Sunday Salon: The List


This spring, I finally decided to put together a notebook of book recommendations and books I wanted to read. I drew up the initial recommendations from Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust and More Book Lust, and wrote them all down in a small, green notebook in blue pen. It doesn’t have an official name as of yet. For now, it is simply the List.

Two weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk when I suddenly thought, Is Temeraire on the List? I began to flip through the List frantically. (Temeraire, incidentally, was not on the List. It is now.) After that, I decided to supplement the official List with a spreadsheet, to make it easier to determine what exactly I’ve put on it.

However, I have not abandoned the real List! The spreadsheet has a column to indicate whether or not it has been added to the actual List itself. I find adding books to the List calming, in an organizational sort of way, especially when I’ve been away. I spent two weeks in Ireland and England this summer as trip to cap my senior year of high school, and I found so many books to read! I was delighted to finally have a chance to sit down and transfer the recommendations from my personal notebook to the List. There’s something more satisfying about writing it down than typing it up.

There is just one rule to the List: I cannot abandon a book on the List. Even if I hate the book, I must then conquer it via reading, making its eventual crossing out feel triumphant. One very good example is The Historian. Halfway through, I realized that I hated it–but I had to finish it. If not to conquer it, then to properly warn others about it.

You can see the List here. How do you keep track of the books you want to read?

As far as books go this week, I’ve finished The Labyrinth (review forthcoming) and I’m starting on Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. I loved Eugenides’ Middlesex, so I have high hopes for it. 

4 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: The List

  1. I use a spreadsheet, too. I have one sheet for books I own, one sheet for books I don’t own, and one sheet for books I’ve ordered. Unlike you, though, I’ll give up on a book on the list if it isn’t working for me. (I give it at least 50 pages or 10%, whichever is greater.)

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