|via Morgan Paradis|
My approach to reading is very stoppy-starty. Trying to keep track of time like that? Disastrous.
I still refuse to keep track of my quantitative reading times, but I have grown to realize there’s value in keeping track of the titles I have read. After all, after a few years you’re bound to forget at least something, and as a rereader, it’s nice to know how many times I’ve entered a particular storyworld.
Lots of people agree with me on this one, and there are a lot of methods out there. I have a “Book-Lover’s Journal” that allows for in-depth responses to books I’ve finished (not that I’ve used it in the last four years…) and Goodreads is also a popular place to track and rate the books you’ve read.
As for me, I am a spreadsheet kind of girl. No fanciness for me! I want to know four things when it comes to the book I’ve read:
- Author’s Name
- Date Finished
- Would I Reread It?
Simple as that. Of course, sometimes I make notes about when or where I finished a book; for example, I finished Desert Blood 10pm/9c at 1:15 AM in my Barcelona hotel’s bathroom, because my dad begged to go to sleep in the bedroom. That was a good night. In the end, though, those four items are my primary concerns.
These things are not particularly unique, with the exception of two things. Firstly, my rating system: where the five-star system is most prevalent, I use one defining criterion: Is this something I would read again? As a writer, I can’t think of higher praise. If you’re willing to put time and effort and soul into a book multiple times, that indicates you’re reading something you love—after all, you don’t get paid to read.
The other thing is that I don’t have any “review” section, or a place to put my thoughts. This, again, ties back to rereading. If I love a book I’m going to reread it and I will know exactly why it is worth that effort. If I like a book then I can trust my judgment that it will be enjoyable, even if I can’t remember the specifics of good or bad. And that’s enough for my purposes as a reader.
There are also two tabs that don’t record what I’ve read. One is a TBR list, which tracks authors, titles, and the recommender, that I can keep track of everything I want to read in an organized place.
The other is a monthly and yearly comparison of how much I’ve read. Though I’ve only kept rigorous track of what I’ve read the last two years, it turns out I’ve saved my reading logs since sixth grade, so I have incomplete data stretching a little farther back. It’s fascinating to see what and how much I read before, and I’m interested to see what other patterns emerge in my reading schedule as time goes on.
And, if you were curious, I’ve read 63 books this year—I’m a little behind if I want to beat last year’s record! Back to the books for me…