Index Card “Hack”: The Bookmark Diary

Originally published at on September 6th, 2017.
Added to on October 31st, 2017. As this post was moved manually from one server to another—rather than being imported—comments, sadly, were left behind.

I wanted to start reading Amy Tan’s The Kitchen God’s Wife this morning.

I got the book—the mass market paperback version from the dresser in the master bedroom, because I didn’t want to take my wife’s hardback outside—and headed toward the balcony. But when I stopped by the bookshelves in the living room to grab a bookmark, I found that all of our genuine bookmarks are already in use.

I also planned to take a picture of the book and my coffee out on the balcony, because summer has lasted a very long time, and reading on the high veranda has become a rare treat. The various “alternative” bookmarks we had on hand weren’t suitable for photographic purposes, though, and my wife seems genuinely bothered by my tendency to use a square of toilet paper as a place-holding device.

I looked around at my desk, hoping to find a standard-issue bookmark amongst the books and clutter, but what I spotted instead was a stack of index cards.

And I got an idea:

Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife with the Bookmark Diary
My bookmark diary, hanging out in The Kitchen God’s Wife.

I read too many books simultaneously for a single index card to keep track of everything I’m reading, but I thought it might be cool to put this one card to good purpose: recording the books it marks, as well as the start and completion dates for those books.

I think that it might be interesting to look back at later, when the card is—or several of them are—full, and that maybe recording the dates will help me to focus more on reading one book at a time.

I may even set up separate diaries for fiction versus non-fiction, and try to restrict myself to one hard copy (i.e., non-ebook) of each at any given time.

If you’re a regular reader, I suspect you’re going to see this index card on a(n, honestly, less-than-)regular basis.

And, if you’re a regular reader with a blog of your own, it would be very cool to compare bookmark diaries at the end of the year, or maybe even along the way.

(Feel free to comment below so that I, or anyone reading this, can find your non-spammy blog.)

And, Linda, honey, blog or no blog: It would be awesome if you joined in!