I started keeping a list of every book I read when I was 19. And I still keep it. I put down the author, the title, the date read, my personal rating, and a brief description. I read so much that I often need to consult the list to see if I already read something by this author. Especially since I have a horrid memory for names and titles.
At the end of each year, I reread my list of books for that year and remember how I read them and what was happening in my life then. Recently, I reread my list for 2009, the year I started working at my current school and got married. The list brought everything back so vividly! It’s like having a diary of your intellectual and emotional life.
Strangely, even though I never remember the plots or the characters of the book I read, I have a prodigious memory for stuff I read for work. Earlier this week I needed a critical source that I used for my Master’s dissertation in 2003. I immediately remembered what it said, how I quoted it, and where it was in my files.
Do you keep a record of what you read?