I have a large spiral notebook that serves as a book journal. It’s actually a list. Every time I read a book, I write down the title and author. I keep track by month, so that I can see how many books I read each month.
I began doing this in June, 1990, and this record of my reading has come in handy many times. Sometimes I’ll want to recommend a book but I can’t remember the exact title or perhaps I don’t recall the author. It takes only seconds to scan my journal and find the information.
When I especially love a book, it gets a star. I’m stingy with my stars, usually giving only five or six each year. If a book truly disappoints me or if I don’t want to finish it, that book gets a minus. Happily, there are more stars than minuses in my journal.
My Aunt Mary, who lives in California, also keeps a book journal, and whenever we see each other we bring our journals and discuss what we’ve read since the last time we were together. Both of us always end up with a list of books we want to read.
I wish I had begun keeping my book list years earlier. Then I’d be like the bird watchers who keep their “life list” of all the kinds of birds they’ve ever seen. I’m glad I started when I did, though. I now have a record of every book I’ve read for the last seventeen years.