How To Remember What Books You’ve Read

Unless you have a perfect memory, it’s tough to remember all the books you’ve read. But how can you keep a record of everything your eyes have pored over or skimmed? 

You want to remember the texts you read, don’t you? Imagine thinking you finished a book but not being entirely sure you did. It almost feels like a bookshelf falling to the ground.

Here are ways to remember the amazing, terrible, and mediocre books you’ve read. 

Use Goodreads. 

Goodreads is a godsend, especially since you can access it on a computer, laptop, or smartphone. I can’t believe I took nearly 18 years to make an account. If you’re looking for an online website where you can track books you’ve read and what you want to read next, get on Goodreads.

Keep a reader notebook. 

On the other hand, who doesn’t love using a physical notebook to record all the books they’ve read. I write down the author and title along with when I started and finished the text. I also tried getting into journaling about the books I’ve read to help myself with writing reviews after I’ve finished reading something. But so far, I don’t find myself reaching for that journal very often. Habits are hard to build.

Create an Excel spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets are fun, doubly so if they’re colourful. If you don’t want to make a Goodreads account but want a digital log, an Excel sheet might work well for you.

How do you remember what you read?

My Reading Journey

I could write a book about my journey as a reader. But I’ll write a short blog post instead.

I loved books as a child. As a teenager, I still do. I might even love books more now than I used to. I don’t see that changing when I turn twenty in August. Gosh, I’m getting old.

I used to read all the time as a kid. I still do. Unlike a lot of other things and people, reading is something that’s remained in my life all these years.

More often than not, I found myself bored at school. But I was never bored during silent reading time. That was my favourite part of the day, lunch and recess included. Breaks suck when you have no friends.

I remember a teacher recommending a book to me in grade five. I fell in love with everything about that story. From then on I vowed not to dismiss book recommendations, unless they come from a source I vehemently dislike.

I also remember those assessments teachers did in elementary where they asked students to read a passage out loud. I was terrified I’d come across a word I didn’t know how to pronounce. I can’t recall if my fear ever came to pass. So I like to believe I did well.

Over the summer when I had more time to read, I went through books quickly. I once binge-read an entire series in the span of twenty-two days.

Then high school happened. If my memory serves me correctly, I read more in grade nine and grade twelve. At least, it feels like I did. I’m not sure what happened in grades ten and eleven. I know what happened. I wrote like a madwoman in ten and started this blog in eleven. Perhaps I’ll write a post detailing my writing and blogging journey.

Somehow I’ve managed to read every single day for I want to say the past two years at least. Probably even longer than that. I can’t remember the last time I went twenty-four hours without reading a book. Which is insane.

I began university in 2015. So I’ve had to balance reading for pleasure and reading for school. The previous sentence should read I don’t have a social life. I’m perfectly okay with that. 

Honestly, books got me through some of the toughest times in my life. And I have no doubt they will continue to do so.

Why I Read

I read because I want to. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing when I’m reading.

It lets me unwind after a long day. I get to relax after a stressful morning or tiring afternoon. My body has a chance to recover while my brain is challenged. Books push me to think. Place myself in someone else’s shoes and see things in a different perspective.

I read for fun. Reading is fun. It’s enjoyable. More often than not, I’d rather stay at home and read a book than leave my house and hit the town.

Authors inspire me to tell my own story. Characters motivate me to be a better human being.

I read to escape. I like getting away from the world I live in. I don’t always want to be where I am. So it’s nice to transport myself somewhere else temporarily.

Reading is something I get to do on my own terms. I choose what I want to read. I decide when and where I read. How I read. 

I read to step away from the screen. To put down my phone. To turn off my computer.

Books are there for me when people are not. 

I read because it’s exciting and exhilarating. My heart beats faster. My mind runs faster.

Time spent reading is time well spent. I don’t feel like I’m wasting precious hours of my life when I read. Instead I feel alive. Like I’m living.

I read because I need to. It keeps me sane in an insane world. 

Reading helps me see the good in fictional characters and makes me believe real people can be amazing too.

How To Decide What To Read Next

Let’s set the scene, shall we? 

You start a book. You finish it. Then you’re faced with the dilemma of deciding what to read next.

I feel your pain. Too many books and too little time means I’ve been struggling my whole life.

Don’t worry. Next time, you can always:

Roll a dice. Especially great if you have a selection of six books to choose from. Number each one and get rolling. It’s not so great if you’re a normal human being with an insanely long to-be-read list.

Ask a friend. Useful when you trust your friend’s judgement, and you’re in dire need of a good recommendation. Not helpful when said friend is drunk, and doesn’t read much or at all while sober. In which case you need new friends. I’m kidding.

Read a review. Unsure about a book? Find a review or two. Unsure about ten billion books? I guess you’ll be spending a few decades reading reviews then. At least when you’re done, you’ll have a better idea of what to pick up? Or maybe you won’t. Then you’re back where you began. It’s not a bad place to be.

So how are you going to decide what book you’ll read next?

    Books Of The Month | April 2017

    I wonder if I wrote more words or read more this month. Either way here’s how my April unfolded.

    What I Finished:

    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    One phrase description:

    It gets better.


    “We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

    My general thoughts:

    I technically finished this in March a couple days after I published my book blog post. I think that’s a testament to how much I enjoyed ACOFTAR, especially the ending. It took me a few chapters to get acquainted with the new world and characters. I’m so used to the Throne of Glass books, and so I found myself comparing this novel to her other works. Personally I like her writing. It’s descriptive enough for me to get a sense of the world but not too descriptive that I get impatient, wishing something would happen already.

    Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

    One phrase description:

    It got faster.


    “Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.”

    My general thoughts:

    I found it hard to get into at first. I needed some time to adjust to the world and all the characters. But the story picked up its pace. I was a bit confused at the beginning. Thankfully things made more sense as the novel went on.

    Last Man Standing by David Baldacci

    One phrase description:

    It got crazier.


    “At some point you have to live your life the way you want to.”

    My general thoughts:

    I had a great time with this novel. I didn’t see many of the twists and turns coming. It had a good amount of action, mystery, and suspsense. I liked that the main character, Web, has many issues. He works through some of them throughout the novel. It made for a more realistic story.

    What I’m Currently Reading:

    Symbol of Treason by Natalya Orekhov

    First impressions:

    Aside from some formatting and grammatical errors, the writing isn’t that bad. Most of the characters seem to have their demons and a less than ideal past. It’d be interesting to see how they deal with their problems.

    What I Want To Read Next Month:

    The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong


    I had the hardest time deciding what to read next. I’m going with this one because why not. 

    Next month I hope to start reviewing books individually. I’m announcing this on here because online accountability has worked in the past. Don’t fail me in the future.

    Happy reading in May!

    As per usual, the above are affiliate links, and they take you to Book Depository where you can buy until your big heart is content.

    Authors I Want To Meet

    I want to meet almost every author but the ones below especially.

    Pierce Brown

    I would love to pick his brain over lunch or brunch. But I’ll settle for reading his books.

    Jodi Picoult

    Love her characters. Love her stories. She never ceases to amaze me. I don’t think I’ve ever correctly predicted the endings to any of her books.

    Stephen King

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: King is King. He always will be.

    Who do you want to meet?

    Books Of The Month | March 2017

    There goes another month. 2017 needs to slow down. Now that I’ve finished all my assigned English novels, I might take it easy for a few months reading wise. Or maybe I won’t. I don’t know what will happen. I’m not a fortune teller. But I can tell you all about my past. Starting with the books I read in March.

    What I Finished:

    Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee

    One phrase description:

    An interestingly formatted novel.


    “Authority must be earned.”

    My general thoughts:

    I liked it. I didn’t love it. I found it hard to read at first, since the novel is broken up into three different sections on one page and sometimes they carry over onto the next. So I had no idea how to read the book. I still don’t. It was a different reading experience to say the least.

    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


    One phrase description:

    It’s like going back to high school.


    “So many things become beautiful when you really look.”

    My general thoughts:

    I’m not sure if I read this book many years ago. Either my memory fails me or I didn’t read it at all. Regardless my mind just loves playing tricks on me. I’m pretty sure I borrowed Before I Fall from the library, however. I probably still have the receipt.

    Anyhow, I felt like the concept had potential. Concept being the main character lives the same day over and over again. I didn’t like the main character much, although she does become a bit more likeable as the story progresses. Thank goodness.

    Looking for Alaska by John Green


    One phrase description:

    Unexpected questions.


    “You just use the future to escape the present.”

    My general thoughts:

    I had high expectations going in. And while I wasn’t disappointed, I found it hard to get into at first. It started somewhat slow in my opinion. The ending not so much.

    For some reason, I kept seeing parallels between this and Norwegian Wood. They aren’t that alike. To be fair though I read both around the same time. Being an English student and a recreational reader at the same time isn’t easy. 

    Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

    One phrase description:

    More than just a love story.


    “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

    My general thoughts:

    I love this novel. Love the characters. Love the writing. Love the story. It was relatable in many ways. And an easy read if you ask me. Then again no one asked me.

    What I’m Currently Reading:

    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    First impressions:

    I’m enjoying it thus far. I keep comparing this novel to Throne of Glass. I’m not sure which book I like more. I’ll try to get back to you on that when I finish ACoTaR. No promises.

    What I Want To Read Next Month:

    Truthwitch by Susan Dennard


    It seems like something I’d enjoy. I hope I’m right.

    Alas, April is almost upon us…

    Affiliate links take you to Book Depository.

    What Readers Need

    Readers don’t need much. They just need more… 

    • money
    • books
    • time
    • space
    • money

    I could really do with more money. Then again, doesn’t everybody?

    The Struggles Of Being A Reader

    If you’re a reader, you know the struggle is real.

    Some of my struggles include:

    • Going to the library and asking the librarian to find the books you want to borrow.
    • Looking for a book in stores and not being able to find it.
    • Struggling to find a comfortable reading position. 
    • Trying to find the right edition of a book on Goodreads.

    If at first you don’t find what you’re looking for, fail, fail again.

    Book Buyer Problems

    Don’t get me wrong I love buying books. But I’ve also run into some problems.

    • I’m broke.
    • I don’t have enough space.
    • I’m too broke to purchase more space for my books (as in another bookshelf or a bigger house).

    Nothing and no one will stop me from buying more books, though.