Do You Keep Reading Lists?

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
James Boswell (1740-1795) gives some advice (from The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, 1785) -

". . .every man should keep minutes of whatever he reads. Every circumstance of his studies should be recorded: what books he has consulted, how much of them he has read, at what times, how often the same authors, and what opinions he formed of them at different periods of his life. Such an account would much illustrate the history of his mind."

So: do you keep lists of your reading (annotated or not)?
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
I will generally write when I've finished a book on my calendar. And when the years over the calendars would go somewhere... Used to keep a better reading list when I read more : (

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
No, no list, I read less "new" material as I get older and tend to re-read old classics and fav's over and over again. Read Bavinck's dogmatics 3 or 4 times now, Gill's work for years and sure, the Institutes. If water is 10 feet down I don't see the point of digging 5 two foot holes. I'm not as smart as the fellas I read so I tend just dig deep into a couple of faithfuls.

Yours in the Lord,

jm
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
I think it's a pretty good idea, thanks for sharing. I have done this in the past, but that's just not really too important to me at this time in life compared to other priorities. I like the idea of looking back at our mental journey, but if I do not currently apply what I've learned or remember what I have learned, I just personally don't see a point in having a record of it. I do keep a diary though about everyday life and try to preserve memories.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I track things on a spreadsheet for the purpose of improving retention and making sure I don't fall into a rut where I'm always reading only the same kind of thing.
 

jw

Administrator
I keep reading lists. People are like, “Dude, you ever gonna stop readin’ lists?” and I’m like, “Nah. Just gonna keep readin’ em. They’re sweet lists.”
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I keep reading lists. People are like, “Dude, you ever gonna stop readin’ lists?” and I’m like, “Nah. Just gonna keep readin’ em. They’re sweet lists.”
Made my day, Josh. I've got a list that I keep updating. I look at it every day.
 

Irenaeus

Puritan Board Freshman
I track things on a spreadsheet for the purpose of improving retention and making sure I don't fall into a rut where I'm always reading only the same kind of thing.
I'd love to see the template for this spreadsheet, if you're willing to share.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
It's very simple, just a few columns:

Author & TitleDate CompletedQuotes ExtractedSourceComments
William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Lear
1/1/2021Not this timeLogosThis is Shakespeare all the way through. The intensity of speech and drama of action never seem to waver. The overlap between Edmund-Edgar-Gloucester and the Lear complex, with Edgar feigning insanity while with the Fool and the wandering Lear is more instructive than I had realized before.
 

Eoghan

Puritan Board Senior
I put a small slip of paper into the book and note things along the way. I need to remember which book a particular passage or quotation is located in though. Not entirely foolproof but it works for me.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
It's very simple, just a few columns:

Author & TitleDate CompletedQuotes ExtractedSourceComments
William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Lear
1/1/2021Not this timeLogosThis is Shakespeare all the way through. The intensity of speech and drama of action never seem to waiver. The overlap between Edmund-Edgar-Gloucester and the Lear complex, with Edgar feigning insanity while with the Fool and the wandering Lear is more instructive than I had realized before.
By the way, I do know how to spell "waver." When I click "edit" to fix the typo above, it reverts to the proper spelling for this context; but it continues to display as above.
 

Shawn H

Puritan Board Freshman
I keep a word document for each year. I want to know where I have been reading, and whether I need to read in different areas.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
Like several others, I do track my books on Goodreads. It keeps a record of the title, date finished, and I always write at least a short summary of my thoughts. Should Goodreads ever go away, one can export a spreadsheet of all this information so it's not really at risk of being lost. It is very much a community run site (I'm a Goodreads librarian myself).

I have also kept a spreadsheet to track number of pages and have an annual "goal" list of books to read.

The benefit of Goodreads is a lot of automation, and the ability to see what your friends are reading and comment on their reviews, which is nice. It's also a nice place to get a decent average rating of a book and see if it's worth your time, to see other books by the same author, or find the next book in a series and even recommendations. Very, very helpful resource.

The benefit of tracking books is, in my case, that I often forget my own thoughts over time, or even forget which Warfield or Machen books I've read and which I haven't! It's really nice to find the book on Goodreads and it tells me whether it's in my "read" pile or my "want to read" pile!
 

Miller

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't personally, although I've been wanting to keep a journal of Scripture read, books read, and meditations on them. I was inspired by "The Pastor of Kilsyth" and how WH Burns would keep a journal along these lines, mainly in the chapter "Early Pastoral Life." Christian meditation seems to be a nearly lost practice, and we would be well served to read Scripture and even theology books, and dwell throughout the day on what we learn, then sit down and write our thoughts in a journal in the evening.
 
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