Sunday, January 17, 2010

So Long, Little Buddy: My Reading Journal, 1999-2009

I finished another reading journal -- that's my second one since 1993. This one lasted 10 years, from Jan. 1, 1999 to December 31, 2009. Wait...that's almost 11 years, right? My math skills are shaky, but however you slice it -- it was a damn good long run. This journal might have lasted longer if I hadn't moved to Korea. Once I moved here, my reading rate as well as my book greed skyrocketed and before I knew it, the pages were getting sparse.

My reading journal and I have been back and forth across the ocean several times, and to many locations in the United States. I've recorded what I've read from front to back, and from back to front, I've added feverishly to my wishlist. In 2003, I started breaking my reading down month-by-month. In 2007, I began keeping extended stats. It's all there, between the (quite attractive and durable) covers. It's still beautiful, isn't it? I still remember the day I bought it -- December 11, 1998. That was my 37th birthday and I had been let loose in a Barnes & Noble in Kansas City with 2 or 3 gift cards.

Even though I've started a new reading journal, I'm having trouble letting this one go. I carry it everywhere. I put it on my shelf; I take it down again and turn the pages, alternately smiling and rolling my eyes at my reading patterns over the years. Was there really ever a time that Atlas Shrugged was on my wishlist?
I don't remember feeling so attached to the 1993-1998 journal -- you'd think that would be the one I'd be all sentimental about.

OK, back on the shelf now. Take a rest; you've earned it.
[Thanks to Veronica from BOOKLEAVES and my son for the photos!]


Unknown said...

It's a Great Journal! I like your new one too, by the way... and I'm sure you'll be proud of it as much as this one when you're done with it.. :) Glad you like the picture :)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, now even I'm feeling sad. It makes me wish I kept such a thing. I've had lofty ideas of keeping a journal with relevant quotes, and locations in it, but then I've never gotten around to it.

When I think back over ten years and where that journal would have gone and what I would have been doing......

SFP said...

I've been using the same "Book Woman" notebook since 1993. The pages at the front have come loose, but since all I write in it is a list of the books I read, I'm not quite halfway through.

Maybe I ought to start keeping tbr lists in there as well so that I can fill it up and get something nicer.

I really like the idea of a new one every decade. . . Having a line of reading journals on a shelf sounds better than a single falling-apart one.

jenclair said...

I always used the back of my "every day" journals for keeping track of my reading. When we moved in December, I packed all my journals, but took a few minutes to review my reading lists. :) What fun to see what I was reading when my daughters were born in 1974 and 1976!

When reading is such a big part of your life and books such good friends, I can well understand your attachment to your journal!

Anna said...

I know how you feel. I have some journals that always will have a special place in my heart. Hope you make some good memories with your new one.

Diary of an Eccentric

Eva said...

Love the pics! And I'm rather inspired to keep my own hardcopy reading journal. :)

Anonymous said...

I love keeping my book journals. I also keep a spreadsheet for quick sorting, but the written journals are the best. I occasionally flip through them as well. Wish I had done this my whole life, but mine only go back to 1993. My current one was started in 2006.

Nice pictures!

nan said...

Wow! That is quite the journal! I love the pictures. Do you have any idea how many books are listed in the journal?

Bybee said...

Thank you again!

You could start this year..

I love Book Woman merchandise!

I have an '84 journal somewhere, but I wrote it in the back of a book..and I have no idea what it was or where it went. I'm happy for you that you have lists going back to the 70s.

Maybe you're right...the new one still looks strange and even feels and smells strange to'll take time...

I know I should be much more modern, but I'm a sucker for all those pretty little blank books.

Oh wow...we both started recording our reads in the same year!

Good question. 637 read in those 11 years. That works out to an average of 57.9 a year. I'm sure it would've been more, but I was in graduate school during 1999 and 2000.

joemmama said...

Wonderful pictures!! And such a record of your reading accomplishments! You are still my hero!

The Literary Lioness said...

I wish I had started doing this a long time ago. You have really inspired me. Please keep that journal forever.

Care said...

I think this is awesome! I write page numbers and new-to-me words in my journal, as well as all my to do lists and crazy thoughts abt everything. And I LOVE that you blog AND keep the written journal.

nat @book, line, and sinker said...

seeing your book journal makes me want one of my own (that would date back to about 4th grade when i really got into reading). i guess i use my blog as a book journal nowdays. :)

Unknown said...

I have never had a reading journal myself but I imagine I would be just attached to it as you are after ten years of carrying it around. It's a significant chunk of your life recorded in there and I think it's a grand idea to have one as well :)

Sue F. said...

I really like your reading journal idea! I have always just kept an on-going list of what I have read on my computer (since 2000). Between blogging about the books, keeping track of them on GoodReads, and on my computer, I don't think I have any more discipline in me to keep a journal also! You rock!