So I’m a junior in high school beginning to apply for college and attending a lot of college-related events. Inevitably the following question is asked:
“Liam, what do you like to do?”
“Oh, I like to read a lot…”
“Really, what books have read lately?”
And my mind would go blank. What have I read lately? What have I read ever?
Thus, in the summer of 1990 I began tracking the books I read, a habit that continues to this day. I started on scrap paper, then I kept the list in the back of my journal. A few years ago I put everything in a spreadsheet. Starting in 2003, I began writing short reviews/summaries of the books to help me remember the content as well as the titles of the books. I’ve been putting my current book lists and reviews online since I started Panorama of the Mountains in 2006.
Now, thanks to LibraryThing, the whole world can see Every Book I’ve Ever Read* online and in one place. The asterisk of course is due to the fact that I don’t remember what I read before I started tracking books in 1990, although I’ve brainstormed a fairly good list of what I can remember. I wish I could remember the first book I ever read on my own which was about cats.
It should be noted that LibraryThing is kind of geared to cataloging books one actually owns, so the information about particular editions of books in my LibraryThing catalog is really not relevant. I basically chose the editions with the prettiest covers. I do like that I can add my old reviews and tags and sort the library in different ways.
For example, if you want to see what books I read in a particular years, here they are:
As I’ve posted previously, since 1996 I’ve made a list of the ten favorite books I’ve read each year. I have those listed below as well. It’s interesting to see what books made a list that I really don’t remember that well, while books I now consider all time favorites didn’t make the cut.
I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging. For one thing, I still don’t think I’m reading enough books or enough of the right books. I do like LIbraryThing as a place to share information and ideas about books, because reading is important.
So dive in, take a look, and enjoy. Sign up for your own account if you’re so inclined.