Goal for the New Year: Book Journal!

Posted: January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

By Michael Stelzer Jocks, History Faculty.

I am writing this down here at the Turtle in order to avoid any excuses.  I have a goal for the new year, and I really want to accomplish it. This is something I have wanted to do since I finished up with graduate school about 10 years ago, but I just never found time.  No more rationalizations.  This year, I do it.

00505813_largeYes, yes, another New Year’s resolution post. I can feel cyberspace sigh with annoyance.  But wait!  Perhaps this will interest you?  I have never, ever made a New Year’s resolution before the one I am about to share.   This is a first.

So what do I resolve?  What will I accomplish?  Well….It may not seem exciting to a lot of people, but here it goes….drum roll please….

This year, I will keep an online, private journal recording each new book I read. Each entry will be a small synopsis of said book, and if called for, memorable quotes from the text.

*Crash, crash, crash* (Sound of cymbals)

Now, why am I resolving to do this?  Honestly, and this is not some pretentious claim, I read such a large volume of books at this point that I often forget what I have read. Don’t you think this pretty much defeats the $_35whole purpose of reading? I do. You know you have a problem when you go to the library, or bookstore, and see a book that interests you, and yet you wonder, “did I already read that?”   I was looking through some books the other day and I stumbled upon Francois Furet’s “Interpreting the French Revolution.” ‘Oh, that sounds excellent,’ I thought.  But, then, as I pondered, I could not, and I still cannot, remember if I ever read it.   How infuriating.

Oh, and there is one other reason to keep a ‘books read’ journal.  Though many people think I read the ever growing stack of books on my desk at RMU from cover to cover, I have a confession.  A good number of books piled up at work never get completely read.  Some of those mighty tomes only get a good skimming.  I will begin a book, find it boring, poorly written, or not about what I thought it was about, and put it down.  Nonetheless, even when that is the case, there are usually a couple pages of each book that has some value to me.  I hope fulfilling this journal resolution will help me keep track of those partially finished, or quickly dismissed books for my records.  I need to get this book obsession under control.

I know. Not the most world-shattering resolution, but there it is.  Welcome to the 2014 Flaneur’s Turtle.

  1. david p says:

    MSJ: I used to laugh at my mom for accidently re-reading books. Then, I hit 45, and I have started 3 books before realinzing, “I think that I’ve read this already!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s