Why do you love the date fields?
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I love Date Read because it provides a permanent way of tracking reading, both my own and others'. It seems worthwhile to enter data that I can then refer to later, as opposed to temporary methods like Currently Reading. When looking at someone's catalogue, I like to be able to see what they've read over, say, the past two years. I prefer doing this via Date Read in the catalogue rather than via groups like the 75 Book Challenge because it provides a lot of information in a visual form--there are covers, ratings, tags, etc. all in one place.
I like Date Acquired because it's more accurate than Entry Date; I like to keep track of what books I buy, but I don't always catalogue them on the right day.
But if I went and looked at my dates, I'd see that I acquired Harry Potter and the Half-Blood prince on the 15th, and finished on the 17th, and I'd remember that on the 14th I was finishing my re-read of Order of the Phoenix, and desperately eyeing the pre-ordered Amazon box that mistakenly got delivered to someone else at the station a day early, only she was on vacation for the week, and wondering if it would really be mail tampering if I opened the package, read the book, and then sealed it up before she came back.
Dates tie my books to what's going on in my life other than books, and give the books themselves a life that they don't have if they're just sitting on the shelf.
Plus there's the added bonus of seeing how my - and other's - reading tastes have changed over time, and what they're currently into, and what's fresh in their minds, etc.
I have always been stymied by the fact that it wouldn't accept fuzzy dates like March 2001. (#2)
Me too. And the perpetual suggestion of arbitrarily de-fuzzying the dates (by just assigning it to the first of the month or something) really is -- at best -- a half-assed work-around.
I was wondering about that -- when (and if) fuzzy dates would be coming along.
Maybe it'll be like Collections: coming "soon" for who-knows-how-long.
I really enjoy the feeling of accomplishment of typing something like the date read upon finishing a book. I do think the process could be streamlined, especially with the Currently Reading collection which I am still adjusting to using.
Fuzzy dates would be great for acquire since I lack precise info for many books, and in fact have never kept a record before LT. It's even surprising how quickly I forget the exact date I bought a new book the week before!