Why You Should Keep a Reading List

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Since 2016 I’ve been actively working to read more often.

Yes, I consider Audible “reading”.

The main goal is to open myself up to a larger number of ideas rather than to get into the semantics of what counts as reading.

The goal was to hit 52 books in a year. I haven’t quite made it there yet with 41 completed out of 43 books started in 2017 and 40 out of 45 in 2018.

I’ve been tracking my reading in a spreadsheet since 2016. Having that document to review reminds of all that I’ve read over the years and gives me a little extra kick to get things done.

It’s also had a few unforeseen benefits.

It’s helped me identify a few patterns in my reading choices and solidify my interests.

Looking back at my list it’s full of books on unleashing creativity and entrepreneurship. Not surprising, but I can see how those types of books really dominate my choices. So I know it’s probably what I should be focusing on with my career.

It also reminds me of some topics that interested me that fell off my plate due to work and family obligations. This year that was digging into economics and finance thanks to Freakonomics, Think Like a Freak, and Super Freakonomics.

It’s also interesting to see how my reading is dominated by non-fiction business and technical books, while the occasional fiction reading is heavily influenced by other media I’ve seen recently. Typically catching up on the occasional comic after seeing something like The Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet or flashing back to my youth after playing Spider-Man on PS4 and going back to some old comics.

Maybe the most interesting aspect is seeing my own growth reflected in my reading choices. 2016 had a strong push for finance and investing as I planned for my future fresh off a recent marriage. Followed by mid-2017 with a rush of baby books leading up to the birth of our first child. With 2018 being focused on career development and work-life balance with a young family.

My reading list isn’t fancy. It’s just a column for title, reading status, and format. But overtime it has led to some interesting observations for little effort. And the accountability is a great driving factor.

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