Habit

I write down what I read. I have been doing this for the past five years and I recommend this habit to any bookworm out there. In the last two years I’ve added a star-ranking system (1-5 stars), similar to what Goodreads does, but I also use half-stars (something Goodreads should offer, but never has). I wish I could say I just started doing this because I’m so highly organized and I like to keep lists and timelines, but that isn’t the case. Years ago my Father-in-Law (avid reader) showed me a list he had developed on an Excel spreadsheet. He ranked his books using a number system (1-10). My nerd brain thought that list was about the best thing ever. Since then, one of my dearest friends has begun her own list and several girls in my book club also keep lists. If you read a lot, the months and years can run together and we are human-we forget. If someone puts me on the spot and asks for a book rec, my brain goes into this, “oh, I have no idea” mode, yet I most likely just finished six or eight books. Hence, the list. Someone likes a particular genre, you pull the list out. I get such pleasure from referring books and have made many lists for friends over the years. This would not have been possible or would’ve required research that wasn’t at my fingertips had I not been keeping track. I also count my books read each month and start over every January. My mind gets crazy as the days of each month come to a close, because I want to cram another book in to up my total. I’m not competing with anyone but my crazy self. So, make a damn list already. Use Excel, use a crappy two-cent notebook, or find a beautiful journal, whatever floats your boat, but just do it. You might just surprise yourself.

PS. When you realize how great of a habit this is, you can come back and thank me in the comment section 😉

Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier. 

-Kathleen Norris

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