Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Book Tracking

Every few months, our internet goes down for a few days, and I get a chance to test my addiction levels.

Last week it was our modem that croaked. Since I'm now using Ed's phone, I didn't think the withdrawal would be so bad - I could still check email. But my children use the phone for an online guitar program and in three days, they drained nearly all my data for the month. We resorted to a check-email-twice-a-day policy.

While it is eye-opening to find how much time my children or I are online, it is also a relief to be able to send an email, use GPS, and place an Amazon order again. I do like technology. Just want to use it and not be ruled by it.

I did a reading challenge in January and February and was surprised to find I picked up a book instead of spending time online when I had a reading goal. I read far more books this winter than usual and, though the challenge ended, I hope to make some personal reading challenges for the rest of the year.

Back in January I asked how you track your reading. (Go read through the comments to enjoy all the ideas.) I loved your input. I'm still tempted to try Goodreads, but am resisting since I'm trying not to give myself more online temptations. But I did borrow a few of your ideas.

I've always just listed title and author. I'm now adding a few more notes to my list.

I decided to borrow an idea from Redeemed Reader and rate the literary quality and the moral/spiritual quality. Sometimes I read a beautifully written book, but have to ignore some some language or other issues. Other times a book might be poorly written, but the content has value that makes it worthwhile. Of course other books are great, or terrible, in both areas.

I use a simple 1 to 5 rating for both such as 3/4. It only takes a moment, but helps me remember my impression of the book quality.

I also added initials to note genre. MG for middle-grade. NF for nonfiction. AF for adult fiction. YA for young adult.

Finally, I drew a smiley face if I read the book to my children, a triangle if I listened to it on audio, and a triangle with a smiley if we listened to the audio together.

I'm liking that my book list now has a few more details for me to remember when and how I read the book, and what I thought of it.

I also started a notebook for quotes. I often write down quotes, but they are scrawled anywhere and everywhere. My sister makes adorable homemade journals, and I've been wishing for an excuse to use one. The leather cover and heavy paper is a delight and pausing after reading a wonderful book (such as Humility by Andrew Murray) and finding a quote or two that captures the essence of the book, is a delight. Some books are not as quotable, and I don't record nearly every book I read, but already after a few months, I love reading through these pages and remembering books I've read. Wish I had done this years ago.

Do you write down quotes from your reading?


  1. Oh yes I have kept little notebooks with quotes from books that I've read for years-----the last 40 years at least. I keep track of ones that express things that express throughs that I have had but which are much better formulated, ones that express a thought that seems worth remembering, ones that are lyrical, or ones that offer an interesting thought or view of things.

    Its' interesting to go back an read the ones from way back and try to think what about the ones that I copied out at that point in my life caused me to take notice of that particular piece of writing.

  2. I like writing out quotes from books--in fact, I was making a little handmade quote book just before I read this post, because the other one I have is almost full=) It's nice to have those potent parts to look back over later when I wonder why I loved a book so much.

    And your literary/spiritual rating system sounds like a good idea. I think I'll try something like that.

  3. Is there any way to order from your sister other than through Instagram? I don't have an Instagram account.

    1. If you email me your email address, I can have my sister email you.

  4. I do copy quotes from books on occasion, but not often. I mostly copy quotes from other sources, such as quote books and poetry books, magazines, etc. I have separate notebooks for poems and for quotes. Here is one for you: "NOTE TO SELF--God is still writing your story. Stop trying to steal the pen." -unknown


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