For many years now I’ve kept track of the books I read each year. It started out as a way of counting how many I could read in a year and then a competitive way of seeing if the total could be higher the following year. I would list them month by month, adding in the date I finished the book and any thoughts or quotes I wanted to remember. Then when I lived abroad, it was a way of sharing something with friends and family as I would tell them about the books I’d read in some of the group emails I sent home. For the last few years, I didn’t keep track of my reading in any way which I missed especially as I know I read some great books but now can’t remember their titles.
Keeping record of your reads is easy and doesn’t take too much time to do but it can offer many benefits. You can look back over the year and see at a glance what you learnt, where your mind was and what new areas you explored. Sometimes it’s only when you look back on all the reads whether it be on a monthly basis or for longer, that you can see where your subconscious was leading you. For example, I found that over a 6 month period, my reading consisted of personal and self development books, however if someone had asked me about my focus, I wouldn’t have necessarily noticed that aspect of it.
My journal has progressed from being a notebook and pen to now being something I type up on my laptop and add the books as soon as I finish them so that I can remember what I loved or disliked and I can keep a record of the quotes I enjoyed in the books and why they resonated with me.
The busy months jump out immediately as there will only be a couple of listings whereas the months where great learning and exploration has taken place are also clear to me at a glance.
Do you keep a book journal? Why is it important to you? What do you learn about yourself?