I love to read. Which is what ultimately made me a writer. Up until a few years ago, I never made the least bit of effort to keep track of what I read. I just read all the time and was satisfied with that. But since I didn’t keep track, I had no idea how many books I read each year or how many novels versus non-fiction I read, etc.
A few years ago I somewhat haphazardly began to write down the books I read (in print or by audio). Mostly just a list with an occasional comment or 5 star rating.
This year I have determined to put to use one of several reading journals I’ve acquired over time. A quick look at Amazon shows me that the serious book reader has a number of nice options of reading journals.
Last year, I read Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Excellent book with lots of good tips for readers, including how the author writes in the fronts and backs of the books he reads, summarizing them for himself. Since I do most of my reading on my Kindle, the separate journal is my best option.
Almost two weeks into 2013, I have an audio biography going whenever I’m in the car (started in 2012, and since I don’t go out much, it can take a long time for me to get through an audiobook). I’ve started and finished one Christian suspense novel and now am reading a general market women’s fiction. And as part of my devotional time in the morning, I’m reading The Well by Mark Hall (chosen because my word for the year is “quenched”).
I forget how many times a person has to repeat something for it to become a habit, but so far so good. I hope it will become a lifelong habit to write down detailed thoughts about the books I’ve read.
Lots of people do reading challenges (200+ books in a year!), but I don’t want to read books just to make another entry in my reading journal. I want to absorb what I read, whether fiction or non-fiction. I want to enjoy what I read. Some books are meant to be read very slowly in order to savor the words on the page. Others, like a great suspense novel, are meant to be read while holding ones breath.
Whether or not you keep a record of the books you read in 2013, as I plan to do, here’s hoping it’s a great reading year for all of us.