A few years back my Mum set Josh and I up on something called ‘reading logs’, as a place to record the books we’ve read throughout the year. Honestly, for a while it was a bit of a hassle, but after a month (or two or three!) I started to enjoy logging in what books I was reading and categorising them, although it still takes a bit of effort today to remember to update the log when I have finished a book! When I look at a page full of book records they really start to shine. It is such a satisfying feeling to look at my log, full of the books I’ve read, and see what I’ve accomplished!
Here’s a picture of the last one I filled to the brim (and then some!):
It’s also been a good way to see at a glance how many books I’m reading so I can see which books I should spend a bit more time reading. I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who can easily have five books on the go and one book can slip through the cracks!
These are things I enter in my log:
- Title of the book
- The series, if applicable
- Category number (1. history; 2. science; 3. Australian history; 4. Literature/classics; 5. Christian reading; 6. Worldview/apologetics, 7. Other; 8. Recreational; 9. Read aloud. These I’ve listed on the page itself for easy reference)
- Date finished
- Notebook page ideas/topics
- Have I finished the notebook page?
- Did I use a bookmark (paper for note-taking folded into a bookmark) or did I use a reading journal, or did I do neither?
This is what my current log looks like – basically the same as my last one, it just looks a little neater! Feel free to click on the image to get a better look at it.
Probably the biggest benefit of a reading log, for me, has to see how well I’m balancing different books. By looking at the category numbers, I can see if I’ve read too may recreational books and not much history. I can tell at a glance that I haven’t read anything under worldview or apologetics for a long time; do I want to change that? Although I’m not too fussy about distributing my books’ content evenly, it can be helpful when choosing what book I’ll read next, and how much time I’m spending reading fiction. Besides that, I love having a record of what all the books I have read. It’s worth doing.
So tell me: do you use a log of sorts? How does yours work? Do you try to manage your books evenly amongst content or do not worry about it too much?