I reached a milestone this weekend. I finished the book journal I’ve kept since 2001! By finished, I mean I’ve used up all the pages with entries of books I’ve read. My last entry (book finished) was Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum (an unnerving but compelling novel with genuinely sexy bits.) My first entry was John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead. It’s vaguely thrilling and also a bit melancholy to know that I’ve used up all the space in this little spiral bound book. It’s been with me through so much – old boyfriends, moves, travels, getting married, having my son, etc. etc. My husband asked me what I was going to do with it. I replied, “DO with it?! Keep it, of course!” I wouldn’t dream of chucking away something with as much sentimental value as this.
I love to flip through the pages from time to time and remember what I’ve read. I like to see how my reading tastes have changed – and they definitely have (I used to read a lot of chick-lit in my early to mid twenties, for example.) I like seeing what I was reading when I broke up with so-and-so, or when I met my husband, or the first novel I read after the birth of my son. (It was The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith.) I did the math and there are 870 books in there, which breaks down to an average of 62 books a year.
I’m old school – despite using Goodreads almost every day, I love paper. I have a new book journal waiting on my nightstand, unmarked pages ready to receive fresh new entries. Right now I’ve just begun two nonfiction books: Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. I can’t even imagine what my life will look like in 14 years or so, when I finish Laila’s Book Journal Vol 2.
Do any of you keep a paper book journal, or are you all electronic? Or do you catalog books read at all? I’d love to hear about your system.