Before Goodreads, there was Art Garfunkel

My father-in-law has a journal containing a list of all the movies that he’s seen going back years. It includes what he thought of the movie and what he ate for dinner before or after the film. With the advent of Goodreads, I have a list of all the books I have read for the past five years and counting.

But Art Garfunkel has both my father-in-law and me beat. Since 1968, he has maintained a list of every book that he has read.


One of my favorite parts of the list is examining the amount of time between books.

For example, in September of 1969 Garfunkel finished Wurthering Heights and then did not finish another book until January of 1970.

Can you guess which book took him almost four months to read?

Moby Dick, of course.

moby dick

The list is impressive. He appears to have read all the American classics, as well as most of Shakespeare, Austin, Tolstoy and more.

It was also interesting to see Joan Didion’s name on the list way back in 1970.  Many people don’t realize that she was an acclaimed novelist long before she began writing memoir.

And no, none of my books are on the list. Yet.