Monday, January 30, 2023

It Was 30 Years Ago Today: My Reading Journal


[This post is dedicated to TEJ]

Thirty years ago, January, 1993, I decided to get serious about keeping a reading journal. 

Before that, there were a series of false starts. I played around a little with tracking my books by keeping lists not in a designated blank book but on the blank, back pages of random books. (What was I thinking? Writing in books?) Then I would forget which book! As a result, 1984 (the year) is almost lost to me. All I remember reading that year was The Good Earth,  In Love and Trouble, The Madness of a Seduced Woman, Heartburn, The Good Earth and Shiloh and Other Stories. I particularly remember the last one because an older gentleman in my book group had harsh words for the book and author. When I went to defend it I instead burst into tears as if I'd been personally attacked. Tears and snot flew. The boo-hoos rose like balloons.

 Fast-forward to 1990, when I kept a list on the back pages of Inside Oscar. Luckily, I stumbled onto the list several years ago and copied it to a notebook and into this blog.

1991 is easy; that was the year of Anne Tyler. Nothing but Anne Tyler novels. I pretended my boyfriend's family had been created by Anne Tyler. My dreams were Tylerscapes.

1992 is but a vapor. Poof.

1993 turned out to be the charm. Good times and bad, sick or well, sad or happy, employed or jobless, here or abroad, I have written down my reading. 

And now it's been Thirty Freaking Years. I used to envy people who had reading lists going back that far. Now I'm one of those people! Incredible.

If you track your reading, how far back can you go?


SFP said...

We started our reading journals at the same time. That never ceases to amaze me. I have two lists from before '93--'84 and '85. Those were written on notebook paper and I know I kept another list or two along the way, but alas, random sheets of paper are easily thrown away. I read Anne Tyler, quite a bit of Anne McCaffrey, and early Margaret Atwoods in those years.

martine said...

Surely everyone needs an Anne Tyler year:-)

Bybee said...

I'd love to compare our 30 year reading journeys.

I felt so amiable that year, viewing the world through my Anne Tyler lenses. Everything seemed in softer focus and easier to tolerate.