Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Big Four-Oh

I know many people keep lists of the books they read in various levels of detail. I've been intrigued, but never participated. But then facebook had the virtual bookshelf app that I thought was pretty cool until I forgot to update it. And Kristina from the fiveawesomegirls got woefully behind on her New Year's Resolution to read 50 books in a year. (She was at like 15 in July.) And I was forgetting where I was in the Gossip Girl series. So I thought I would make a list in my favorite list-making place: Google docs.

First off, let me fangirl Google docs just for a second. It's an amazing application. I can access documents from my laptop and my work computer. I don't have to remember to email myself the latest saved draft. And I can link up my favorite people to share info and edit things. Nearly 2 years ago, we set up my dad with a Google account so he could enter in the RSVP cards he got for our wedding (because in the antiquated wedding etiquette all that mail goes to the patriarchal head of the bride's household). So Mike and I could literally watch Dad add people. It was amazing and it was all in a spreadsheet that we continue to use to... not send out Christmas cards... Anyway. It's amazing. You should use it.

Back to the point at hand, I started keeping a list of the books I read with the title and the date I finished them in July. This week once I finish A Handful of Dust for Brit Lit and Silhouette in Scarlet (because I can't live without fun reading) I will have read 40 books since July. I'm so on track to hit 50 before New Year's Eve. I'm just kind of amazed. I mean, I know I read a LOT, but that's kind of a scary amount of a lot. No wonder my magazine pile has been languishing. :-) No wonder I can't necessarily remember it all.

As for why Google Docs works where Virtual Bookshelf fails, there are two factors: 1) High visibility: I'm always on Google something or other so the docs link crosses my field of vision often, and I maintain other lists there. Virtual bookshelf was always way down on my profile page and now in the box tab or someplace. I don't even know where. 2) Simple recording process no analysis of which copy of the book I have, current status or anything. I just pop in the title while I'm reading (if that reading takes a couple of days) and jot the date when I finish (or make it up if I forget). Even letting the list lag a week isn't too bad because it's really only 3 or 4 books max. My memory can handle that. I don't even list authors--too complicated. I can always google the author. :-)

Soon a post on why I HAVE to have fun reading.

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