Fediverse, how do you keep track of what you read?

I've been obsessed with reading lately. Not just the act of reading but retaining what I've read. I know there are concepts and tools like "a commonplace book" (basically a personal collection of knowledge and quotes), flash cards, spreadsheets, Goodreads, etc etc. I never seem to stick with any of them.


Good question. And one that pops up regularly on here.

Do you read mainly physical books or e-books?

@libreture I love the tactile feeling of physical books, so if I can get my hands on a physical copy for a title I want (usually borrowed from library), I'd read that physical copy.

Most of the time that's not feasible, and I'm travelling, so ebooks are often my fallback.


And are your e-books DRM-free? If so, Libreture may be of interest for you.

It's a cross between Goodreads and Dropbox for your DRM-free e-books.

@Rovine I don't really keep track of what I read that way. :P I guess I am not organized well enough that way.

@MOTT You and me both lul

It just occurred to me that I have read a lot in my life, but I don't remember what I *have* read.

@Rovine I think retention is a wholly personal experience. Some are visual, some auditory, some spoken learners. But besides that there are subtle details that are important.

What I can say is this one universal fact, learning is **all** about association. Memeorization as a pure practice is a failed practice, if you are doing it, stop. Instead try to take the things you want to memorize and thing about how it associates with other things, even if those things arent important. For example think about how a word might sound like some other word, and what those words have in common, or other things. Just anything that creates arbitrary associations in your brain.

@freemo That explains my struggle with programming at the moment.

Say, I watch a tutorial about double arrays in Javascript. I don't have personal experiences yet that calls for double arrays, so everything flew over my head. Then when I encounter a situation to use double arrays, I felt bonkers because I had seen it in action but don't remember how to implement it.

It's probably a really difficult scenario because much of programming is abstraction...

@Rovine My advice would be... dont stress about needing to relearn something even 3 4 or 5 times. That will be the case no matter how good you get. Just dont sweat it and keep learning and doing and it will come

@Rovine I've been codigng for almost 3 decades now. HTML and CSS wew some of the earliest things i learned, I use them almost every day as a coder.... I still need to relearn things from time to time even with something as simple as html...

Its ok its normal

@freemo Heckn margins man. The fact that margin { 0, auto; } magically centres elements still baffle me. It's one of those cases of "It's still magic even if I know how it works".

@Rovine @freemo Ooh, I did a presentation (and get to give it again next week!) about some cool CSS tricks and why they work, including this feature of margins and why they collapse.

Need to update them, and the slides themselves tell very little, but here they are if interested.

@david @freemo Cheers mate. I love how we went from retaining reading to ranting about CSS. Thank you for sharing this.


I find about 97% of all technical conversations end in me bitching about CSS :)


@Rovine I use Goodreads still because I haven't yet added book tracking to my own site. I intend to do so, since it doesn't need to be so social or Amazon focused just to note that I read this book on these dates.

@Rovine Also I read a lot online via Pocket, which allows you track the archive date too. So not only can I see when I added it, but when I marked it as read.

@david I thought of making a personal reading list as my little front end project! I have goodreads but I don't update it diligently.

@Rovine That's a good idea! It could also help apply some of the knowledge from the tutorials that you're doing. I usually have to make myself try something out by making a side project to get a grasp of it.

@Rovine I just assume that I remember the important stuff.

@Rovine I have a personal wiki that has megabytes of notes in it. I’d recommend dokuwiki.

My hippocampus blog is on dokuwiki, but come to think of it I haven't used the wiki side of it enough (silly how that was the reason I picked doku in the first place!). Thanks for the reminder!

@Rovine I also write all the fiction I've read (and movies I've watched) down in a manual list so I don't accidentally re-read/re-watch something. I'm moving that to a wiki too shortly actually.. πŸ€“

This is amazing. I'm doing this in my hippocampus wiki.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.

No hate, No censorship. Be kind, be respectful

We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.