Saturday, 2 October 2010

Keeping Track of my Books

My wife, Jo, has bought me many neat presents. Off the top of my head, I can think of the wonderful pocket watch (something I've always wanted) and some of my favourite books. One Xmas she searched the Internet and one of my favourite book stores in Victoria, Chronicles of Crime (I might talk more about this place another time) to find me almost all of Ian Rankin's - Rebus series (a series I'll discuss further as well). She found me a couple of books by Simon Winchester, about the production of the first ever complete edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, not something I'd ever have thought to purchase, but which turned out to be two of the most fascinating books I've read.
But what I wanted to mention here was one of the most useful gifts I've ever received. Let me lead into this by saying that I keep track of my books and Jo's, as well, on a Microsoft Access database. It tracks the books by author, genre, title, etc. and I enjoy updating after one of my trips to the local bookstores (a favourite past time). It's a nice program, but it doesn't help much when I'm out on the prowl and there have been quite a few times where I've come home with a newish book by one of my favourite authors, only to discover that, once again, I'd already had that title. I'm sure we've all been there.
Anyway, one Xmas, I opened up a book shaped package from Jo, wondering what new book she might have obtained for me, only to be surprised to see that it was a notebook, entitled "Books I've read" and subtitled, "Books I want to read". It's a hard covered notebook by Frances Lincoln Limited Publishers.

Inside, it has tabbed pages, lettered from A to Z.
Beside each tabbed letter is a blank page titled 'Books I want to Read'.
After each tab, there are usually two more pages; the left one for
Author/ Title and the right leaf for Notes.


I write in pencil, listing the authors and title I want to read.
I get those from wandering around book stores
and seeing which stories might interest me, or by
reading the summaries/ advertisements about
other books in the pages of books I'm reading.
Publishers always advertise other authors or
other books by the same author inside books.

When I purchase one of the books on this page, of course, I erase it and add to the other pages in ink.

Whenever we go out for an afternoon and I know we might hit a book shop or two, I bring along this book. That way I can add new books of interest to my 'want to read' list or make sure I do have a particular title so I don't buy it by mistake. I also have a couple of loose leaf pages inside listing books I've bought for Jo before and also books I might want to buy for her. (remember, I love buying books as gifts.. lol). The other sheet includes my list of comics (yup, comics, not graphic novels) that I'm tracking when I hit ABC books. That's where I get my comics as well.

I love this gift; it's getting a bit worn from use, but it's loved and appreciated.

PS - In a previous post, I had mentioned that one of my current books was David Benioff's City of Thieves. I finished it this morning and just wanted to sum up my thoughts on the story. I found it a page turner. The story held my interest; it had a mix of humour with a contrasting tone of the threat of War and violence. The characters were interesting, especially the two main characters, Lev and Kolya. I also particularly liked Vika, the young female partisan. I'm always partial to strong female characters and she was smart, quick witted and independent minded. All in all it was an excellent story and well worth the read. It made me want to read others of Mr Benioff's. I've picked my next bed-time book, but haven't started it yet. It's Kingsley Amis', The Green Man, described on the jacket as, "a masterly novel of other-worldly suspense and fear.' We'll see.


  1. I'm just thrilled that you get so much pleasure and use out of it.
    You are so difficult to buy for... unless it's books of course ;o)

  2. You hit a home run with that one. :0)


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