Books Lists or Where Wishes Go to Die

By Catherine A. Cardno — September 07, 2012 1 min read
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I’m a big fan of the Chronicle of Higher Education and am a sucker for their first-person columns. Steven Michels, an associate professor of political science at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, wrote a column that posted yesterday that got me thinking about book lists. He writes that he was recently looking through his wish list and realized that it had been growing for 11 years and was now 25 pages long—600 books to be exact.

“Some people probably use their list to keep track of books they’d like to purchase or receive as a gift. I’m pretty sure that’s why they call it a wish list,” he writes. “When I want to read a book, I usually just buy it. My wish list seems to be the place where wishes go to die. And so it grows.”

I find myself having the same trouble with books I intend to read, but never seem to get around to reading. I keep lists with the best of intentions, scattered around the house. I find that I either read books immediately, or they start to gather dust.

The Atlantic Monthly’s website, The Atlantic Wire, did a piece the other day on the different types of readers out there, from methodical “chronological” readers who read one book at a time to “multi-tasker” readers who pick up and put down anything and everything. You should definitely read the piece and diagnose yourself, your family members, and your friends. (I know I did.)

How about you? Now that it’s September and school has started, how are you keeping track of all those books you intended to read over the summer, but didn’t quite get to? Or, perhaps you read everything you’d planned to read and you’d like to share what you read?

What do you plan on reading for pleasure or professional development, during the school year?

A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.