When I started teaching school I met some amazing people. We had a sixth grade teacher at our school, Mrs. Jenny Sumsion, who showed me how her kids kept track of their reading. They each had a sheet of paper with a chart on it, one row for each book. The columns were title, author, pages, start, finish, and rating. I liked it. And since I’d recently started my own website (this one), I decided I’d turn the paper chart into an electronic one on my website and I started keeping track of all the books I read. And since I had more space than just a row on a chart I added in a review of the books as well. And that is how “Giggles Book Log” came to be. You can find a review for every book I’ve read since mid-2003 there.
I’ve kept track of reading challenges. In 2008 I set out to read 52 books, and I did. In 2009 my friend Amanda and I challenged each other to read one non-fiction book for every letter of the alphabet, in alphabetical order. We thought after reading 52 books the previous year that reading 26 wouldn’t be that big of a deal. We grossly underestimated just how much longer it takes to read non-fiction compared to fiction. But I loved it! For one, when people find out you’re reading non-fiction they don’t insist you read whatever book they just finished and loved that you’ve already heard of and decided it isn’t for you. Having the subject of each book fit with the alphabet meant I read about a whole lot of different topics as well and learned some real fascinating things along the way. As far as I know my Grandpa Nelson only ever read non-fiction books. He said there was too much fascinating true stuff to read about in the world to spend time reading fiction. I’m not that converted to non-fiction, I still love a good fiction book, but I’ll definitely be reading more non-fiction in the future.
An interesting thing I’ve noticed, because I’ve kept track not just of the books I’ve read, but when I’ve read them, is that I’m not a consistent reader. Oddly, I did the most reading while I was working on my PhD, and I couldn’t really count school reading (because those were articles generally, not books). But I had designated time almost every day while I rode the bus to and from campus when reading was ultimately the best choice of how to pass my time. Since graduating my reading has pretty much been board books and picture books and I haven’t recorded those at all (but I have intentions to, because some of them are just that good).
And that’s where I’m at as a reader for now. It’ll be interesting to see where reading takes me in the future.