On Being a Reader

During my childhood and teen years I was a voracious reader.  But, as I entered my adult years with all the responsibilities of life, I gradually read less and less.  It got to the point, I could no longer remember the last book I had read.  I resolved to change that.

One of my life rules is: "Never stop learning."  Reading helps me to accomplish this.My goal was to always have a book going and to try and complete at least one book a month.  Beginning in 2000, I started keeping a spreadsheet of each book that I'd read.  I would record the title, author, genre, format (paperback, hardback, audio-book, etc.), year read, and comment for each one.  Now I wish, I had started my list back when I was a kid. There is a simple spreadsheet at the end of this article to help you get started with your own.

One interesting thing about keeping a list, is that it allows you to examine what kinds of books you are reading.  As a result, instead of reading just science-fiction and mysteries, I've branched out into other genres.  Most recently, I've begun to read biographies of the founding fathers and an occasional self-improvement book.

In addition to the spreadsheet, I have started looking into http://www.goodreads.com.  It has a nice ability for you to create a list of books you've read and to share your comments with others.

ReadingList - Sample Spreadsheet


  1. Marjorie Kuhn says:

    I just checked out a book which was a collection of thoughts, poems, sayings, etc. and one was that you should take a book with you wherever you go. Sometimes we do, but books are entertaining, helpful, give a different perspective on things, on and on. At my age I'm beginning to lose descriptive words, so it is helpful to me to read these words again. My sisters love to read also and we exchange author's names so we can look them up at the library. I haven't justified buy an electronic reader because of the cost of books. But, yes, reading is great. I must look into goodreads.

  2. John McKinnon says:

    I agree with Marjorie. As a kid I was an avid reader. I had to know what all these words meant! I recall as a child in the late '60s that I would try to read the newspaper, and was constantly asking my mother what this-or-that word meant.
    These days, as part of my job I am expected to read page after page of tedious, boring work-related drivel, and this takes the shine right off reading. At least the documents at work are (for the most part) free of spelling and/or grammatical errors, and are blissfully free of this appalling text-speak rubbish which is polluting our language on a daily basis.

    Yes, I do still love to read, as long as its worthwhile reading!

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