What I Don’t Write Here, And Why

December 21, 2012

When I was 14 or 15 I started keeping a reading log.  Then, for kicks, I decided to write down every novel I’d read before I started keeping a reading log, in roughly chronological order.  My memory was good back then.  In theory I have a record of every novel I’ve ever read from Anne of Green Gables in third grade onward.  Is this unusual?  My teenaged entries would take up a couple of pages of a blank book.  Later came long stretches when I only wrote only titles, authors, publication dates, and dates read, with the intention of going back later to say what I’d thought.  Sometimes that happened, sometimes it didn’t.  Other times, particularly when I was reading a lot of YA novels,  I would write just one summarizing sentence to jog my memory; I had learned without that one sentence certain titles and authors would become completely detached from any faintest recollection of story in about the space of a year.  But my most natural mode of writing about books is to pause on my way to take them back to the library, and scribble off something like this:

Dec 14, 2012

Tell the Wolves I’m Home

Carol Rifka Brunt, 2012

Set in 1987, the 80′s nostalgia seems to be a bit nonspecific.  Feels more early 80′s a lot of the time.  It emphasizes the stigma of Aids to create an even greater degree of fairytale harshness in what is at bottom a pretty pat story of sentimentalized sibling love/jealousy in two generations.  Artist gay Uncle Finn and unconvincingly obtuse suburban accountant mother, and teenaged sisters Greta and June.

3 Responses to “What I Don’t Write Here, And Why”

  1. Jeanne said

    Is this unusual? In the book blogging world, no. I didn’t do anything like this, but I have less of the librarian mindset than most. I prefer to remember books in terms of the feelings they produced, the music I was listening to as I read them, and the quotations I like best. (If my memory were perfect, I’d speak like Mrs. Who in A Wrinkle in Time, entirely in quotations.)

  2. Jenny said

    Huh. I have never done anything like that. Before I started with the book blog, my only record of what I’d been reading was my commonplace book, and that was only useful if I’d written something down from EACH BOOK (which I didn’t).

    Sorry you didn’t care for Tell the Wolves I’m Home. Alas. I loved it.

  3. Colleen said

    I didn’t used to keep records but during some sleepless nights during grad school I begin listing them ALL on GoodReads. I have no idea whether or not it’s exhaustive. Well, it can’t be, because I’ve got memories of snippets from books whose titles and authors I can’t recall. GoodReads does for me now what your journal did; although the book blogging helps too, I like the idea of the list still being current if I quit blogging for the 20th time. :)

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