This list, to be specific:
A few years before I started keeping track of every book I read, I also started writing down the books I wanted to read. Probably because I was the ripe old age of 22 or more likely because I was in graduate school, I could no longer keep a running list in my head. My memory was shot, unless it had to do with various theories of social work. And even then it wasn't always trustworthy.
So I started writing books down. In the back of my planner, on random scraps of paper, the margin of my Cognitive-Behavior Theory class notebook.
This was far too unorganized for my liking but you know: grad school. A solution would have to fall into my lap.
A perk of working at The Christian Bookstore was the freebie box in the break room. Filled with complimentary and defective product, it was often a goldmine. Or, in some cases, a lesson on the truly peculiar. One fine day I came upon a square blank book. It was supposed to be filled with 52 tips for vacationing families but for a printing error. Perfect for writing down all the books I wanted to read.
I freely admit I kept the book as is- vacation tips cover and all- up until last year. After all, I knew what I was using it for and it stayed in my desk. Since I made the collage front, it found a new home in the living room.
My To Read list is also contained in three other places: my online library account, the back of my planner, and an Amazon Wish List.
The list stays at home but book recommendations happen all the time. If I'm out and about, I'll write it down in the back of my planner (or make a note in my Blackberry), if I don't have my planner. If I'm at my computer, I'll check to see if my library carries it and put a request in or add it to the list feature if I'm currently reading at capacity. If my library doesn't carry it and I'm still interested, I'll add it to Amazon, not necessarily because I plan to buy it but to remember the title. Further down the line, I'll check the library again (or request they buy it), see if I can find it at a used bookstore, or borrow from a friend.
Eventually all of these other sources are transcribed into the master list.
The To Read list, really, is about remembering what I want to read.
There are books that have been on the list for over a decade now. The steady stream of books I want to read ensures I'll never run out of material.
Checking books off the list is, of course, a whole other matter. As is my method of finding promising books. Stay tuned.
How do you keep track of what you want to read?