Scanning social media lately, I’ve seen loads of links, adverts and sponsored posts showcasing new book tracking software, spreadsheets and apps that can help you to examine your reading in more detail.
Book journals have been around for decades, and in today’s market where everything from our sleep and steps through to our diets and skincare regimes are track-able, is it worth the effort to chart your reading habits too?
After all, reading is a hobby. Whilst some books are read for work or in an effort towards self-improvement, the majority are read just for fun. They’re read because people know reading is good for their minds, but they also enjoy it. So what’s the point in diligently tracking it?
For some, it could be another way to heighten their enjoyment and improve the benefits they get from reading, in the same way that those who like walking use step counters to measure steps and track their walking in an effort to improve their health whilst doing something they enjoy.
However, for others I fear that book tracking could make them become stressed and suck the joy out of reading. I personally fear I may start to worry about the books I read, if I read enough and whether my reading is actually making a difference.
After all, reading is a fun hobby, so why monitor it thoroughly? When practically our every movement is being watched and recorded by CCTV and all kinds of other technology, is it really worth downloading a phone app that will track your reading habits too?
There’s also the issue of the technology on offer itself. It’s a fact that all technology companies, especially those offering free apps, are using your data for sales purposes. They’re not giving you something for free out of the kindness of their corporate hearts. They’re collecting information that can be used to track and predict buying habits, and then either selling it on or using it to push adverts targeted specifically at you.
So, in conclusion, I reckon that if you want to track your reading, do it the old fashioned way. Buy yourself a pretty book journal and write down every book you read, and maybe make some notes on what you thought of it. This fancy-smancy new technology is only going to stress you out and target you with seductive advertising. Book journals can’t do that, and they’re cute in their own way too.