Keep a Reading Journal


It doesn’t matter how old you are. Keep a reading journal of some sort. My daughter keeps two Excel spread sheets – one for all the books she owns and one for all the books she’s read. Rnadom House sells a lined journal to keep track of books that you have read. I keep a Collectorz database for the ones I own and my website for the ones I’ve read. But the complete list of all my read books only goes back to 1998. I’ve been reading avidly since around 1960.

And that’s the problem. Today I finished a book I know I’ve read before and had forgotten. I probably would have re-read it anyway because it’s been a long time and I liked it both times. But when did I read it? I didn’t remember any details about what would happen, but I knew I’d read it before and nothing surprised me. I was usually one step ahead but not much further (except in one obvious instance that any experienced reader would recognize). More than likely I read Time to Live back in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. It was published in 1966. I don’t believe it’s been republished.

So start a reading journal! If I had kept one all of those years, I would have the complete list rather than a smattering of what I remember reading. I might still get the deja vu about a book, but then I can go back and see when I read it before.

So daughter of mine – my granddaughters are 2 and 4 – you can begin their lists now.


  1. Comment by kaikhor:

    Thanks. I needed to be called out on that. What do you suggest I use as a journal for them?

  2. Comment by Aravis:

    I don’t like to keep reading journals or lists of what I’ve read. I remember most of them and approximately when I read them. I’m the sort who likes to re-read; it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. I especially like it when I haven’t read a book for a long time. It’s discovering it all over again. *happy sigh*

  3. Comment by danieleharden:

    Collectorz can also track the books you have read (and even how many times you’ve read it! See the Personal tab), and you can add books you have read but don’t own and designate that you don’t own them in the collection status.