For years, little slips of paper would fall out of my purse or flutter around on my desk. Written between the margins in my calendar/address book I’d see the name of a book and wonder who had recommended it. The task of writing them all on a list was akin to putting the photos stacked in my rolltop desk away in an album: a wish-list task that would most likely never get checked off.
But, I did it. I prepared an excel spreadsheet of books. Yes, it took valuable writing time, but I am proud of my masterpiece. I’m talking labeled tabs. This is probably the accountant in me, trying to keep track. Before you get too impressed, I need to admit the pages are not numbered, nor the titles in any particular order. That would require using the sorting function of excel and I never quite mastered that. But still.
The tabs are easy—categories such as:
Fiction I want to read
Non-Fiction I want to read (translation: primarily books on the writing craft). Occasionally, a non-fiction narrative like Glass Castle comes along and then I’m right in line to buy it.
Books that most affected the lives of my Oxford classmates. I look back on this list to get a quick reminder of how lucky I was to have met each of those unique individuals. Where else would you get recommendations as diverse as this: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, The Law of Love by Laura Esquival, or Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll?
Books I have read. This is an attempt to keep count of how many books I actually read-though I don’t date it so I won’t know if the list is per month, year, lifetime! And since I just started it, I am far behind on the count.
Books I enjoyed enough to recommend to others
Audio Books with a spectacular reader (here again, let me push Alan Rickman reading The Return of the Native)
So, how do you keep track?