I love to read.
There is no debating that. I have always been a reader and it is something that is a part of my life.
I make time to read. Sometimes I let other things go by the wayside because of my love of reading but that’s okay in my book.
My mother was a reader. She isn’t able to read as much anymore and when I visit I try to read some things to her just to keep her love of the written word alive.
Last time we read some scriptures and The Reader’s Digest together. I think that is a pretty good combination, don’t you?
When we cleaned out her assisted living apartment this past year in preparation for her move to her new place in the memory care unit I happened upon this red three ring binder. I knew exactly what it held and I claimed it.
My mom kept a running list of all of the books she had read. The actual list started with neatly typed titles and authors with the first set of books being listed for the year 1949 when she was 20 years old.
I love that before she was married she started reading books on marriage. I guess I actually did the same thing so I followed in her footsteps.
I was interested to see what she read the year I was born. I did notice that when the family was young she did not read as much as she did in later years and I think that makes perfect sense.
Do you think there is a coincidence that she read through the entire Bible the year I was born?
As the years passed she found favorite authors like Jan Karon, Richard Paul Evans and Nicolas Sparks. Those books were often starred in her lists as favorites and it brought a smile to my face when I saw those.
Reading through her Books Read notebook has a sober side as well as I notice her always perfect handwriting and spelling deteriorating. She kept typewritten entries until 2013 and then started handwriting her entries. This page shows the compilation book by Cecelia Gunther in which I have a chapter.
And finally the last page of her book list which she wrote in 2016 brought me to tears because even then I could see the decline. That is the year when things started getting really difficult for her and her memory loss issues moved to another level. Of course I tried to not see it but it is pretty clear when I look at her last entry.
Aren’t I blessed to have been given the gift of the love of reading from my sweet mom? Aren’t I just so fortunate to have this detailed list of her reading for almost 70 years? This is one red notebook that I will treasure and keep.
Don’t forget to leave me a comment today for Comments for a Cause – Books for Africa. Tell me if you keep a book list like this. Each comment on any post this month means a 50 cent donation so please comment often. I love to read your thoughts.
23 CommentsLeave a comment
Oh, Beth Anne…..what an absolute treasure. I’ve never known anyone to keep a list of the books they read! And it IS sad to see the change in your Mom’s handwriting. Hugs…..
I agree it is a treasure. I knew she kept track but not how many years. It is pretty amazing and while it makes me sad it also makes me happy that she did this for me to find.
This is amazing and something to treasure!! She certainly read some wonderful books over the years. My mom kept journals and scrap books over the years. We still have many of them. We also could see the deterioration of her handwriting and 4 years ago she stopped writing all together. She also can no longer read so we read to her when we visit and have hired someone to come and read to her once a week. We can thank our moms for the love of reading and writing. I used to keep track of what I read but stopped a few years ago.
What a gift. To have these lists, which give insight into your mom’s life and interests. And you’re right about the handwriting. I’ve noticed the same with my mom, although it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten anything hand-signed by her. She doesn’t even send cards anymore and hasn’t for years. I used to always look forward to her letters and cards. Many hugs.
You are right–it is really a gift and I am blessed to have it.
What an interesting peek into your mother’s life throughout the years!
It really is! Her list gives us a glimpse into her life in a lot of different ways. Thanks for stopping by.
Beth Ann, my mom also loved to read. Reading was her favorite pastime. She no longer is able to write and hasn’t read anything other than her Bible in several years. It is so very heart breaking to see someone you love deteriorate right before your eyes. Much love to you as you deal with all these changes.
It is very heart breaking but I am so glad that you and I both have some wonderful memories of our moms. I need to send your mom a note again -thanks for the nudge. Even if she doesn’t know who it is writing it might make her smile.
I saved library printouts only…until I started doing a book blog. (I had actually tried writing a short reaction to each book I read in the 1980s, but with work and classes that didn’t last long.)
Anyway… “Beyond Personality,” before “Mere Christianity”? I’m impressed.
Oh I never thought about saving the printouts from the library! That’s a great idea!
As a felllow reading lover, this post just touches my heart. How sweet a treasure this is, even bittersweet as you can see the decline in your mother’s handwriting. But in years to come, you will treasure having samples of her handwriting. I still keep a couple of handwritten notes of my mom’s and dad’s in a special spot. I keep a list of books read now because I found myself checking out some from the library, opening them, and realizing I had already read them and didn’t really want to do so again.
I agree –I am treasuring this for sure and will look at it often. And yes–I keep track of my read books for the very same reason as you do.
Wow. It’s amazing that she’s kept a list all these years. What a cool way to look back on years past! xoxo
It is and it is interesting to see what books she read. She didn’t give them ratings or reviews but I could tell which ones she really liked because there were asterisks by those. 🙂
I had no idea she kept such a list. So cool!
It is very cool. I can make copies if you want a copy as well!
What a precious memory for you to have of your Mother’s. She truly was a avid reader and what a gift to hand down to her daughter. The love of books. I know it has to be very hard to see your Mother’s health go down. Just try to remember, Beth Ann, what a blessing for your family to have your sweet Mother as long as you have. <3
That is exactly what I am doing–reliving wonderful memories and just loving her where she is at at the moment. So blessed to have such a wonderful family. Thanks for stopping by!
I never saw this list!!! I had no idea!! I guess my book list must have been somehow ingrained in my brain from her! I have not been this organized but I started a list long ago, and then switched a few years ago to keeping track on Goodreads. My original lists have long disappeared.
I agree. I used to keep lists but those are long gone and I usually just use Goodreads or my blog to document what i have read now. This year is a banner year for reading for me for some reason!
This is beautiful. What an amazing idea… I wish I would’ve started writing down the books I’ve read. My aunt helped interest me in books. I met her once, she found out that I was a reader and the rest of my youth she shipped me big boxes full of the books she had read. I read them again. Full disclosure, I don’t think all of them were age appropriate, I learned some things probably younger than I should’ve because of it. Hahaha, oh well, I wouldn’t change a thing. You & your family are amazing, keep it up.
I love that your aunt saw to it that you had book stop read. That is such a gift even if some were not age appropriate! 🙂 I am sure I read a few of those myself that I snuck in here or there when I was younger. thanks for sharing that story–it definitely made me smile.