lost and found, a glimpse at my reading history

In a way, it proves the power of the printed page, though really it’s just the importance of having a backup file. Last week while looking for something else I stumbled on some thin 3-ring binders, in one of which was a printout, dated April 1997, of my Books I’ve Read List from 1975-1994

The computer file was lost in an unusual primary-and back-up hard drive failure, and I thought the information was gone with it, so it was a treat to see this. I’ve been re-creating the file in Word, and will insert a window capture of part of the first page at the bottom of this post.

What’s interesting to me is to see what I was reading, when I read it and to think back to what was going on in my life at the time. Also, how I rated it – if I rated it at all. I’m not a big fan of rating books, and don’t do it in reviews, but I do for my read list, since that for me. Here’s the rating system I used then, and still do:

o = dud, *=average, **=above average, ***=very good, ****=excellent.

Fascinating stuff, at least for me, and fun to have my memory jogged about books I’d forgotten, or forgotten I’d read.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in At Home in Portland, reading and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to lost and found, a glimpse at my reading history

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Fun stuff. I was reading Clavell about that time, too, and I read several others on your list around then. I wish I’d kept records.

  2. Richard says:

    I was really glad I found this, Bill, and I’m even enjoying retyping it.

  3. Carl V says:

    I’m so happy that you found this, it had to be like finding treasure. I bet you were…are…thrilled. I can see how it would be fun retyping it, as it is a more interactive way to review the list/relive the moments. I did some journaling as part of a class in high school and I enjoyed it, but didn’t keep it up after I no longer *had* to. It is certainly a regret. I did start journaling what I read about 3 years before I started blogging, so I have my complete reading lists for the last 9 years.

    Thanks for sharing what you did in the picture, it was fun. Would enjoy seeing more and hearing about any special memories.

  4. Richard says:

    And so you shall. Thanks for your comments, Carl, very much appreciated.

  5. Drongo says:

    Glad you liked Watership Down. Growing up, it was one of my favorite novels. Pretty good film, too.

  6. Chris says:

    I started keeping track of what I read in 2006. I wish I had more history than that! I think it’s fun; whenever I add a book I look back to years past to see what I was reading then. It’s funny, because sometimes I’ll see a book and think, “Has it really been three years since I read that?!”

  7. Evan Lewis says:

    Interesting. I was reading Moorcock and Clavell right around the same time.

  8. randy Johnson says:

    Illuminating list,I’ve read about a dozen of them. Echoing others, some Clavell, Watership Down(wasn’t as fond of Shardik though), the Moorcock books, Dune, and such.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    As I’ve said elsewhere, this is indeed a greast find. I’ve been keeping a list/diary since May of 1975 (after a few aborted earlier attempts) so have a list of every book I’ve read (or bought) since then. When I got the previous computer I retyped them all onto a database (two, actually, the second for non fiction) and it was great revisiting them as I was doing it.

    SHOGUN is definitely one of my all-time favorite books.

  10. Your list includes several authors I was reading in the 1970s. I keep a yearly list of books in MICROSOFT ACCESS.

  11. Patti Abbott says:

    Oh for the eyesight to read this!

  12. Richard says:

    Yes, Patti, I know it’s tough to read, but I couldn’t made the image much bigger or there were other problems with inserting it.

  13. Richard says:

    Drongo – I’ve read Watership Down at least 3 times, it’s a favorite book that seem a little different – meaning I notice different things, I guess – each time I read it.

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