As booklovers, we do our best to spend any spare time we have reading, which means there’s a good chance you read several books each year. Ever have trouble keeping track of them all? Book and reading journals are great ways to remember our favorite novels and characters. Jotting down notes about authors, quotes, specific page numbers, and writing techniques can help us remember noteworthy passages for future reference. Reading journals are especially helpful for joining book clubs, offering up thoughts to ignite discussions. If you’ve always wanted to begin a book journal, but are unsure how, we’ve rounded up 3 simple steps to get you started:
1. Decide On A Journal
A big question to ask yourself is if you’d rather start a journal or an online blog. There are several sites that offer free blog hosting and templates to get you started, such as WordPress or Blogger. Another idea is to create a GoodReads account, which grants you access to several great features, as well as the ability to create an online book club discussion among users.
If writing is more your thing, a plain journal is always an option, which can easily be customized. Or, you might be interested in some of these journals, which are made specifically for reading:
- “Soul Reading Journal” – included in this month’s Cozy Reader Club box!
- “Books To Check Out: A Journal” – keeps a rolling record of the
books you’ve checked out from the library
- “What I Read: Mini Journal” – perfect for traveling, and you can take notes on the train
- “The Book Lover’s Journal” – offers a clean page layout for taking notes, rating the book, and a checklist of popular titles you should be reading
2. What To Take Notes On
If purchasing one of the journals above, the page format will likely guide you through some helpful notes to take, but if you’re considering creating a custom journal, or even a bullet journal, it’s nice to track each entry with a few basic rules in mind:
- Start each entry with the date, book’s title, and author.
- Take book notes on: author, writing techniques, quotes, characters, metaphors, themes, noteworthy passages, opinions, etc.
- When making notes, the most important detail to remember is the page number, this way you can easily revisit the original passage at any point.
- Dedicate a few pages of the journal to a checklist of books you intend to read throughout the year, scratching them off after you finish each one.
- Lastly, create a section in the back of the journal dedicated to a final rating of each book. Simply list each title and author, accompanied by how many “stars” you’d give it out of five.
3. Final Reflections On The Book
Once you finish the book, write down any closing remarks you want to remember. These notes might include answers to the following questions:
What was your opinion of the book’s ending?
Did the author close all loose ends?
Were the characters well-developed, overall?
What questions do you still have about the plot?
Would you recommend this book to a friend?
The important thing to remember is to make this journaling experience enjoyable. Create a page layout that works best for you and the ideas you want to remember. Also, strive to create a journal that inspires your own flair for creativity and cultivates new ways of thinking. We’d love to hear what you think of the Soul Reading Journal