Well, I am feeling rather proud today. Not only did I figure out how to add three columns to my blog – and how to evenly space content on my header — but I also figured out how to “schedule” a blog post (ok – I know – I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to computer stuff). I was so excited that I had my Monday and Tuesday posts done – that I never expected to write another entry this early in the week. However, there are several memes that I wish to take part in today – that I simply could not resist.
First of all, Mailbox Monday – which is so generously hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page . I simply cannot tell you how very excited I am to report my latest (just one hour ago, in fact) mailbox book I received: DROOD by Dan Simmons – which I won at Carey’s site during the book give-away week. Oh my, I have wanted to read this book since I first read the title two months ago. I love Dickens and I thoroughly enjoy Wilkie Collins – so this novel hits all my hot buttons right off the bat. I am not sure when I will have time to sit down and read it (it is nearly 800 pages!) – and ideally I would like to read The Mystery of Edwin Drood before I read this one — but rest assured, when I find the time to read it, I know I will devour it!! Thank you Carey!!
This will probably be the last Mailbox Monday that I will be able to participate in for quite some time (I have purchased all my summer school reading books, and I don’t anticipate winning too many more contests). BUT….I have pretty much convinced myself to go to the Book Expo America in NYC at the end of May, and perhaps I will learn how to get on the ARC lists for the upcoming fall season!
Secondly the Musing Mondays question of the week found at Just One More Page delves into a great topic:
Do you keep track of what and/or how many books you read? How long have you been doing this? What’s your favorite tracking method, and why?If you don’t keep track, why not?
I am so embarrassed to answer this question. I have been an English teacher for 6 years now (although in my defense, I was never trained in this profession) and it NEVER occurred to me to keep any record of my reading until I started reading your fabulous blogs a little over 6 months ago. In January 2009 I decided that I would try to keep an excel spread sheet of the books I read this year. I list the title, author, rating (on a scale of 1-5), whether I reviewed the book on my blog, and the first line of the book (the last idea came from reading Becky’s list of “you had me at hello” at the end of last year). I still have a LOT to learn. Matt has an amazing system of writing on post-it notes as he reads and then writing a formal review in a moleskin that I am giving serious thought to copying. Wendi has a detailed list of books read by month – number of pages read by month – and link to review on her blog. I need to do some serious investigation of her system and I am sure I can glean several useful tips.
I also have started to keep track of the books I buy each year as well. I got this idea from Nick Hornby when I read his book, The Pollysyllabic Spree. At the beginning of each chapter he lists the books he bought – as well as the books he read. Rarely do the two lists match and I must say that I found that very liberating (although I must also add that I have found it to be very expensive as well – because now I am more free to buy books since I am scientifically keeping track of them. It is all in the name of research, mind you!)
The final Monday meme that is worth discussing is hosted by J-Kaye and she asks us to list the books we plan to read this week. What a great, organized way to stay current with reading lists and challenges. Unfortunately, my life these days demands that I be more spontaneous. Very soon – like in just a few weeks – I will be required to read several books for my summer school session. I feel the need to “stock pile” fun reading now to tide me over during that time period (odd, I know). This week I am torn between a couple of books, and will probably not fully decide until this evening. I may read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I just started it last night and so far I REALLY like the book! OR…..I may decide to go the tried and true route by reading a couple of cozy mysteries (my default genre when I really want to escape and not have to think too much). Lesa, without knowing it, has challenged me to read the first in the series of Joanne Fluke and Diane Mott Davidson and decide which I enjoy best in the “culinary” mystery cozy genre. Of course, I will have to refresh my memory on the books that I am currently teaching: The Hobbit (chapters 2 and 3); Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act I); and Cyrano de Bergerac (Act III).
I hope this Monday has found all of you in an anticipatory mindset for the new week. It was a very long day for me, but I am definitely looking forward to a couple of hours of reading time to decompress.