On tracking read books and breaking in a new bike

After simply keeping a list of the books I read last year, I decided I wanted a slightly more detailed account of all the pages I was turning. So, I made a very simple spreadsheet to document the date I finished the book, name of book, number of pages of book, author of book, gender of author, author’s nationality, genre of book, and a rating on a scale of 1 to 5. Nothing earth shattering, but it’s been fun to keep up with and to look over and see my progress over the year. I’ve read 17 book thus far this year and there are some definite trends emerging: I barely read any male authors and I mostly read books by American authors. It’s interesting to see it all on one spreadsheet, calls attention to these trends, and pushes me to question why I stay in my comfort zone so much. One thing the spreadsheet has helped encourage me in thus far is diversifying the genre of book I read. Typically, I happily gravitate toward literary fiction and rarely stray from that. With my handy spreadsheet, though, I am now logging more nonfiction, gothic fiction, suspense/thriller, Scifi, graphic novel, etc.

In other book news, I’m loving my library as much as ever these days. For so long I was so persnickety about books. In my mind, if I didn’t get to put a book on my bookshelf after buying it or reading it, it wasn’t worth it. Well, that was shortsighted! I’ve changed my habits and, these days, I turn first to my library for books. In fact, 14 of my 17 books this year have been library books. [And now, a moment of appreciation for the particular library branch I frequent. Just over a mile from my house is a community center. And within that community center there is a room. And in that room there are shelves and several computers stuffed where ever there is space. It’s kind of a comical library branch. It feels old, a little musty, a bit dingy. At first glance, there’s nothing particularly magical about it, but I started using it because it was close and convenient. And, over time, I’ve really grown to love it. It may not be cozy or especially inviting at first sight, but the people that work there are truly wonderful and I always see a diverse group of users in there.]

ANYWHO…I just read The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (not my normal jam, but FUN and kind of scary!) and now I’m moving on to Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar. I’ve got 7 more on hold for me, including a few big summer releases like Modern Lovers (Emma Straub), The Girls (Emma Cline), and Homegoing (Yaa Gyasi).

On the bike front: I’ve been having a blast on my new Trek 520. It’s sturdy and solid and I predict many happy riding years ahead. Thus far, I’ve been biking to work at least twice a week, have ran errands on the bike, taken it on lots of fun rides around town, and have gone on one longer 30ish mile ride. I actually, just this afternoon, sold my old Giant. It was kind of sad…that was the bike I fell in love with cycling on. BUT. It was just sitting in my garage and now it’s gone to a good home.

And while I’m chatting about my wheels, there’s another update from the Rosenberg family: we sold Josh’s car this week. That means we have one car and 4 bikes between the two of us. I think we’ll be just fine. šŸ™‚

On tracking read books and breaking in a new bike

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