Most forums have a Views column indicating the number of times that a topic has been viewed. It helps the author of a topic to know if it’s hot or not of interest.
Is this an option (hopefully without custom code)?
Yes only it’s called voices and can be seen on the forums page. I’ll see if I can change the wording easy, if not I’ll put it on my list of things to do which I’ll make public in a Topic tomorrow. I’ll link that Topic here as well and make it a sticky.