This database contains an incomplete record of all the books I've ever read. Like Georges Perec and Umberto Eco I've always been some kind of a list maniac. For many years I've kept a list of the books I read, including my rating. However, I have lost some of the original written lists from the 1980s and I didn't always include the year of reading either. And of course, I sometimes forgot to add a book. The present database is therefore almost complete.
The ratings are a mixture of my opinion at the time of reading and my current opinion. Of course, reducing a book (or a performance, album etc) to a rating is ridiculous, even so it is a useful shortcut (when sorting my photos I also apply ratings). I have left some books unrated. I have also downgraded various books that I once rated highly, either because they are obsolete because science has moved on or because my own thinking has moved on.
I have excluded most of the textbooks that I studied at university. I didn't see any point in including books on linear algebra, calculus, graph theory, econometrics, probability theory and time series analysis.
I did include most of the books that I read or studied while I was studying philosophy. For a while I was totally into post-structuralist philosophy, hence the long list of books by the likes of Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard and Gilles Deleuze.
By default the table is ordered by year in descending order. To sort two or more columns at the same time, shift click on a column to add the clicked column as a secondary, tertiary etc. ordering column. By typing a year or author in the search field you can view all books for that year or author.
Due to limitations of space books by two authors are listed by the first author that appears on the cover.
The years 1984 to 1987 consist of novels that I read or remember reading for my Dutch, English, French and German classes. While I remember enjoying some books, most of the books that we were required to read or that I chose from the list of approved books, left me indifferent. Perhaps if I were to read some of these books now I might have a different opinion.
1996 and 1997 are "the lost years" which I prefer to forget. 1998 saw a reawakening marked by my discovery of cognitive neuroscience and my rediscovery of my love for mathematics. 2005 saw the beginning of "the great catch-up". In addition to newly published books that piqued my interest I read up on the contemporary classics that I felt I should have read long ago. From looking at the list I made, I expect this "project" to last until 2019, depending on how many other books I read in-between. The years from 2010 onwards can be described as "the ongoing expansion", as I'm reading non-fiction about an increasingly wide array of topics.