Reasons Why You Should Get a Reading Journal!

Happy Sunday, friends! It’s been a while since I last posted and all I can say is that it’s been rough for me with everything I’ve had to do for uni and motivation hasn’t been around much, but today I’m here to talk about something I adore!

Reading journals are one of my favorite things ever since I made my first one last year – so, not that long ago – but I’m just so happy I made that decision. I love some of the things I created and I really dislike some others, but it’s a creative experience that is simultaneously helpful and a good way to let out stress.

It is essentially a journal solely dedicated to books or whatever the heck you want it to be, really. All you need is a journal/notebook (or even digitally these days – I’d love to be able to afford photoshop so I could do some cool shit there) and writing tools like pens, pencils, sharpies, crayons, literally anything you want. There is no right or wrong way to do it!

Keep track of all your books

Reading journals can be great if you’re the kind of person who likes to write things down on paper instead of just making neat little spreadsheets. You can always just do it all, GR, spreadsheets, reading journal, blog post…. This can help you track all those reading challenges, make lists of books you want to read, wishlists, monthly reading trackers… Personally, I like having it all in one physical place I can consult, update and change from time to time.

A great way to be more creative

Maybe you’re looking for a way to be more creative that doesn’t involve staring at a screen all day or just want something a little more creative than a coloring book or random doodles.

We’re all creative in our own way and you don’t need to be able to draw or have calligraphy skills to make your journal beautiful and completely, personally yours. You can put stickers, glue in images or random pieces of paper, make ugly doodles, make pretty doodles, you can even just use colorful markers for titles and leave it at that!

Personally, I like to mix a variety of things like colorful pens, collages, stamps, washi tape, stickers and even watercolors occasionally. Below is one of my favorite spreads – as in it was one the most fun to make and also one of the best final looks. It’s messy, colorful and maybe seems a bit random and that’s just how I like it. (Also glued some stuff in to hide the mistakes!)

mostly unfiltered, I just tried to make it brighter so the colors would look as authentic as possible

Reading notes & reviews

I started a reading journal last year largely because I wanted to make reading notes. I don’t take notes in a specific way or for every book I read but I can honestly say I’ve been remembering books better – and you can always check them later.

Some people may take reading notes that are more review-oriented than for remembering everything; or more about how you felt about that book than as a summary of what happened. I do a sort of confusing mash up of all of these options. Basically, I just write whatever I feel is important for me to remember at the moment. (It can be great if you have trouble remembering big fantasy series or character names.) AND QUOTES OF COURSE!

Here’s an example of my reading notes – with some from when I was rereading Vicious last year – it was mostly quotes, to some from The Devouring Gray last month that was mostly bullet-point notes. And Chain of Gold quotes. I use a lot more post its now – for quotes or just small thoughts I want to add as extra. Plus, they look pretty in a page. (not the greatest quality sorry)

Simone @ Simone and Her Books recently posted about her reading journal and how it helps with her reviews and I recommend you check it out.

Artistic pages dedicated to books you love

Basically fangirl pages. Pages filled with your love for that book with pictures, quotes, artwork, aesthetic moodboards, you name it.

This is something I personally don’t do much of to be honest, though I’d love to try and do more (especially since I have like 6000 empty, unused journals at home!) But there is an incredibly talented girl on Instagram that always inspires me – brookecannotread.

Look at it, it’s just so beautiful and creative, I love all her creations!

You can do literally anything you want

There is literally no limit to what you can do with a journal and I just think it’s incredibly fun and even if quarantine is being lifted in some places, we’ll all probably still stay at home for a while so you’ll have some time to try it out, experiment with the endless possibilities and maybe find a new favorite thing?

Other bloggers with incredible journals that you should check out

Kirthi @ The Fiction Giant has a beautiful journal that is super creative and every time I see her spreads I feel so motivated! [her IG account]

Cath @ Cups and Thoughts also has an beautiful journal (and pictures!) and so many great tips and information on how to start your own. [her IG account]

12 thoughts on “Reasons Why You Should Get a Reading Journal!

  1. I definitely love the idea! I currently have a journal for my year, where I add pictures of moments, or things I did throughout the month and it has helped me to be more mindful and aware both of the amazing things that happened through the year and of the present as well. I must say I have fun doing the spreads but even more looking back at them. It’s the first time I do this and I hope I continue doing it! It would be interesting to do one for reading as well!
    Thank you for sharing examples!
    Have a great sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so gorgeous! I do have a reading journal, but it’s basically all of my book reviews written down for posteriority. I’m not artsy to the point of adding pictures and all that, but that is such a good idea! I think I’ll try it out someday 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you totally do😀😀 I’ve tried to have one for just my reviews and very simple as well but I stopped just after a couple of months bc it just wasnt working for me.

      Btw, you’re the second person I’ve heard is keeping copies of their reviews, and I sometimes post mine on goodreads but otherwise they’re all here. I can get why, don’t get me wrong I’m just curious, but are you afraid to lose your blog or it’s just something you like keeping records of?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not one of those people that keep a diary or anything like that, but saving my thoughts on the books I’ve read will be a memory I’ll treasure when I’m older. Also, writing my reviews down helps me track errors and words that I use way too much, so it’s also a process of editing.


  3. Beautiful! ❤ I love the idea of having bookish journal, but I don't think I'd ever be able to make it look as good as you did. When I was younger I used to start tons of different journals, but never really stuck with any of them. So now I try to avoid purchasing new notebooks unless I need them for work or studying. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes me sad to hear because one of my obsessions is buying pretty journals and then never using them 😅 but I feel you though, I have more than a few unfinished journals personal or for art and I’m sad that I dropped them and sometimes that fact makes me scared to start other journals…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this idea! For those of us who write, I think having a book journal will help us keep track of words and quotes we want to incorporate into our own writing as well. As we all know, the best way to get better at writing is reading – which is something we already love to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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