Often when at the circulation or information desk here at Somers Library, we hear patrons say something like, “I should find a system to keep track of what I read and what I want to read!” Well, our patron Sandy has created a meticulous way of doing just that, which she manages in her trusty blue binder. And although, at first glance, it seems like a lot of work, it is a labor of love (of reading) that keeps Sandy motivated!
Recently, I had a chance to chat with Sandy and I asked her about her famous blue binder and she was happy to share her system. She said there are a few keys to her reading record success. First, her husband Jay gets the New York Times bestseller list online, and Sandy looks through it to circle books by her authors. She brings the list to the library to put holds on the books she would like to read. The next part of her system is the creation and maintenance of the lists of books written by her authors which is kept in alphabetical order in her blue binder.
In her binder, Sandy records the new books she is waiting for. Then, when Sandy is in between books because her holds have not yet come in, she looks through her list of her authors and finds older books she hasn’t read. At this point I wondered how an author would become a “Sandy author” and Sandy was happy to explain. She gets recommendations from friends and if, after reading a few of their books, Sandy likes the author, she then creates a spot in her blue binder for a list of all the author’s books.
Obviously, Sandy has put a great deal of thought and effort into her system and I realize this may not be for everyone. I get a real kick out of seeing Sandy’s system in action, but I am not sure I could keep up with such a system personally. I am just not that organized. There are some great online tools like Shelfari and Goodreads that have ways to track books and these sites really work well for some people. But whatever works (or doesn’t work), the point is we all recognize what a joy it is to find a really good book to read!