My Reading Journal: 2021

Happy sunday, friends! This year I want to start adding more journaling content to my blog since it’s something I love doing and maybe this way I’ll motivate more people to start it.

Also, I’ve already shared most of the spreads featured in this post in this IG reels.

RELATED: Reasons Why You Should Get a Reading Journal (2020)


*The pictures below are not filtered but I adjusted the brightness a bit. *

The first thing I recommend when setting up a new reading journal is to make a list of spreads you want to do. I recommend checking pinterest and reading journal videos on youtube if you’re not sure what to do. IT really helps you to not make any mistakes or messes you might regret.

First pages are always a challenge. I’m always afraid of messing up or making it ugly, but this time I was very inspired.

I’m aiming for a slightly different style for this reading journal and I felt very inspired by mochibujo’s reading journal set up.

This is my favorite spread on this journal so far. (I can’t believe my name came out so well because I have absolutely zero calligraphy skills.)

Next up, I have a double-page spread of my main reading goals as well as some blogging and instagram goals and plans but as I’m aiming to be more chill and have less plans this year, it’s very empty and basic so I won’t be showing that one.

Reading List + Series To Finish 2021:

I’ve been wanting to use more book covers on my journals and I thought it would be a good fit for my TBRs since I might be more motivated or excited to read a book by seeing its cover… does that make sense?

My TBR page isn’t complete because I wasn’t sure about enough books to fill the entire page, especially since I’ve been much more of a mood reader in the last few months and TBRs just don’t work that well for me anymore. I’ll just add more when I’m sure. Or not.

On the other page, my main tbr for the Series to Finish 2021 challenge. I have a slightly bigger tbr on the goodreads group for this challenge here* but it didn’t fit all in this page so I just put my priority series. *Yes, I’ve already finished The Heroes of Olympus series.

The next set of spreads are my lists and trackers. I wanted to keep them all before starting the monthly spreads and reading notes, but forgot I forgot the DNF tracker, new releases and wishlist.

My ARC Tracker spread is pretty simple and already more filled out than I expected so it’s likely I’ll have to make a part 2 or even 3 as time passes and I received more ARCs from netgalley. My sections are: pub date, title, author, status (read, tbr), and review (netgalley, goodreads and/or blog)

The Book Haul list is pretty self-explanatory. All the books in it so far are part of my “christmas” book order (a.k.a. all the books I bought with the money I got for christmas), but technically I bough them all on January 4th so here they are. I’m going to try not to buy more books than can fit on this spread).

I’m also keeping spreadsheets for both ARCs and book haul but I like having it all in one place.

The 2021 favorites spread is still empty at the moment obviously, and I probably won’t be filling it out yet, maybe in June? I’m thinking of placing a cover and a small comment. (So far, The Dragon Republic and Crave would def make it into the list).

My January spread. I included a small tbr on the left (mostly arcs) but I’ll be eliminating or making it look a bit different for future spreads. And on the left all the books I’ve read so far! I’m expecting my February spreads will look pretty different, though. I’m going to add a couple more pages with a favorites section, new releases I’m excited about and format/genre…

Between this spread and the rest, there are also a series of reading notes spreads, next reads/reading updates, and readathon spreads that I won’t show because it’s just too much.

Physical TBR spread: I’m not happy with how this looks but I’m glad I tried something new and my friends on bookstagram all thought it actually looked cute so… Anyway, it’s a good way to visually see the progress I’m making with my physical tbr but if I had to redo it, I’d make a numbered list first and then on the shelves just place the numbers inside the books instead of the title.

Quotes I loved recently: self-explanatory. I’ll probably be repeating this spread every few months/weeks as soon as it fills up, or maybe do one spread of these every month?


And that’s all for today! Obviously my reading journal is still pretty empty but I’m hoping to make this into a series of monthly updates on not just reading journals but maybe my aesthetic journal as well? Anyway, hope you enjoyed it and maybe feel inspired to do some of your own journaling!

15 thoughts on “My Reading Journal: 2021

  1. IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE, RAFAELA! I really liked this post and how you’re setting up your journal. It looks simplistic and yet very cute. I don’t mean simplistic in a bad way, more like minimalist I guess. I think people can get inspired and start doing spreads too.

    I loved your TBR pages (the first ones, with your reading list and series to finish) and adding the covers makes it look so much fuller and nicer. I would probably need more than that though.

    And that January spread is also great but YOU’VE READ SO MUCH ALREADY! I’ve seen a lot of people do that book shelf page and I’m always surprised at how look it looks! And yes, it looks great, so don’t worry about it. I recently made a document with all my unread physical books and… it was worse than I thought.

    I’m looking forward to more of these posts, since they’re always very interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AW thanks Anna! I’m so glad you liked it! (I might convert you to journaling yet…) Yes, I was going exactly for a minimalistic style because I always write a lot in it.
      I always tried doing lists for my unread books and then never read any but I saw so many people doing these drawn shelves look that I thought I’d try it to help me read more.

      Also, would def recommend you check out this post from a very nice person I know from bookstagram who journals about kpop: https://invincibleamy.wordpress.com/2021/01/23/journal-update-jisoo-1/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love my lists but I normally do my ‘spreads’ just on a google doc or something, since I am so bad at drawing and writing.

        I did one this week because I was looking about possible buddy reads with my best friend, since we’d like to do some from our physical books, and it was bad. Well, your spread ended up looking amazing, so well done!

        Thanks! I’m going to check it out now, I’m curious. I know some people try to recommend books based on songs or use spreads for collecting, so I wonder what it will be about.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That spread is gorgeous! I wish I had the time and the creativity to do a spread like that, but I’m much more of a practical person, so my journals are pretty bleak. Still, I focus my reading journals on the reviews since I handwrite them all for posteriority. But damn, I’m a bit jealous of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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