One of the most commonly discussed topics here at BiblioLifestyle HQ is the different ways we track our reading. In a separate post, we even talked about 5 Different Ways To Track Your Reading. If you’ve been tracking your reading for some time now, you may know what information and statistics are essential to you. However, if you’re new to it all, you may be wondering – what do readers track in their journals?
We share seven things you can track in your reading journal, and we hope these ideas will provide some inspiration or improve your current process.
1. BOOKS YOU HAVE READ
We know we are stating the obvious here but keeping track of the books you’ve read is a great and easy way to start. We find that most readers organize these reads by month. Some readers also keep track of pages they’ve read per day, tally them at the end of each week and then tally the numbers again at the end of the month.
You can also break down your books read by format – hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook.
2. BOOK YOU WANT TO READ
In a separate journal post, we highlighted this as one of the 3 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Reading Life, and we discussed this point in great detail. In summary, keep a list of the books you want to read (title and author) and include the date you are adding this title to your list, why you want to read this title, and who recommended it to you. These three bits of information can help you remember why these books are on your list and even get you excited about them all over again. I find it extremely helpful when browsing my journal and deciding what to read next.
3. BOOK YOU HAVE PURCHASED OR RECEIVED
Our social media, influencer-driven, super interactive authors, publishers, and marketing companies world, plus our ability to purchase books with three clicks – keeping track of newly acquired books is probably a good idea.
Whether you keep a physical list or use your favorite apps to scan barcodes, you can compare the number of new books you’ve accumulated versus the number you’ve read every month.
If you want to kick it up a notch, take inventory of all the books you own and separate them into two lists – read and unread. Then you can see how much you add to your existing home library and TBR shelf every month.
4. BOOKS YOU’VE GIVEN AWAY OR DONATED
If you’ve decided to track the number of new books you’ve acquired, you can also track the books you’ve given away or donated. You can then compare and keep track of the books you’ve acquired versus the ones you have given away.
If you have an inventory of all the books you own, you can also see the number of unread books sitting on your TBR shelf.
5. INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR
If you are interested in reading books written by more diverse authors or a specific group that is important to you personally, you need to track the authors who write the books you read.
Basic categories you can start with include: female, male, non-binary. You can kick it up a notch and include categories on race, ethnicity, cultures, subcultures, and social groups.
6. INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROTAGONIST, MAIN CHARACTERS
Similar to tracking information on authors, you can also track information about the protagonist and other main characters represented in the novel. Because the characters portrayed are not always from the same group as the author – that might be something you want to differentiate and track in your reading journal.
Keeping track of the genres you read is a surefire way to discover the kinds of books you enjoy reading, and it highlights the genres you’re slacking off on if your goal is to read across genres.
Like tracking your reading, there are no fast and hard rules about what you should track. So feel free to mix it up, tweak methods and make it your own. In time you’ll learn and track only the information and statistics that matter to you.
Do you track your reading, or are you planning to start?
What do you currently track in your reading journal? Are you planning to try something new? Please share with us in the comments.