Reading journals have become more popular for avid readers. Whether they are detailed bullet journals, logs in a spiral-bound notebook, or one of those you can buy from a bookstore or Amazon, I think every reader should keep one. This way we can see what we read at what point in our lives and see what our initial thoughts of a book were at the time. It can bring up old memories of what we were going through at the time and why we decided to read those books. It’s also just nice to be able to have a record of the books we’ve read.
There really is no right or wrong way to keep a reading journal – that all depends on what works for you. I’ve been through a number of ways to keep a journal and I’ve come to a more simpler way of using a bullet journal to do so. Before that I had one that I was just able to fill out the book information like this one on Amazon. Now I have an off-brand bullet journal to use, this way I can also make little charts and calendars of reading.
Anyway, if you have been considering keeping a reading journal, but haven’t done so yet… here are some reasons to convince you to give it a go.
5 Reasons to Keep a Reading Journal
1. Keep track of all the books you’ve read
The obvious reason, but it helps for when you’re asked the question, “what have you read recently?” I find that often when I’m asked this question, my mind will go blank. Writing it down will help me to remember or if I keep my journal with me, I can just look back real quick. Plus, if you log the books you’ve read, you can also keep track of when you read the books.
2. List the books you’d like to read eventually
While Goodreads is a good place to keep track of a TBR, I find that it’s a little better when I write it down in an ongoing list. That way when I do eventually read the book I can cross it off, which is much more satisfying to do than changing the status on Goodreads.
3. Keeping track of borrowed vs. owned books
I like to keep a graph of my books in my monthly stats to see how many books were borrowed or that I owned. I also keep a list of book I borrowed from the library and whether I finished them or even got around to reading them or not. It’s a good way to track my library usage. On top of that, I also keep a little separate log of which of my books I lend out to my co-workers.
4. Writing down thoughts on books
I actually don’t do this because I’m a bit lazy when it comes to my journal, but some people do like to write down their thoughts on the books they read as they’re reading or immediately after. This way you don’t have to write an entire review right away, but you can still jot down your thoughts while reading for later use in a review… or to just keep track of what you thought each time you read the book.
5. Keeping track of how much you read per month/year
Again, this can be done by Goodreads as well, but I like seeing colorful charts and graphs of my reading habits. So I have a mini-calendar that I track what days I read by highlighting the date, then I keep a tracker with the number of books I’ve read. I have recently added a chart that tracks how much of each age group (adult, YA, MG) and genres that I read. I’ve noticed so far that this year is a little more varied than the previous years.
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Again, keeping a reading journal doesn’t have to be all fancy or a lot of work. The main reason is more or less logging what books you’ve read and when you read them. It’s like a time capsule for your reading life. You can eventually look back and see what books you read at different points in your life and it might even bring back some memories. Honestly, if I could change one thing in my life, it would be to have started a reading journal or log when I was younger so that I could have kept track of all the books I’ve read in my life so far.
Do you keep a reading journal? If not, have you ever considered it? If you do, what kind is it? (bullet, plain notebook, other?)