How to Keep Track of the Book You're Reading

     So you've started a new book. Maybe by this time you're reading several. (My daily challenges even keep me on my toes!)

     If it's not a book that you can finish in a day, odds are you will stick a bookmark in it and come back later. But you don't want to forget what's happened so far. It can be a pain to reread parts you've forgotten; however, it happens occasionally to the best of us.

     If this sounds like you:
"I can't remember where I left the characters."
"What is going on?"
"Ok. I'm lost."
"Why does this even matter? It seems out of context. Then again, I can't recall the context."
"What was that really good quote? And where was it?"
     then you might just need some of these tips.

     Mark favorite quotes with sticky note tabs. Every time you see a quote you like, take a small sticky from the stack at the front of your book. See this video for a demonstration. Be sure to never use a sticky for a bookmark, or you will quickly be confuzzled.

     When you are finished with the book, this will make it easier to recap your favorite tidbits. You can even copy them into a quotes journal or like them on Goodreads.

     Use Goodreads to track page count and percentages. "Update progress" will prompt you to enter the page you are on, and it will tell you what percentage of the book you have read. Nifty! (I promise there will be a thorough Goodreads post coming soon in this series!)

     Interact with the text. This means looking up words you don't understand, connecting plot points in your head (even if it means rereading some passages), and becoming emotionally invested in characters.

     Discuss the book with others. You're much less likely to forget what's going on if you can have an intelligent discussion about what you've read so far.

     Review the chapter or summarize it in your own words. Maybe this means just talking to yourself after each chapter or maybe you actually want to write down what happened. Both will help to solidify it in your mind. If you're reading at night, maybe just a quick review the next morning will help, or vice versa.

If all else fails, you can always reread the book! Repetition is great for memory!

     Challenge for today: Make sure you're mentally tracking what's happening in the book you're reading.


This post is part of my 31 Days to a Better Reading Life series.


  1. I have a few books that I summarize in a notebook. These books are dense and rich with much life instruction.


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