The recording of which books I read in a year is like a simple diary. At a glance, I can see what a year was like, what my moods and tastes were, and how much I was pushing my brain academically. Prior to a few years ago I wasn’t reading much at all and I missed what has always been one of my favourite past-times. Busy or not, I made the time and ended up reading more last year than in 2006 and 2007 combined. Of the 28 I finished last year, The Alchemist was the only book not from the sci-fi/fantasy realms. Usually my main reads are more eclectic and include more classics, contemporary fiction, plays, and non-fiction. But along with my main reading, for the past year or so I’ve had bookmarks in Animal Speak by Ted Andrews, Tao Te Ching, and the Bible, which are best read slowly. The first is an encyclopedia of sorts about animal medicine, the second is poetry worth repeatedly reading and thus resides on my nightstand, and the last I can only take in small doses.
My current list also helps point out why I may feel like I need something lighter. Coincidentally during a conversation with a friend last night, I said that after reading some intense science-fiction, fantasy, and political plays, I needed something that doesn’t require any mental energy and opted for the Prince Bride. Despite liking the movie better, so far so fun and it finally gets it off the Dread Pile o’Reads.
I began recording which books I read and want to read in 2006, long before this blog was born- a little over a year ago. My tracking system is simple: year, author, and title, though I may start numbering too.
07. Ursula Le Guin: the Lathe of Heaven
06. Larry Kirwain: Mad Angels (5 plays)
05. Frank Herbert: the Book of Frank Herbert
04. Catherynne M. Valente: Palimpsest
03. Rachel Green: An Ungodly Child
02. Legends: Short Novels by the Masters of Modern Fantasy
01. Margaret Atwood: Bodily Harm
Since it was growing quickly I recently organized the Dread Pile o’Reads into fiction and non-fiction. Fiction is alphabetized by author while non-fiction is listed more or less by subject matter. With having a page of my reading lists here, the notepad file containing them has since been deleted.
Do you keep track of what and/or how many books you read? How long have you been doing this? What’s your favorite tracking method, and why?If you don’t keep track, why not?