Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Keeping track of what you've read...

If you're like me, you reach a point in your Mock Newbery reading each year where you hear about a title and wonder "Have I read that one yet?" Or you pick up a book, check it out, and realize long about the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd page (or chapter!) that you've already read it. Or you read a book review and place the book on hold. When the book comes in you remember that you tried to read it, but got so horribly bogged down by the typeface, the didactic content, the implausibility, the superficiality of the characters, the WHATEVER that you return it to the Library unread. Or, conversely, you read the best, funniest book EVER, but you can't remember the title or author.

This brings up the importance of keeping notes!

There is a sample note-taking form in the official ALA/ALSC Newbery Manual on page 26 which you might consider using or adapting if you like having pages to flip and ponder and put in order:

Author: Illus:

Title: Genre:


Reviews: BCCB Booklist Horn Book PW SLJ Other: ___________





Other Comments:

Criteria: Interpretation of the theme or concept

Presentation of information including accuracy, clarity, and organization

Development of a plot

Delineation of characters

Delineation of setting

Appropriateness of style

The committee should keep in mind that the award is for literary quality and quality presentation for children.

There are also lots of resources available online which can help you keep track of what you read. I love librarything.com and have been using it for several years. Both Facebook and MySpace have applications which can help you keep track of what you are reading. And here's a youtube video that was put together as part of our staff "Geek Out, Don't Freak Out" series of classes which explores Goodreads.com:

What about you? How do you keep track of what you're reading? We'd love to know! Feel free to post the method(s) you find most useful.


Jen said...

I have all sorts of friends on Goodreads who probably hate me because I can't get myself to write down one single thing about the stuff I read. I just collect friends.

And yet, more people ask to befriend me every week on Goodreads even though I never write down anything about the books I actually am reading! I guess every day is a new one, and every leaf could be turned over, if only I would...

Nan Hoekstra said...

I am using a special account just for that purpose on LibraryThing. I use the private comments option if I would like my comments to be private and also write short reviews there. Since I do not intrude with my personal opinions on Anokaberry, this gives me the listing and commenting and reviewing opportunities that I need to keep track of my reading. I use the "stars" feature to rate the eligible titles. I really like it.