Today is my birthday, and whilst many of you may think there is no way I can link that fact to books – you’d be wrong! That means it is exactly one year today since I started keeping a notebook of all the books I have read. This started as an idea I had when (as mentioned in a previous post) I started reading a book and got almost to the end before I realised I’d actually read it previously. Therefore I thought if I started keeping a list of books that I’d read hopefully that wouldn’t happen again.
What began as a little ‘aide memoir’ for myself seems to have caught on as a proper hobby with family and friends. (Plus whilst I can’t prove that Moleskine stole my idea and turned it into a journal its obvious they did!) I think it’s interesting to see how different people record their efforts though.
My sister unsurprisingly has an alphabetised book, and diligently records them by authors surname, whilst a friend bought one of the Moleskine journals I inspired and has a neat page per entry again listed by author surname. Mine unsurprisingly is a rather haphazard affair. Its a list starting with the first book I read last year, and simply numbering them as I go along with a brief synopsis and a score out of 5. I have of course spotted the flaw in this plan, that both my sister and friend had already pointed out. To find out if I’ve read a book already I have to trawl through all the pages to try and find the entry. Personally I think this just adds to the fun and again like Magnus Magnusson, I’ve started so I’ll finish it, next time I buy a new notebook I may alphabetise.
I think my inbuilt dislike of alphabetising things is down to the fact I don’t like waste. Lets be honest neither my sister or my friend are likely to have many authors to include under X or I so it just seems like those sections will be wasted. What do you do when you’ve used all the space in S and R but still have whole sections not used? It’s a big dilemma as then you end up having to cross reference the end of S over to X and its all too out of control. Maybe the 80s had it right and a filofax system is best so the pages can be moved around?
I do wish I’d started this list many years ago. I think it would be great to have a record of every book I’ve ever read (again that’s where my non alphabetising could cause problems, imagine having to go back through hundreds of non organised notebooks, I’d never actually have time to read anything new!) It would be interesting to know how many books I’d read. I can do a bit of extrapolation of course, which discounting the first 10 years or so of my life would give a figure in the thousands. That’s a lot of words and stories to have got through.
For anyone interested in the maths according to my notebook I’ve read 56.5 books this year (.5 as I’m halfway through one), which is slightly more than one a week although it does mean its not looking hopeful for completing the TOPCWFC. I was asked at lunch yesterday how many books I had to do in total, I think its best not to count them up. I’ll forget how many I’ve got to do by lunchtime anyway so no point in wasting the time!