Social Distancing Part 8 - Reading List

At the end of 2018, I wrote what I hoped would be the first in a series of once-a-year posts under the title “Books I Read in 2018.” At first, continuing the trend in 2019 didn’t seem like a Herculean effort, so I kept adding to my Goodreads list that which I’d already read and those I had yet to read.

It’s now June 2020…I think you know where this is going.

For a bunch of reasons, I drafted the 2019 post, but work, COVID-19, and a bunch of other things conspired to get in the way. Bottom line: I needed a better mechanism that didn’t rely on an annual summary. Never mind the fact that manual upkeep is tedious, which gets lost in the shuffle of doing other things, even in normal times. The pandemic has also significantly slowed down my reading pace, owing to the lack of walking back and forth to work. It’s since been replaced by walks along a trail to and from a park near our house, but during this time my listening habits have also shifted from mostly audiobooks back to my own music library.

Although I don’t remember, exactly how1, I eventually found my way to Chuck Grimmett’s site, where he wrote about moving his existing book notes to a list format - based on ideas cribbed from Frank Chimero and James Somers. With this in mind, I took these concepts and built my own, based on the same structure as my linkblog, using key/value pairs in a data file.

It’s much less effort to maintain, and the count increments automatically. My implementation doesn’t have ratings or notes like Chuck does on his site, but I might think about adding quotes for select books later on. As with the 2018 post that got me started down this path, it’s pulled from my Audible & Goodreads lists, although I don’t have anything to indicate what book I’m currently reading or what’s next in the queue.

If you’re interested, the updated list can be found here and the code is on GitHub.

  1. Most likely via Twitter and RSS. Have you heard about RSS? Turns out™, it’s not dead.