94-Year-Old Grandmother Kept Meticulous Book Log for 80 Years

Do you keep a reading log? If not, you may want to consider creating one. In our increasingly digital world, it is a great way to keep track of your reading habits and ensures that you never forget the title of that one book you read years ago. A well-kept reading log can also tell a lot about a person, as theology and literature professor Ben Myers found out when his grandmother passed away and left behind the detailed journal that she had been adding to ever since she was 14. In the end, his grandmother, Nada, read 1,658 books over the course of 80 years, finishing one book about every two weeks.

In the original tweet, Myers wrote, “My 94-year-old grandmother has kept a list of every book she ever read since she was 14 years old. Amazing archive of one person's mind over nearly a century.” On the list are books in English, German, Serbian, and Hungarian, which are all languages that Nada spoke. Even more impressive is the fact that his grandmother never finished school, as she had to flee Germany with her family in 1943 out of fear of the advancing Russian army during World War II. In a heartwarming follow-up post, Myers writes, “In a different world, she would have studied philosophy at university.”

Nada was from a poor peasant family, but Myers explained that she would read whatever she could get her hands on. However, as time passed, his grandmother clearly began to latch onto certain topics. Even though her reading choices changed drastically, from Christian literature to Dumas' classic The Count of Monte Cristo, she seemed especially interested in books on yoga and meditation, a fascination that spanned decades.

She was also a big fan of poetry, and this love of the form is best expressed in the original poems that she wrote in her diaries, many of which grappled with the idea of being a refugee. Despite the destruction and war around her, Nada still found a way to write beautifully, which is a testament to the healing power of art and creativity.

One can't help but wonder if Nada's love of language inspired Myers himself to become a literature professor or if it is simply in his blood. Either way, it is clear that passion for language runs in the family. Even though his grandmother has since passed away, her extensive notebooks have given Myers hundreds of precious pages to comb through, keeping her memory alive in his heart as well as the hearts of thousands of strangers.

A professor recently discovered that his grandmother kept a reading log ever since she was 14. At the time of her death, she had read 1,658, averaging a book every two weeks.

Ben Myers: X
h/t: [Neatorama]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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