For the past 36 years I’ve kept a record of how many books I’ve read each year, along with the title of the book and the author.

My two notebooks look like this:

IMG_0203 IMG_0204

What made me want to keep this record?

Cool reading assignment

I remember one of the reading assignments that we had at intermediate school. We were given a sheet of paper with a big circle on it. The circle was divided up into sections, which represented different reading genres. Each genre contained further circles. The idea was to read as many books in the genres as possible and when you finished you coloured in one of the circles. I loved this challenge and I loved reading books I wouldn’t normally read. I guess the objective was to expose you to different types of genre. We also had to keep a record of all the books we read.

I was really proud when I presented my multi-coloured reading sheet to my teacher for sign-off. I wish I’d kept my sheet!

Competitive chick

Now, being the competitive chick that I am, I strive to beat the previous year’s number of books read.

Looking back, it has also been a good resource to see how long ago I’d read a certain book and how many times I’ve read the same book (The Outsiders wins coming in at an astounding 11 times).

Sometimes I go back over the records just to see how many books I’d read at the same time last year and what I was reading. The most number of books I read in a year was 141 when I was twelve-years-old and the least number was eight in 1997 (not sure what happened that year!).

In 1988 I started recording when I began a book and when I finished it.

Good reads


I guess today’s modern equivalent is Goodreads. I’m very new to Goodreads and this year took up the Reading Challenge. As I mentioned, I’m a competitive chick so I love the little stats Goodreads provides, like the percentage of books you’ve read and when it tells you how many books you’re ahead or behind. My target this year is 70 books and I’m currently one book behind – I hate being behind!

I suppose I could do away with my reading journals and just record it all on Goodreads, but I’ve kind of become attached to my notebooks and I want to see how far I can keep the ‘tradition’ going.

Do you keep a record of the books you read? Do you write in a journal or use Goodreads?