Do you keep stats?
[Story time. Skip this if you like.] When I was a kid I read like a mad man (er ... child). I never kept track of how many books or pages I read. I never worried too much (though I did a little) about the "quality" of the things I read. I. just. loved. to read. I continued to read pretty heavily even after I learned to drive, started dating, went to college, got my masters, etc. And then, around age 35, I hit a wall. Life, mostly. I had a 4 year old and a new baby and they took a lot of time, as well as building my career and what not. Around 38 or 39 I realized I had books lying half-finished or barely started all over the house. So I started being more intentional about reading. It started with joining a circle of '50-books a year' folk. Most of them with blogs. (A relatively novel thing in 2006.) And it took me a few years to get back up to 50. Then I started keeping a spreadsheet. Now I use Goodreads. I find the act of recording reads, page numbers, etc. does a few important things for me.
- It motivates me. I like trying to match previous highs or looking ahead and set goals for the year end.
- It challenges me to do less "re-reading" of old favorites. I realized early on that about 65% of my reading was just circling back to comfort reading, so now it's more like 30% and that feels a lot better/healthier to me. And I'm discovering new authors/series.
- It makes me slightly less apt to collect books. When I first started keeping a spreadsheet this was very true. I used to want to keep a copy of almost everything I read. As ... what ... trophies? I dunno. It's silly. But keeping a spreadsheet made me feel more free to reduce my bookshelves to just the things that would likely re-read. [At this point I feel like a psychologist has enough to diagnose me. LOL.]
- It helps me get perspective on my reading habits. Which months do I read more? Do I read genres by seasons of the calendar or "seasons" of life? Etc.
There's probably more, but you get the gist. I'm wondering if ...
You keep stats?
If so, why does it work for you? (If not, why it doesn't?)