A while ago a friend lamented that my son had not started a “Life List” to keep track of the books he read. This friend sighed and left me with the impression that all was lost. What was the point of keeping track of anything if you hadn’t kept track of everything?
For a few minutes I panicked, and then I remembered:
I reject that notion.
I started keeping track of the books I was reading a few years ago. Around that time I noticed that other people knew how many books they had read in a year and what they were. I was intrigued.
In 2015, overwhelmed and exhausted with a newborn and homeschooling I started keeping track of the books I read. I bought a little book off amazon with space to write the title, author, a star rating, and a summary. Here is a link to the book. I paid $8 in 2015 and it is $9 now. I don’t really recommend this book. First, there are journal prompts every ten pages or so. Second, I don’t really like to write summaries, nor do I like to do star ratings. Everyone is different. But, after using this journal (and finishing it), I found that I really preferred just keeping track of the title, author, and month that I read it.
In 2016 I read 31 books and discovered another author: Elizabeth Strout. I read Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton. I also listened to A Man Called Ove which was one of the best books I read that year.
In 2017 I read 48 books. Taylor Jenkins Reid was my big discovery that year with her The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I also started the year listening to Pride and Prejudice. I had never read it and tried several times to get through it on my own. Listening to the book was a great way to finally read it. This was also the year that I finally decided that Louise Penney was not for me.
In 2018 I read 51 books. Jessica Shattuck’s The Women in the Castle was one of my favorites that year. That was also the year that I tried to find a good audio series that I could listen to while I knitted. I have not had a lot of success with that, despite consistently trying over and over.
In 2019 I read 68 books and 12 read-alouds to my daughter for a total of 80 books. Liane Moriarty redeemed herself with Nine Perfect Strangers. Taylor Jenkins Reid hit it out of the park with Daisy Jones and the Six. I also read a lot of great non-fiction last year.
These days I keep track of my reading in a Leuchtturm1917 grid journal. I rewrote all of the book lists which were written in various planners into this journal. I chose the Leuchtturm because of the table of contents at the front, but there are probably lots of journals with that feature now. I also put one of the bookmarks into page 125 and started a TBR list including who it was who had recommended the book. This has been extremely helpful. Now I know which bloggers or podcasters have similar reading tastes to me and I can follow their recommendations. I also know which bloggers/podcasters often miss the mark for me.