I Tried Book Journaling and You Should Too
I’ve recently gotten really into tracking the books I read. I’ve always used GoodReads and just started using Bookly. Both are apps you can get on your phone to track what you're reading, how long you’ve been reading, and log quotes. I love these apps, but I have been craving more, which is how I got into book journaling.
I read a lot of books. Last year I read 84 books and can barely remember the details of some of them. I realized by just using the apps I wasn’t really remembering anything I read. I was only logging that I read them. These books that I labeled as my favorites, I couldn’t remember why they were my favorites.
So, I started researching book journaling and trying different things to see if one stuck.
I first tried bullet journaling. I really wanted these cute pages that the people on Pinterest and Instagram had for each book. I started making different layouts for the books I was reading while trying to stay on theme with them, ensuring I included spots for my ratings, a summary, and enough room for quotes. After looking for a while at what I wanted for my journal, I also found other book-related pages to include. I made book spending pages to keep track of my reading expenses, a to-be-read page, one for all the series I was currently in the middle of, monthly trackers, and different pages for reading challenges.
This journal lasted for about a month, and I never used it again. It was too much for me to keep up with, along with all the other things I had going on in my life. I had no time for it.
I started researching again. I looked on Etsy and Amazon for pre-made journals and couldn’t find one that had everything I wanted.
I was about to give up and continue with what I was doing, using my apps for all my book tracking when I found a reading journal in a book store I was visiting.
It was premade journal with everything I needed. Each page is for a new book. These pages have sections for you to rate the cover, why you chose the book, favorite passages, ratings for the writing style, message, and reading experience, what feelings came up while reading, etc.
I’ve had this journal for a few months now, and it still works for me. It forces me to go back into the books I’m reading to find certain passages I liked and really think about why I either loved or hated the book. It’s also small enough that I can carry it with me at all times!
So, if you’re looking for a way to expand your reading and better remember the books you are reading, I recommend a reading journal. Whether it be a bullet journal or a premade one like mine, I think all readers can benefit from one.