Monday, July 22, 2013

Tracking Library Books

I don't know why I didn't think to do this before. All things considered I should have thought of this within moments of creating the Books Read list years ago.

Since 1999 I've been keeping a list of every single book I read, using Excel to track title, author, pages, fiction or non, date finished, etc. I've even kept track of most of the short stories I've read, whether published in books or magazines. (Note: I've actually been keeping track since before 1999, but it wasn't in Excel format, instead it was on calendars, spare notebook, scraps of paper shoved in folders, etc.).

Then the other day, as I headed home from the library with a stack of books I know I won't finish by the time they're due, I realize that I'm going to need to write down the titles I don't read so I can check them out again at a later date. It wouldn't be the first time I had wanted to ask the librarian if there was anyway she could pull up a list of books I've checked out so I could see which ones I hadn't read.

I have no belief that they actually keep such a list (and if you've ever watched the 1995 movie "Seven" with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, Freeman's character says that by secret order of the government that libraries keep such a list, which now they probably really do because of  9/11), but I thought it would be helpful if I could access this "non-existent" list.

It then occurred to me to stop being an idiot, and just keep the list myself as a tab in my current Excel sheet. When I got home, I popped open the file, added the tab, and input the names of the books I just lugged in.

So, should the NSA, FBI, or CIA ever need a list of the books I own, they can gather that info from (, or else if they want a list of books I've checked out from the local library, they can just seize my computer and read my Excel file.

Until Next Time...
Spyingly Yours,

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