Monday, January 06, 2014

Addison Fox: To Re-Read or Not to Re-Read

My name is Addison Fox and I’m a book geek.

Since I was a small child, I’ve loved books. Both the act of reading as well as the whole process of reading. Anticipating a new book.  Smelling freshly printed pages.  Watching a pre-ordered title appear on my eReader just after Midnight. Hmmm – heaven!

While I suspect those things make me very much like any other book lover, there is this one other thing I do. Um. Well. I keep track of what I read. Let me amend that. I obsessively keep track of what I read.

Since high school, I’ve kept a book diary. I got the idea from a friend and I suspect she has no idea what level of OCD she unleashed in my book-loving heart by showing me her book diary. But….alas, I took the idea and ran with it. Not only do I keep track of the books I read, but I have specific rules about what can go into my book diary. In no particular order:

1.       I must have completed the book.
2.       The books are only listed on the right hand page of my book diary.
3.       If it’s a romance novel, the hero and heroine’s names are written out on the left hand page.
4.       I put the total number of pages in the book (you have no idea what additional challenges my eReader has posed on this ‘rule’ since “percent-read” is not page count.)
5.       All books go into my book diary in the order they were completed. So if I’m traveling and my diary’s not handy, I keep track of the order in which the books were read.

I suspect at this point you’re either laughing at me or seriously thinking of suggesting help. (Please feel free to do both.)

Where things have gotten really tricky, however, has been around re-reading. I was a big re-reader of my favorite books as a kid, but as I became an adult and always had something new to read, I found that not only was I not re-reading books, but I wasn’t interested in re-reading books.

I wanted something new. Something I hadn’t experienced before. My latest fix.

Funny enough, the last year or two I’ve begun to rethink that. There are books that live in my memory that I loved and want to revisit (Jude Deveraux’s A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR). Series I wanted to start again (J.D. Robb’s In Death series). Children’s books that have a special place in my heart (ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume).

Going back to these old favorites has been a true joy – one that’s made me question why I was so darn hesitant to re-read in the first place.
But….what about my book diary? Can I list them again? I still need to follow my rules, of course. The book must be fully read, cover to cover. But does it “count” to count a book I’ve already read before?

As you can probably imagine, my rules ultimately trumped the concerns a book was written down more than once. Though I often have visions of researchers a thousand years in the future uncovering my book diaries like something out of Pompeii and wondering why I kept track of the same book more than once. (And yes…I suspect you’re reaching for that phone number RIGHT NOW of someone who can help…)

So what about you? Where does re-reading rank on your list of reading habits? And please – PLEASE – tell me I’m not the only one out there with a book diary!

Thanks for joining me today!

Despite early ambitions of being a diver, a drummer or a doctor, Addison Fox happily discovered she was more suited to life as a writer. She lives in Dallas and - thankfully - doesn't have to operate on anyone. You can find her at her home on the web at Her latest book, THE LONDON DECEPTION, is out now from Harlequin Romantic Suspense.

You can visit her at her website at or on Facebook: or on Twitter:


Scarlet Wilson said...

Addison - you're a novice!
I have notes on EVERY romance book I've read! Title, author, number of chapters, name of hero and heroine, setting, page number hero and heroine appear on, his conflict, her conflict, then a sentence summarising every chapter, followed by a mark out of ten! I also have an excel spreadsheet....
I am SO glad to meet you!

Susan F. said...

I have a book database. It has title, author, series name and number, where I got it, when I got it, when I read it, publisher, published date, page count, ISBN, whether it's mass market, hardcover, etc.., rating, genre (mostly romance which I've broken down further into historical, time travel, paranormal, western, and if it's a category romance like harlequin, I include the line) picture of the cover, back cover copy, and the last few years I've included my review of the book. I've been doing this since about 1997.

Linda Henderson said...

I started writing my books down this year, just name and author and date finished. I re-read books all the time and have done so all my life. That's why I hate getting rid of books.

Laney4 said...

You are not alone!
When I started blogging and authors asked me questions about books I'd read, I couldn't remember any details, so I started keeping a log (back in June/09). I photocopy the front and back covers of the books so that I can read the back blurbs and see the names of the heroes/heroines, I write the date I read (and re-read, if that's the case) at the top, and I write a few points about the storyline: things I liked or didn't like, typos in case I'm blogging/emailing an author and she might have it corrected in the next printing, etc. I write the author's name down the right side of the page and file them alphabetically by author in two 4" binders (so far). Some pages have post-it notes attached because there's something special about them I might like to share with others. For example, one book had me laughing out loud while sitting in a medical clinic, and a mere six pages later had me tearing up with sadness. Another book was written about a 50ish widow who found love in Italy. I can never remember the authors' names or book titles, but when I see those notes, it all comes back to me.

Mary Preston said...

I love to re-read favorites. Going in I KNOW I'm going to enjoy the story.

I don't keep track of the books I have read.

Ada said...

Addison, I wish I had started keeping a book diary! Honestly, I don't know why I didn't think of it until I found Goodreads to help track which books I've read. I do have something similar in that if a book is a series or favorite author, I do track those so I always have it handy when I go to my local library and make sure I read the books in the correct order. But trust me, your idea sounds delightful, I just wish I had thought of something like that!! I would have used different colored pens to sort out my differences beit contemporary, historical, paranormal, etc