Every planner I have designed has space to write titles and authors of every book you read to your children or they read themselves. I have been asked several times why we should take the time and effort to keep the list.
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I did not keep a list of the books my two older children read when they were young, nor did I write down the read-alouds we enjoyed so much. (Learn about the importance of reading aloud to your kids here.)
When more children were born into our family and were ready to be introduced to all the wonderful stories and characters my older children had experienced, I couldn’t remember all the titles.
We had checked out crates of books from the library, and I didn’t keep a list of them, not even the ones we especially loved. We had several good books on our shelves at home, but not nearly all the worthy books we had enjoyed together. I was sad because my younger children would miss out on some of those wonderful stories I had carelessly forgotten.
One year I thought to have the kids keep a list of each book they read with the genre, the author, and the date completed. We were all encouraged by the size of their lists, but I didn’t continue the idea to develop a habit.
We realized the importance of this documentation when our son was filling out college applications.
In addition to his transcript, Hillsdale College in Michigan required a list of every book he had read during the four years of high school: every book related to his lessons, every book he read for secondary literature, and everything he read for pleasure.
We spent hours combing through old planners, library receipts, and bookshelves trying to comprise an accurate list. That was the year I added the pages for a book list to The Practical Planner, The Primary Planner, and The Anchor. I wanted to save myself and others from this time-consuming task. Your older elementary, jr. high, and high school students can take on the responsibility of keeping their book list up to date.
They are gaining a better knowledge of literature and various authors by listing the genre and who wrote the book.
Not every college will expect a book list from their applicants, and some day your youngest child will remain the youngest. Still keep a book list of what your children read. A young friend may ask for suggestions of something worthy to read, and grand children may someday inspect your bookshelves looking for a good title. While some treasures might be easy to point out, other gems will be easily found on your book lists.