It is my habit to pay for the books I read. What better way to acknowledge the person for their talent and time? Cash is a good “thank you”. Yes, I also tend to send personal notes of praise but money allows authors to keep on writing.

Writers give me hours of pleasure and it is my intent to repay them.

For some reason I’m thinking about all of this as I pull the Books I’ve Read journal from my bookcase.

Blog Reading listI open it every week or so, write down one line of information, then put it back on the shelf. I’ve done this since March 15, 1988. Rarely do I look through the other pages.

Today was different.

What made me start this journal? What has made me continue? I’ve never missed a posting, ever. It’s probably the one thing in my life I’m completely diligent about.

This is a record of not only my “reading life” but my “living life.”

Different phases I succumb to, different authors I devour.

Today I’m flipping through the pages and I can see trends and transgressions. Weeks and months when I must have read consistently day and night. Then times when work or maybe a man pushed reading to the background. My life is mirrored in these records.

I enjoy that I have a rating system, one check mark means I at least finished the book. two means it was good and worth the time. Three means I loved each word. And a star beside the three check marks means the story touched me in a place that will probably live with me forever. Few get the star, but those few I have usually read over and over again.

I first read Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue on September 15, 2004. Funny, it only got two check marks… I’m glad I decided to keep reading about the famous Mr. Rebus. Back then I would never have guessed the impact Ian would have on my life.

And funny that there is only one book listed that I started and never finished. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. There is only an X in the rating column. What was I thinking?

There were times when I would become obsessed with people like James Michener and then times when only a Chick Lit or Anne Rivers Siddons would do. I’m proud to say there are no shades of Grey. Scanning the pages I can see murderers tend to capture my attention.

I’ve been blessed to meet many of the writers I read and note that I first read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander on February 1, 2003. Fast forward to last year at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference. Reading Diana

So many moan and groan about the modern day artistic landscape and death of creative endeavours. I look at this journal and know I’m blessed to live in a time and place where all of this is accessible to me.

Looking at the pages it is obvious that I don’t rate a book on whether I bought it at an independent or big box store. I will never remember if it was borrowed from a friend or if I read it on my Kindle.

Words and ideas are not defined on what they are written on or read from.

This journal is a reminder of all the journey’s writers have taken me on, all the times they have made me laugh or cry or learn.

card from The Regional Assembly of Text

card from The Regional Assembly of Text


1 reply
  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    This is wonderful. I was reading Stephen King in 1982. My first job and probably my favourite that I’ve had so far, was at a tiny, independent book store in the Kootenays.
    I wish I’d written it all down.


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