By Lonnie Cruse
I consider myself a fairly prolific reader, but many of the readers on the DorothyL Internet discussion list put me deep in the shade, reading MULTIPLE books per week! When DO you people sleep? Or eat? And how DO you keep up with the titles of those books? But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm lucky if I average ONE book per week.
How do you keep up with the books you've read so that you don't wind up buying them all over again? Particularly if they are re-issued by a different publisher, sporting new covers? It's mighty easy to forget what you read a few years back and wind up buying the same book again. Not that that's always a bad thing, IF like me, you sometimes (ahem, okay, fairly often) forget the ending. I'm hoping you will share some tips with us here at PDD.
Personally, I've tried putting the list of books I've read into my Palm pilot (which died, but I still have the list on my computer somewhere, and I now use one of those little yearly calendars.) Then I tried journaling my reads, but often when I'm done with a book I re-shelve it or drop it in the give-away totebag, forgetting to note it in the journal.
My lovely sister used index cards which she carried everywhere, but some readers would not be able to lift and/or carry their purses after a couple of years. Not to mention a man's back pocket dragging the ground. Not a pretty picture.
Some people use spread sheets, but I confess, spread sheets, like fax machines, terrify me. Okay, I'm a coward. I actually pay a buck a page every time I have to fax something rather than own and use a machine myself. Where was I?
A list is absolutely crucial if you are reading an author like Anne Perry who has four, count 'em, yes-sir-ee, four series going at once. Sigh. And her first series, the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series, has at least thirty entries alone. Like most readers, I rarely read more than one book in a series, in a row. Then I switch to another author's series, then another, then go back to the first author. Variety. But when switching around, it's very easy to get lost and forget what I'd read last in that author's series. Yes, I could check my shelves or look in the closet, but I don't have room to keep every book I read, so unless it's a fave author, or something I might want to refer back to when reading the next, it's outta here.
With my new Kindle, Amazon keeps a list of books purchased on my account, which helps, but what about hard copies?
My latest effort at keeping up with what I read is going online to http://www.stopyourekillingme.com and printing out a list of my favorite author's books. Then I put a mark by the books as I purchase them, and turn that mark into an X when I've read and/or listened to the book. Makes for a fairly large file, so far, but it works better than anything else I've tried. Even Anne Perry's multiplicity doesn't seem to get the best of me with this method. No, I can't carry the entire file everywhere with me, so if I know I'm heading to a book store, I carry a few pages along. If I walk by a book store and get suddenly sucked inside, I have to wing it.
If you have a better way to keep track of your books purchased and/or read, I, for one, would love hearing it. Thanks in advance.