Lit Bit: Little Lit Lists

There is a tiny part of me that likes lists. Maybe it’s not so tiny a part of me. Maybe it’s a part of me that is a crutch I lean on on those days when I don’t have caffeine— and that’s a lot of days lately. Lists help. They help a lot. Without them… I don’t think I could function. I’d wander off into distraction-land, and never come back. Big, full round lists are most helpful. I can procrastinate my heart out and still get a metric ass-ton finished. You could say it’s ADHD. You’d actually be correct.

In the past, I’ve had a penchant for lists of books. What I am currently reading (usually five or six titles), what I have read (oh dear, thousands…), and what I will soon be reading (usually in the form of a stack in the corner— that’s a kind of list, right?). That worked as a way of organizing my readings, they created my pace. Finish one, start two more, and go. But I wanted a record of what I’d read.

The internet, marvel though it is, did not change this. I tried for a while to track my habits with social media. I really did. I used LivingSocial’s Visual Bookshelf while it lasted. For a while, I was logging in to GoodReads. But all of these fell by the wayside in favor of my fickleness, “Ooo, that title looks shiny and it’s been sitting on my shelf a while.” Or better yet, wandering aimlessly through the bookstore or library saying, “No, no, no, yes, yes, no, yes…” and nabbing a new stack to bring home. It seemed like too much effort to list all the titles I was reading at once. And then I wanted to go back and list everything I’d ever read. EVERYTHING I’D EVER READ. Fickle and picky.

Needless to say, it’s a nigh impossible task. Where to start? Le Guin? John Varley? How about that weird book about the ghost in the computer I’d read as a kid? There were so many titles I’d forgotten… like those books about the boy and the alien teacher. And what about the ones I’d only half read? Or the ones I stuck through and wish I hadn’t read? Like Shanara? What about all the McCaffrey and Piers Anthony that I read only to realize that I didn’t really like it? Or the Meredith Ann Pierce or Louise Cooper that was so much better than I gave it credit for at the time? And that’s not even touching upon the graphic novels…

So what’s a list-loving gal to do? My book consumption lies in disarray, having plowed through Gene Wolf’s Nightside the Long Sun, being in the midst of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Break, Blow, Burn. I still have a few more of Nin Andrew’s prose poems to lick from the page, and no way to organize all this.

And that is why I turn to you, oh readers. Please. Suggest something to me. Anything. I’m desperate. I’ll list the reasons…

2 thoughts on “Lit Bit: Little Lit Lists”

  1. I use goodreads- it makes an easy reference for all the stuff I want to read later. Plus the goodreads app for my phone has a bar code scanner, so I can add a stack of books to any of my goodreads list in one swell foop.

    I second your comment on Shannara- I wish I hadn't spent any time on that one either.


  2. I may give Good Reads another go. I think the major problem is that I don't have a mobile device on which to access/view, etc. these things. Which may soon change, when I ditch my crippled Blackberry. I have been dealing with its literal brokenness for too long, as one portion of it loses functionality after another.


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