I’ve been keeping a Reading Journal for four years, after a university tutor suggested it. I record the author, title and publishing details; the month, time it took to read and its score out of 10 (I am a harsh score-awarder!); then I launch into my thoughts. Typically, I write between 2 and 4 pages of A5, but sometimes a book has me banging on a bit more about it. I don’t include a synopsis or give away plot/character twists, as I like to preserve the surprises for a future re-read, but I do note down themes (blame the literature half of my degree!), and any lines I particularly loved.
Admittedly, recording the books you’ve read can be a quicker, more succinct and perhaps more list-driven process than mine, but, remember, I’m wordy by nature and a wordsmith by calling!
It’s pleasing to track back through my entries and read what I thought about each novel; particularly when comparing the first time with a re-read. Plus, from a writers’ point of view, it’s a way to practise writing more regularly - which is something I can always do with, regardless of any resolutions!
So, how many books did you read in 2012? Would you like to read more this year, or less? Why? Were there any titles that you’d recommend, or ones that you’d avoid like the plague? And how have I done, recording my reading over these last four years?
Well, let’s have a little look...
2008 = 49 books read
2009 = 25 (This was the year I was writing Book Number One, so my mind was elsewhere...)
2010 = 51
2011 = 51
2012 = 53
A book a week, then. Well, not quite... Here’s the monthly breakdown for 2012:
Jan = 2 books Jul = 8
Feb = 3 Aug = 9
Mar = 2 Sep = 5
Apr = 4 Oct = 7
May = 3 Nov = 3
Jun = 2 Dec = 5
Like everything in life, my reading rises and dips, dips and rises – but I’m glad I’ve read the equivalent to a book a week. Could I read more? Possibly – but I’d rather enjoy the balance of reading and writing and the other creative things I do, than become a slave to statistics! This year, I'm hoping to write the narrative for Novel Number Two, so if I can end 2013 with at least 26 books read, then it'll be an average of a book a fortnight and I'll be pleased.
Have I tempted you to reflect a little more about what you read and what it makes you think about, and perhaps to record it? Hope so! Happy reading.