Yesterday I introduced a beta version of my new reading list–everything I have read since 1996–hosted here on the blog as opposed to in GitHub where I’ve been keeping it the last several years. If you’ve been checking out the page, you may have noticed some changes in the last few hours. If you want to check it out, you can find it here:
It is still in beta, still a work in progress, but here are some of the enhancements I’ve added since yesterday:
- Switched to a different table tool, which is simpler but more functional (so the table may look a little different than it did before).
- The table is still sortable, but I’ve fixed the date sort so that it now behaves correctly when sorting the date.
- Removed the “Format” column from the table and replaced it with an icon ahead of each title. The legend at the top of the table provides an indicator of the format in which I read the book.
- Fixed many problems with bad symbols in the data. I still have more to do there.
- You can now search the list! Type anything you want into the search box above the table and if it is in the list, it should find matches. For instance, to see how many times I’ve read E.B. White’s One Man’s Meat, I just type it into the search:
- Converted the “Format” column to a “Topic(s)” column which is useful for searching for books by topic. For instance, how many Presidential memoirs have a I read1:
- I removed the Length/Pages column and replaced it with what I call BEq. “BEq” stands for “Book Equivalents.” I took an average of the length of all 1,100 books that I’ve read on my list, and it turned out that the average book length is 410 pages. I then degreed that for my purposes, 1 book equivalent = 410 pages. I like this number better because some years I read fewer, longer books, some years many shorter books. The BEq gives me a nice way of seeing how much more or less I read a year focused length not books. A BEq of 1.00 means a book of 410 pages. A nice side effect of this is that a BEq of 2.00 is a book of 820 pages. Have I read any books that are longer than 3 BEqs? It turns out I have read 4:
As I said this is still a work-in-progress. Here are some of the things I will working on over the weekend, so you can expect to see things change more:
- I noticed that my data export was imperfect and some titles don’t match the authors correctly. I’ve been fixing these as I go along.
- I still have to go through an add format icons to about 7/10th of the books on the list.
- I still have to complete adding topics so that all of the books have topics.
- I also need to add all of the 2021 books to the list.
Once I’ve gotten those things done, my next steps are:
- Add related posts to relevant titles. You’ll see a handful of these in the current data, but I’ve actually written on the blog about many of the books on the list, and I plan to try to link to the posts from the list as best as I can. Here are some examples of what is there now:
- I’m toying with the idea of having “top” page for the list which would have a table of individual lists by year along with some stats. Clicking on a year list would take you to a table like the ones above, but filtered for the year in question. There would still be a page for viewing the full list.
- I want to add pages for things like recommended books, or themed lists.
So, those are the changes that I’ve made so far, and some of what you can expect over the next few days. The feedback I’ve gotten from those of you who have provided it has been incredibly helpful, so keep it coming. I’d like this to be as useful and fun for you as it is for me.
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- Note: I’ve only added topics to about 1/5th of my list so far, so these examples are incomplete. ↩