For years I have noted the titles of books and authors I come across. Funnily enough, librarians come across a lot of books, and obsessives who cannot let a single interesting looking title escape them end up with a lot of scrappy bits of paper.
Sad attempts to be more organised (Warwick 5B1 notebook indexed), more methodical (hardback with Andy Warhol shoes on the cover – so pretty I’d be sure to use it), more organised and methodical (basic black Moleskine indexed – essential to use it to justify the expense) resulted in a proliferation of notebooks listing books to be read, books that had been read, monthly issues of magazines so one wouldn’t be missed – on and on, spinning ever more out of control.
I tried on-line options but none of them were ideal, until I discovered the For Later option in Bibliocommons, the library catalogue. Come across a book or an author, check the library catalogue, click Add to My Shelves – For Later and there it stays. My Account handily lets you know what books on your For Later list are available, so you can check the shelves at your local library, or put a reserve on knowing you won’t have to wait long.
The problem is that it’s just a little bit too easy. I currently have 224 items on my For Later list. “You won’t live that long,” said a book club friend. She is now a former friend. Some of them are of an idle flick through on a Friday night nature, so they will be easily transferred to my Completed shelf (an intensely satisfying feature of My Account in Bibliocommons), but others will require actual reading.
And I can’t stop adding to it. Now I have a list of books I took home in 2012 but didn’t read. In two weeks’ time, I will have to start a list of books I took home in 2013 but didn’t read. And they just keep coming; calling to me from the new books shelf, thrusting themselves off the review pages of newspapers, magazines and web sites, inserting themselves into conversations with colleagues. Please tell me there are longer For Later lists. Please.