Reading has become a central focus of my life due to Helena.


Starting in early 2018, I developed a reading list beginning from books suggested by the Helena Membership and network. This page records each book from that list that I’ve completed with brief notes. Most recent finished books are listed first.


For a background essay on how this personal project came about and much more, please read this. This project is also an Instagram page — check out @elklist.

Reading Page and Analogue

On past versions of Helena’s website, I’ve taken photos myself of each book and manually posted them on this page. I still do that — the Instagram version of this page (@elklist) will always keep that format.

Starting in early 2021, however, I wanted to create a second page on the Helena site to house all of the books Helena Members have recommended in one place, so there could be a way for anyone to have access to this incredible resource. That page is here (you can navigate to it anywhere on this site by clicking the book logo in the menu or footer).

To do that, I was searching for a more streamlined and connected way to sort all of these books into a dynamic, central hub that had the qualities of a social network without the addictiveness and negative side-effects. Around the same time, I got to know a startup that I absolutely fell in love with called Analogue. It happens to be just about the same concept: a digital version of a well-curated library that allows users to upload, share, and comment on the books that are most shaping their lives.

I, nor Helena, have any financial relationship with the company. (Helena doesn’t do any of those types of partnerships, nor do I). It was just from me meeting the company’s brilliant founders — Rosemarie Tang and Joel Rojo — and using the beta version of the website that I thought it could be a great fit for these pages. I’m writing this just to share what I think is a great platform for those sick of social media but looking for a community to talk books with.

After some tinkering, Helena and Analogue worked together to build what you see below — on this page and the members book page.

What I find awesome about it is that this actually isn’t a custom web implementation  — Analogue used this occasion to create the first embed of their platform for individuals and organizations to use. The hope is that many more pages like this happen, reducing the amount of effort it takes to upload and share notes about what books you are reading. Hopefully you enjoy it!