I recently wrote a tweet asking if anyone would be interested in an updated reading journal post and response was fairly overwhelming and positive so here I am. I wrote a post back in 2017 about my reading journal at the time and whilst my lay out hasn’t changed that much, I’ve found that the way I am keeping track now has improved since and it is prettier.
Please don’t judge me for my lack of creativity because I am definitely not the most creative person (despite the fact I did Art at GCSE) and my handwriting isn’t the best so apologies in advance for my bad presentation skills but ya know, I’m working on it￼. I want to have prettier journal spreads as I definitely feel like they encourage me to use my journal more.
So planning my journal. Well, I’ve gathered my ideas for my journal over the last few years and if I’ve seen anybody else using or doing something in their journal that I like, I’ve added that to my list of inspiration. Of course, when I started creating my own reading journal over 2 years ago now (I tried to keep one in 2016) I had my own ideas but if I do see someone doing something I like then I definitely will incorporate that.
So the picture as this post header is the front page of my reading journal. It’s quite simple because I don’t use it that often but I did add a little open book sticker which I bought on Etsy from LondonGifties a little while back. I’m actually looking to buy a new planner for next year as the pages in this one are fairly yellow but that’s something I’ll be looking into ready for 2020 as we’re half way through the year and I don’t want to waste my current planner.
So the next pages you see when you open my reading journal is my Series to finish page. This includes the series I want to finish this year and the Shadowhunters books, which I want to try and tick off more books from because man, there are a lot.
After my Series page, I then have my ‘Books Read in 2019’ page and my 2019 Goals. As you can see, I’m filling in the boxes on my ‘Books Read’ page so I can keep track of my reading throughout the year.
On my 2019 goals page, I’ve only got a few goals for the year but as you can see, I’ve already been able to fill in the heart next to 30 books so I’ve completed that one already! I then just have a few other goals for 2019 that I haven’t got to yet but hopefully they should all be complete by the end of the year.
In June, I made more of an effort to work on the spread and I’ve definitely used it more, updating it every time I’ve finished a book. This is the first month I’ve had a proper theme and although it is fairly subtle, I really like it.
As you can see, I have my TBR on one side and then listed all the books I read in the month on the other side, including a total at the top for the full amount of books read.
For June, I decided to go for a rainbow theme for Pride month and I really love how it looks. My spreads can alway be better, but I’m fairly happy with how it turned out because it’s the first month I’ve started to really put more effort into my spreads.
I am working on my spreads every month and definitely want to keep improving with them. I’m already planning to add a favourite books of the month section. As you can see, I’ve already done my July spreads but I’m planning to make August sun-themed because it’s Summer! We’ll see how that goes..
For my July spread, I decided to make the spread cover two pages rather than one. As you can see, on the left side, I have a page for my blog posts where I can record which ones need to go up in the month. On the right side, I have my TBR. I have since added to it with my O.W.L.’s TBR, but it’s including two of the books from my TBR anyway. On turning the page, you’ll just be able to see a list of the books I’ve read at the end of the month. That also takes up two pages, which I know I won’t fill with just my books read so I’m thinking of doing a mini reflection on the month including my favourite book of the month, least enjoyed book of the month, etc.
So that’s really it with my reading journal for the moment. Like I said earlier, I’m trying to improve my spreads as I want to be able to look back at the end of the year and enjoy looking at the books I’ve read and the page designs. They’re definitely improving every month so that’ll also be nice to see at the end of the year.
I’d be really interested to hear if you use a reading journal and to see how you lay it out. I’d also be super happy if you do find any of this useful or if you’ve taken inspiration or ideas from this, so do please let me know!