For the past seven years, I’ve been tracking the books that I read by taking a photograph of my book stack at the end of each month, and posting it on Facebook. Today as I post the picture of books I read in June of 2019, I thought it might be cool to create a Dear Data postcard of the books I’ve read, to see if I notice any trends.
First I went through all of my photographs in my Facebook album of these book stack images. I used the photographs to compile a list of the books in Excel. I think classified the books as fiction or non-fiction, and for the non-fiction books I divided them into five categories: memoir, social issues, parenting, art + design, and education. All of the books fit into these themes.
I then tried to think of what data might be relevant to my understanding of what I read. I went through and identified which books had been recommendations, versus those I stumbled upon on my own. I then classified books by whether they were required (as part of a class assignment, a work project, or a book club). Finally, I went through and decided which books I would recommend to other people.
The resulting image turned out like this:
After I created the image, I decided I also wanted to track which books I own, compared to which books I took out from the library or borrowed from friends.