The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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January 2, 2013

Life list

I'm just curious.  Does anyone else keep (other than on your blog) a list,or log of the books you've read?  I started doing this a year or so after college.  The older ones have lists of the books I wanted to read, in addition to the ones I'd read, but I haven't been doing that more recently.  Now, it's essentially a page for each month, listing author, title, date finished, if it was an audiobook {I wonder why I started making that distinction?) and a word or two about how much I liked the book.

Every once in a while I pull one of the old ones (or even the current one) off the shelf and look at a random month.  It's amazing to me that I can sometimes picture where I was when I was reading certain books. I can look at months with only a book or two read {I was probably moving, or starting a new job, or both}, or months with more than a dozen {I was probably unemployed :) }. I'm not sure what inspired me to start keeping these lists, but I'm very glad I did.

December brought me five sheets from the end of my current notebook, the one I started in January 2002, not enough to finish 2013 in.  But when I bought this dark-green book, I bought two matching ones in different colors.  2013 to ?? could have been navy blue or purple, but I was drawn to the elegant blue one.  It feels kind of nice to be starting a new year, and a new notebook ... almost as nice as it feels talking about books with all of you.

The first book that I'll enter is Ngaio Marsh's Overture to Murder, January 2, audiobook, enjoyed very much. {This is an early one ... Alleyn and Troy aren't married yet.}  I have a geekier system for tracking the books I've read since college all together {okay, okay, it's dorky, there's a spreadsheet involved, now you know the worst, please put me out of my misery and say you do something - anything - similar?} and I was delighted to see that I hadn't read this one before!  It's probably right that the book is new, too.


Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I do! Since 2006, I've kept reading diaries of every book I've read. I record the title and author, the date I began reading and the date I finished, copy down any quotes I liked, and write down my thoughts or reactions to it(sometimes briefly and sometimes at length). For some books, this means I write half a page. For some, I write ten or twelve. Since I don't always review books promptly on my blog, I find these diaries invaluable when I want to review a book I read four or five months ago. Because I write so much, I usually go through two to three notebooks a year. I have quite the collection now!

elizabeth said...

I started doing this two years ago, and I wish I had started much sooner!

Lisa said...

I do too! Since 1990, I've kept a log of books I read each year, just a list really in notebooks. I started doing that because I kept forgetting authors' names and titles - and in the days before the internet, it was really hard to find them out again.

Now I also have a database, where I track purchases and when read - and also note my few 1st editions or signed copies. I get such satisfaction out of updating it when I buy a new book, or read one. So we can be dorky together.

And then I have the separate TBR lists. Also dating back to 1990, now that I think about it (though only one book goes back that far).

Just by the bye, I get such a kick out of the verification words - today mine is alpTot.

Alex in Leeds said...

I used to keep a reading journal but nowadays I keep a commonplace book - it's a bit more organised and cross-referenced so I can see all the quotes about WWI easily (for example) - and I can't imagine not keeping that kind of record now. It just enriches my reading life so much. :)

FleurFisher said...

I started keeping lists of books I'd read when I was around ten years old. It was my mother's idea, as it was something her own mother had done. I kept it up, moving from a notebook to card indexes to an Access database. Then one day I realised that there were so many titles and authors I remembered noting about and I gave up and let go. I may keep some other record one day, but for now my blog and LibraryThing are enough.

lyn said...

You're not alone, I've kept lists since 1977 & I can often remember where I was when I read a particular book. I just used sheets of paper until a few years ago when I decided to start using one of the notebooks I seem to collect but never use.

Lee-Anne said...

It's a major regret of my life that I didn't keep a booklog of any sort for most of my life. I thought I'd remember lol! I guess as far as regrets go it's not a bad one! I guess I must have impressed my daughters because they both started booklogs when they began reading independently and keep them up to date. It's a beautiful thing. "If you can't be a shining example, at least be a cautionary tale!"

Karen K. said...

I used to keep a notebook, but I always worried about losing it. Now I just keep up with it on Goodreads, which can also be dangerous. I have downloaded the list of my to-reads to a flash drive, so if anything happens, I'll still have it. I need to add my list of books read to the flash drive too, just in case.

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