better documentation for how it works. I’ll answer each one of your points here:

  • No. You can write the post in any app or just on the web.
  • Sort of. expects the blog post will contain the name of your “Finished reading” bookshelf. If you rename that bookshelf to something else, it will still work. But it has to have something so it can tell the difference between blog posts where you finished a book vs. a “Want to read” post.
  • Yes. Unfortunately it only checks the first book link in a post. This would be a nice improvement to allow multiple books in the same post.
  • Yes. It uses that book URL format to find the ISBN and record it. I would like to improve this to not require the link.
1 Like

I should add… We probably need another way to add books to the goals list, for cases like you mentioned where you didn’t blog about everything you finished. I think blogging should still be the primary way of collecting the list, but it would be nice to add other books manually that were missed.

Thanks for all the details, super informative and makes sense!

I guess the main problem is just for those of us who only quite recently started with

In the short term I guess I can just fairly quickly add the basic “Finished reading:” posts that epilogue generates and re-date them to a time before I had my blog if I want to include them (I already added them to the finished reading bookshelf), and next year of course be sure to blog every book as I finish it.

The second bullet is good to know - I guess if you change the name of the Finished reading bookshelf after the fact you might lose the existing entries if you don’t also have the new name in your posts (but I can’t imagine that’s a common use-case, it’s not something I’d want to do)

It’s not something I have verified, but if you’re comfortable scripting, it looks like you can update the reading goal progress via the Books API.

That’s true, we do have some basic API support for goals. Although it looks like we don’t have a way to set the specific list of books that were finished, just the number of books. I’ll add that because then other apps could be built to update the reading list just like does.

1 Like

My Bookshelves are named, Books To Read, Books Read, and now Read in 20XX (for each year). Will it still work?

Maybe. Because you renamed the bookshelf, still internally knows that it’s for “finished” books, so that’s good. But that assumes that you are using the bookshelf name in your blog post. So in your case, if the blog post contains “Books Read”, it will work. If the blog post links to the book but doesn’t include the bookshelf name anywhere, won’t know this is a finished book and so won’t update the goal.

I think we probably need to not be so strict about this. I’m going to look at tweaking this for 2023.

That sounds good and the change would be helpful. I do plan to use Epilogue to make a post when I finish reading a book so dunno if adding something there would help.

I’m still interested in a way to update my 2022 reading goal with all the books I read last year that I didn’t post about. I’m not clear on how to do that from this thread, if it is possible.

I don’t think it is. If you blog about them now, they will count as read in 2023.

@cygnoir @pratik You could try back-dating a post using the scheduling feature. I did this for a book list and the “Year in books” feature picked up the retroactive change.

I’ve been a little conflicted about how best to support this. I think the “blog about it for it to count” is a good default approach, but we should have some way of going back and manually updating previous reading goals. Maybe reading goals should be editable after the year has passed, for fixing anything that wasn’t included?

Right now, I don’t have a “read” shelf. That’s because I want to keep track of the year I read things, so I have a separate shelf named “Read in 202X” for each year.

I think there are a few good options that could be pursued.

  1. Allow users to set any number of shelfs to have the same special status as the Read shelf, making that a shelf property versus something MB does magic on based on a reserved name. Add a year property to shelves that’s optional, and use those two shelf properties for goals.
  2. Add a property of read_on or completed_on or similar to each book. Expose that property as editable to users. Set that property upon moving to the “read” shelf. Then use that property count what year a book counts for goals (and this would probably allow me to move back to one “read” shelf and just group by year for my own pages (though I’m not 100% sure how I’d do that with a JSON data property in Hugo, seems like it must be possible).
1 Like

Good ideas. Behind the scenes, actually does have an “is this a finished reading shelf?” property for each bookshelf, but it’s not editable because it assumes there is just one. I think everything will work if we let that get set on multiple bookshelves.

I’m not clear from the replies here. Is there a way to add a book to my yearly reading goal shelf without posting to

No, there is not. The only way it counts toward the built in goals is to make a blog post. I create my own annual shelfs, because I don’t blog my books. I also don’t use the built in goals as a result.

Still no change to this. I looked into it again but I’ve gone back and forth on the best way to expand the feature. I think the simplest thing is probably for us to just add anything in “Finished reading” to the goals as well. I’ll work on that.

Multiple finished bookshelves should be possible at the same time. I think that’s a good idea as people’s bookshelves get much larger over time.

You might want to look at how I organize my books-- I just have a bunch of Read in #{Year} shelves, since I track my books by year. I wouldn’t mind having one read shelf versus many if I had access to date read information so that I could use group by date elements /filters to make things easier.

I think it’s weird to model a state like read as an organizational concept… not that I have an alternative for shelves.

In the updated system I’m testing, if you edit a bookshelf (the little “i” button) there is a new popup menu to set whether a bookshelf is a “Finished reading” shelf or something else:

So you should be able to edit each of the “Read in year” shelves to all be of type “Finished reading”. I’m also updating any of the goals tracking to understand this change. Will roll it out tomorrow if it looks good.

1 Like