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!)
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)
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?