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10 Reading Journal Ideas: How to Keep a Reading Journal

Hey, you! Are you looking to take a step outside of the technological rat race? Do sites like Goodreads set you up for a fall? Are you looking to start your own reading journal so that you can keep track of your reading habits without relying on technological services and websites like Goodreads? Would you like to hear some tips and tricks for getting started?

Then, step forth, for today we will be exploring ten tips and tricks to help you start your very own reading journal! Come in with an open mind and there is little that you won't be able to accomplish.

person writing as they are reading a book

1. Bucket List

A book journal is, more importantly for some, a place to keep track of which books to read next. It can be all too easy to find a book that sounds perfect but to deny yourself the pleasure of reading it then because you are presently reading something else.

When the time comes for a new book, we have usually forgotten what it was that we so desired at that moment. Much like Goodreads, a bullet journal for books is a perfect way to keep track of the books that you want to read.

2. Thoughts, Notes, Reflections, Feelings, etc.

Sometimes keeping track of what you thought or felt about a book or a particular passage within it can feel like a job in and of itself. The modern world is replete with distractions that come in all shapes and sizes, after all, and so it can take having your own reading journal to really cement your thoughts and feelings on a book.

This is especially useful if you are intending to make these views known on something like a blog or social media. Reading journals are an apt way to keep all those things in one place.

Refillable Classic Journal (Lined)
Refillable Classic Journal (Lined)
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3. Log

With all the content out there, it can even be difficult to keep track of what you are reading or have recently read.

The burgeoning influence of social media and immediate technology has steadily decreased the general strength of the average attention span to the point where a stimulus is more often needed to conjure up a thought or sensation. Thus, you might start a reading journal simply to recount to someone what you have been reading recently and just what you thought of it.

You can think of a reading journal as a reading tracker, much like a dream journal helps to keep track of the workings of the subconscious when the conscious mind is under the influence of sleep.

4. Spread & Timeline

Something that sites like Goodreads are particularly good for is helping readers to stay motivated, especially those who might otherwise struggle. One of the main features of Goodreads is the ability to set a target number of books to have read by the end of each year.

This, though, is something you can very easily replicate in your own reading journal, tracking your reading habits in a reading log that also takes note of the bigger picture. In this way, it is one of the best book journal ideas out there.

5. Recommendations

Another thing that a dedicated book journal can do to compete with sites like Goodreads besides their dedicated reading challenge is the ability to share and recommend new books to friends.

This works both ways in that you can both keep track of books that you have been recommended by friends and also keep track of books that you would like to recommend to others. Heck, you could even have a whole few pages dedicated to this where friends can write them down in their own handwriting.

6. Reviews

As alluded to earlier, you might be the kind of reader for whom simply reading and keeping track of your habits is tantamount to plodding along and eating each breadcrumb on the trail toward dusty death as laid by the pallid hand of the capitalist entertainment matrix.

Instead, you might wish to write your own reviews of the books you read. Whether you use a book journal to draft out your reviews before submitting them elsewhere or simply as a place to keep your complete reviews to yourself, this is the medium for it!

7. Book Club

Perhaps you are even a member of a book club, a cold and dying institution in today's day and age, especially after the various lockdowns have wreaked their havoc on the intersocial dynamics of many subscribers to the reading faith.

Still, if you do happen to be a member of a book club, you might use your own physical or digital reading journal to keep track of the workings of the club, including the recommendations of other members as well as your own thoughts on the particular book at hand. Let your journal pages overflow with thoughts and feelings, both of others and yourself.

Classic Journal (Blank)
Classic Journal (Blank)
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8. Reading Challenge

As already alluded to earlier, getting a handle on your reading challenge goals can be an amazing way to motivate yourself to read more, especially if this motivation is otherwise lacking.

Unlike Goodreads, you can use a dedicated reading journal to set specific goals for yourself. Rather than just stating a specific number of books that you would like to read each year, you can also, for example, aim to read better or in a different way, perhaps more thoroughly.

For this reason, this is one of the best reading journal ideas for enhancing your practice of reading as an aesthete.

9. Prompts

It's all too easy to feel downhearted when you can't think of how to get started with your own reading journal. Writer's block is nothing to be ashamed of and is, in fact, incredibly common among those working within a field that they both admire and yet have never worked in before.

Thus, just as you would use morning journal prompts to help you navigate, you can also use reading journal prompts for the same purpose. There is no shame in this either and you can, in fact, come up with some of your best ideas in this way.

10. Series

If you are more inclined to read a book if it is part of a series, then you might find it useful to use a series tracker. A series of books can contain a whole load of information - often, the whole point is to be so enveloped in that world that you lose sight of the world around you somewhat. In this way, it can be a real feat to keep track of all the things that go on.

Well, now you can use a reading journal to do so, keeping track of all the important details that you might otherwise miss along the way.

Final Words

So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to start your very own reading journal thanks to these ten tips and tricks!

FAQs Reading Journal Ideas

What Should Be Put in a Reading Journal?

A reading journal is a type of journal primarily intended for use in keeping track of reading habits and goals. In a similar way to services like Goodreads, a reading journal can be used to both keep track of your reading behavior but also to help with achieving personal goals related to reading. The reading journal can also be useful for those who are part of a book club, allowing each user to keep individual track of the preferences and opinions of the other users.

How Do You Make a Reading Journal?

You can use just about any journal (including a leather journal) as a reading journal, so long as it is made of paper or some other material that can be written upon. Heck, even if you use a digital journal, you can use it as a reading journal. In fact, this is one of the best parts of journaling in general - you can make your own journal entirely your own, fusing together different aspects and varieties of journaling into one piece that is more personal to you.

What Are the Benefits of Keeping a Reading Journal?

A reading journal is a great way to keep track of one's reading habits as well as to set new goals for your own reading experiences. One of the best benefits of a reading journal is to help you ween yourself away from technology and reliance on it as a method for tracking reading habits. Sites like Goodreads are all well and good, but it can be great to be self-reliant and establish your own methods for tracking reading.

What Is a Reading Journal?

A reading journal is a form of journaling that allows you to track and trace your journaling habits so that you can get a better hold of them, remember what you have been reading, as well as to set new goals for yourself in the future. In this way, a reading journal is not unlike a site like Goodreads which allows you to tell the world whenever you have started or finished reading a book, what you thought of it in the form of a review or some stars, as well as to set some longer-term goals for your reading habits. If you want a more personal way to do these things, then you can't really go wrong with starting your own reading journal.

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