For as much as I love reading books, and for as many as I’ve read, I haven’t been very good about keeping track of my reading over the years. So last year I created a very simple reading log on the back two pages of my notebook. I like using Baron Fig for my primary notebook but any one will do.
Set Up A Basic System
First, come up with a key that helps you codify information you want to keep track of. I use a little box that acts like a status bar; I can tell by a glance whether I read a quarter, half, or all of the book. A couple other symbols I include:
- A for books I abandoned.
- A star for books I loved.
- F for fiction. Since I’m naturally more inclined to read non-fiction, I like to try and make sure I’m intentional about adding fiction into my life.
- And a C for books I read for classes I am teaching.
Figure out what kind of basic info you want to know about a book and put it into your key at the top of your reading log.
Second, read books. Lots of them. Finish the ones you love and share them with others (this is a big score for the printed word). And abandon the ones that are a waste of time. I often abandon those books where I feel like I’ve gotten the main point of the book and there’s no new information being presented in the text. I abandon books all the time. Don’t feel guilty about it. There’s way to much to read to waste your time on something that isn’t interesting or helping you. Other times I trust the art of skimming.
Third, log what you read. Keep it simple: date of when you started, title and author. I usually wait until I’m at least a little ways into the book before I write it down. That way I know it’s one that I’m going to read long enough that it’s worth tracking.
And for fun, read this post on how to read more.
So, what are you reading?
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