A Reading Log

January 10, 2021


I started semi-seriously tracking my reading in 2016. Using a combination of Goodreads and this bookshelf page to write down the title, author and date that I finished reading books.

It's interesting to look back on previous years and watch the almost steady increase to 2020 where I read 60 books and stopped updating the bookshelf page. This page has been a chore to update as it's just a text file where I manually enter an entry. I had considered trying to use the Goodreads API or finding some other way to automate this, but the available options were a bit too clunky. Regardless, Goodreads has been a great service for both tracking what I'm reading and for discovering what I'd like to read next. I wish the community features were better and that the app was more regularly updated. For me personally it's only been useful for tracking and discovery.

Last year saw a significant jump in the number of books I read in a year. I attribute this to three things:

  • receiving a Kobo Libra H20 as a gift
  • support for my public library via Overdrive on my e-reader
  • the pandemic providing all that extra free time

As I've been reading more books and set aside time to read more consistently I've taken more pride in the habit and the hobby. The number of books doesn't matter, but being able to discuss them with friends or recommend my favourites is a personal point of pride.

I think trying to sort through a long text list of books is a bit of a chore. Many books have striking cover designs and it seemed like a lost opportunity not showing them off in a reading log. So my next version of this page is more of a reading list of books and looks more like a timeline of book covers. The list isn't complete and neither is the design, but I'm a lot happier with showcasing the books I've read in this way.

The added benefit of this new setup is that it's easy to share what I'm currently reading on this now page since I can run a query instead of having to manually update it.

I'm off to a good start in 2021 with a mix of genres. I'm eager to spend some more time reflecting on what I've read and further building out this reading log including adding additional interactions around things like sorting and filtering, highlighting my favourites and maybe even linking book reviews to the log.