I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t loved reading. Even as a kid, I stayed up late in the night to read one more chapter or finish a book. My mom created a summer reading incentive program one year, mostly to motivate my younger brother to read more. It backfired because she ended up paying me to read, something I would have done anyway and my brother’s reading did not increase (though he likes to read as an adult!).
In 2010, I started keeping track of the books I read, when I finished them and how much I liked them (scale of 1-5). My inspiration came, not surprisingly, from a book. While reading David McCullough’s biography on John Adams, I found it interesting to learn how Adams’ reading influenced his thinking during specific time periods of his life. It made me wonder what patterns I could find it my own reading habits. Are there months when I always read a lot or a little? What themes did I read about that shaped my thinking? What was I learning during specific periods of my life?
I store my list in a simple Google spreadsheet so I can update it on my phone or from my computer whenever I finish a book. I also update Goodreads (though it isn’t always 100% up-to-date). I have bookshelves organized by year: 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016
I prefer reading on my Kindle, but occasionally pick up an ‘old fashioned book’. My iPhone Kindle app is handy for reading on the go. I used to dislike audiobooks, but they have grown on me. I listen while getting ready in the morning, driving up to the mountains, riding my bike or while doing chores like cleaning and laundry. Most of the Kindle books and audiobooks I read or listen to are checked out from the Denver Public Library.
The list of books I want to read is ever growing and I keep it updated as an Amazon Wishlist. If you want to make me really happy, you can buy me one of the books! I have yet to come to terms with the fact that I will never have time to read ALL the books out there.
One of the unintended benefits of my book list is that I can refer to it whenever people ask me for reading recommendations. Someone once asked me why I always know the best books to read. I told her it is because I read a fair share of bad or mediocre ones, but I don’t pass those on to people who ask.
I like all sorts of books, both fiction and nonfiction. I can never go wrong by spending time reading Classic Fiction. I often return to these books to reread my favorites. I enjoy biographies of entrepreneurs and historical figures, anything related to WWII and faith / theology books.
Have you read anything good lately?