The EASIEST, Least Painful Book Log Ever

Books Education Family GeekMom
book log
Image source: Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley

My first real word, after Mama and Dada, was bookie.

I would follow my mother around the house, like her little shadow, with a book in hand. All the while I’d be repeating,

“Boooooookie bookie bookie bookie bookie!”

How annoying for my mom!

Well, the more things change the more they stay the same. Here I am, at 37 years young, still book obsessed.

I’ve always been this way, it is in my blood.

If I’m not doing something, I’m reading something. Or, if we’re being entirely accurate, I’m reading somethings.

I have my upstairs book, and my downstairs book, and my in-the-car book, and all the articles I am going to read open on my Chromebook, and all the other articles I am going to read open on my iPhone.

I never, ever leave home without a book.

And yet… growing up… if you told me to read something, I refused. I’d buy the Cliff Notes rather than give you the satisfaction.

This reader hates to be told to read things.

While you were talking about Heart of Darkness, I was sitting in the back of class secretly reading something else.

It’s funny to me now, but I only liked the books we read in AP English long after I’d actually graduated from high school… and read the books on my own… for the first time.

Do you remember those book logs you would have to keep in school? Those bad boys drove me bonkers. I loathed filling them out, and yet I read books like no one else I know.

This reader would wait until the last minute and then forge the g-damned book log.

And I read heaps of books!

I swear: Book logs are the devil. 

No one likes them. 

The readers hate them.

And I’m willing to bet that those who hate to read also despise the book log.

I thought those book logs were a thing of the past, but then I found myself suddenly, unexpectedly homeschooling my asynchronous little fella and guess what I’m required to maintain?

You guessed it: a book log.

The last thing I want to do is to kill this child’s love of reading, the way book logs of old squelched my own.

I want to raise readers.

Well, folks… I have discovered the easiest, least painful book log ever.

He doesn’t even know I keep it.

Are you ready?

All I did was create an e-mail for my little fella and download the Goodreads app on my iPhone.

When he finishes a book, I scan its barcode.

One beep and it’s done.

No writing.

No forging.

No grumbling.

Just reading heaps of great books, the way it should be.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell me: Did you loathe book logs as a kid? Do your kids hate them now? Share here!

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14 thoughts on “The EASIEST, Least Painful Book Log Ever

  1. I remember going in the MS Readathon – an annual charity fundraising event. The idea was to get people to sponsor you per book read in a certain month. After desultory recruitment efforts, I would end up with 5 or 10 sponsors, upon which I would continue my usual voracious reading habits for the designated month.

    Inevitably, when it came to the end of the allotted time, and I was tasked with collecting the pledges, I would have three or four books written down on the sheet and very little ability to remember what I had read at the start of the month which, after all, was about 20 or 30 books ago.

    The idea of a book log would drive me crazy!

  2. Oh my gosh, Tom! You just gave me such a flashback! Yes, we had read-a-thons, too, and I did the exact same thing.

    And I’m *still* terrible at remembering titles. Thank goodness for Goodreads 🙂

  3. I did this for my son, too, but for largely selfish purposes: I was having a terrible time remembering what he HAD read and was bringing home duplicates!

  4. My daughter has to log how many minutes she reads each day and it’s the bane of my existence because the second she has to TIME her reading, she starts reading less. Or she’ll drag her nails to read the required 15 minute goal and then go read upstairs.

    1. I’ve always hated keeping track of reading time… how often doesn’t any reader sneak in 5 mins here or 10 mins there? What a pain in the ass to try to track that all!

      1. As an educator, this drives me bonkers. If you are forced to do something for x-minutes, you feel like it’s work. It removes the fun from reading. We want young children to view reading as a pleasurable activity otherwise they sure as heck aren’t going to want to do it.

        I’m sorry you have to log minutes!

      2. I’ve been having her do her “reading minutes” on her kindle tablet because it’s set up to keep track of how many minutes she reads each day anyway. I’m sure she’ll read other books later also but it gives me something to work with and she isn’t staring at a timer wishing she was done already.

  5. I also have to keep a reading log for my homeschooled kids. I will admit to making the kids write down the title and author of every book they finish each week as we’re packing up to go to the library. That gets all our library books in one place and we can figure out how many new books we’re going to get. For a few years, I tried to record a date it was finished, but we basically just made up those dates. I decided last year no data was much easier than made up data and we stopped recording when the book was finished.

  6. Genius! Thank you for this great idea!! I will admit that I’m a person who has taken two hours to write a book log for the entire summer for my son’s school. Oh, and don’t worry, I used different colors of pens and pencils. I’m not ashamed to admit it because it’s crazy! I have just recently started homeschooling, and one of the first things I thought was, “No logs!” Not only were we required to log the book, but we were required to log how many minutes EACH day! Ugh. I don’t know why I put it off- I just did! I now would like to keep a loose log of all the books he reads because I’d like him to be able to look back at his accomplishment over the school year. The love of reading should be just that- the love of reading. Not by turning it in to a chore. I also love the fact that we do not have to stay on book level now! Oh yeah!!!

  7. I am loving goodreads! No longer do I have to put books in my Amazon cart just to remember what I want to check out from the library or recheck one we enjoyed. I was homeschooled back in the day, and we never had a reading log. My mom thought too much reading might damage our eyes, so we had reading limits. Try that to make your kids want to read more! Instead of saying you have to read 30 minutes, say you have to stop after 30 minutes. It’s so hard to find a stopping place right on time that they will have to go over time!

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