One of the things that I love to do almost as much as reading, is to keep track of my books. I have a huge Excel worksheet that lists all of my To Be Read books, books that I’ve read, and books that I want to read. I love tinkering with that. I also like keeping a list on here. Sometimes I like to look back and see which books I read in different years to see how my tastes changed.
I’ve been trying to work my way through the BBC Big Read list of books for the past ten years or so. There are 200 books on the list and they range from children’s books to huge novels such as War and Peace and Ulysses. I hope to complete the list one day.
I’m also reading from the 1001 books you must read before you die list. This is a book that’s been updated a few times now so there are rather more than 1001 books on the combined list. I’m not alone in this challenge as there are plenty of people on BookCrossing to share encouragement and books with. I’m really enjoying these challenges as they’re encouraging me to read books that I wouldn’t have otherwise picked up, and some of them have been truly outstanding. There have been a few that I haven’t been too keen on but mostly I’ve enjoyed them.
In 2011 I finally gave in and got a Kindle. I’d been resisting for ages as I prefer ‘real books’. My husband had insisted that I needed one however, as I tend to take over a dozen books on holiday, cramming them into every available corner of the suitcases. It didn’t take long before I came to love my Kindle. I think the turning point was when I downloaded the complete works of Dickens onto it and looked at the ‘proper books’ that were taking up two shelves of my bookcases and were too heavy for me to lift all at once, and compared it to the digital version that I was holding in the palm of my hand. I love that I can make the print bigger on days when my eyes are tired. I love that I can download books free when they’re out of copyright. And sometimes when they’re not, because they’re on offer. I love all the cheap books, which are mounting up on my Kindle so much faster than I can read them. Now when I go on holiday, I take a lot more than a dozen books.
My newest way to read is via audio books. I have a tedious bus journey to and from work, and as I can’t read on the bus, I’d been getting a bit bored. I joined Audible and started off by listening to the latest book by Lee Child and the bus journeys magically got a lot shorter, and much more interesting. Since then I’ve listened to some amazing books and have discovered some great narrators.
Because of the Kindle, and because I’ve used the library rather a lot in past years, my To Be Read pile seems to have got a bit out of control in the last few years. I don’t like it when there are books stacked on top of other books. It’s untidy. And it makes my husband think that maybe I shouldn’t buy any more books until I’ve read a few of the ones that I already have. Silly man.
I’m planning to try to get that TBR pile under control a bit this coming year. I have a few targets for 2018. I want to read at least three books from The Big Read and at least ten from the 1001 list. I’m hoping to read 120 books again as an average of ten per month seems about right.