This reading journal was inspired by my dissatisfaction with all the reading journals I’ve ever owned. This is my personal take on the ideal reading journal — I hope you enjoy it!
Here is a quick rundown of its components:
- The basics — title, author, publisher. I deliberately included publisher here because there are so many great indie and specialty presses out there, and identifying which ones are publishing your favourite stories can lead to the discovery of even more great books! Plus, if you are a writer, noting who is publishing comp stories is helpful to keep track of.
- Overall feeling. This is a variation on the classic 1–5 star rating scale, which I have never enjoyed. This one offers a little more scope to vent your emotions.
- What kind of book is this? This section is your opportunity to note things like genre, appeal factor, language, and more. This can help you in your quest to find more books like the ones you enjoy, and avoid picking up ones you don’t in the future.
- Go ahead, judge this book by its cover. Shallow? Perhaps. But listen, someone (hopefully) put a lot of time and effort in the book design. And let’s face it, some books are stunningly gorgeous, and some are hilariously hideous. I always enjoy a good dissection of the book’s cover art and design. Maybe you do too.
- Things I want to remember about this book. You get a whole page here. Or more, if you want to print or duplicate multiples of this one! I find that reading journals never give me enough space to dig into my thoughts about a book, so go wild in this section! You might want to record your love for a certain character or character dynamic, your complicated thoughts about something you found problematic, or the way the language left you breathless. You might want to rave about the worldbuilding or setting, or that plot twist you never saw coming. Perhaps you loved everything about the book but hated the ending. Perhaps you hated the whole thing and need to rant about it! Whatever it is that captured you, this is your generous space to write your thoughts down.
- Quotes to treasure forever (or not). I don’t know about you, but I tend to bookmark the hell out of my novels so that I can always find those quotes that were just SO GOOD. Or, conversely, SO BAD. Dog ear no more, my friend. Record them here instead.
- Miscellaneous thoughts. I probably missed a section that you absolutely need, so add it here! Maybe it’s a note of other titles by this author you want to check out. Maybe it’s a list of related fanfic that needs to be checked out, or a plot bunny of your own that this book inspired. Use this catch-all space for anything and everything.
Enjoy, and happy reading!
Downloadable Reading Journal