Friday, December 31, 2010

Tracking My Reading

by Scott Rhoades

For the third year in four, I kept track of the books I finished. I think this has officially become a habit. I recommend keeping track to any author, book lover, or journal keeper. For one thing, if you're keeping a list and sharing it at the end of the year with a select group of friends, you'll probably read more. That's always a good thing. The list says a lot about your interests and who you are. And, if you care about books, it helps you see your strengths and weaknesses. For example, my list tells me several things:
  • I read a lot this year, considerably more than the other two years, when I thought I did pretty well
  • I have pretty decent reading habits
  • I read a reasonable variety of books
It also points out some glaring holes, like:
  • Current bestsellers
  • Local authors
  • South American, Eastern European, and African authors (all categories I keep meaning to read more)
  • I reread quite a bit (although, is it really rereading if you last read a book 20 or 30 years ago or more?), which, considering the number of books I haven't read but want to, can be seen as a flaw in my list
Those holes will help me set reading goals for next year. I'm not really a formal goal setter when it comes to reading, but it will point me in certain directions when I choose a new book.

Keeping track of your reading has never been so easy, thanks to, a social network for readers.

The first year I tracked my reading, I made a game of it. I counted every page of every book I finished as one mile for a journey I tracked using Google Maps. I had to finish the book for its pages to count. This was fun, and was a great motivational game. I saw much of the US and Northern Europe. I haven't done it that way since, but I'm not counting it out.

How about you? Do you keep a list of the books you read? What do you get from your lists? Do you use (If you do, feel free to add me as a friend.)

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