Thinking about starting a reading journal to make your chaotic reading life easier? You can get started right here. There are many reasons to want to keep a reading journal but if you read at a leisurely pace without the need to track everything, that is good too, you do you!
I personally design reading junk journals because I am an artist and I love the aesthetics of it all! Sometimes I print my designs and bind them into journal books so that I can have the pleasure of making them and flipping through them! But I actually don’t write much in them! I do however reflect on what I read and write book reviews.
Reasons to keep a reading journal:
- You want to reflect on your readings. A reading journal provides space to do this, where writing about your thoughts and feelings can help you understand and connect with the book more deeply!
- You want to use literature for personal growth! Reflecting on your readings can aid you in thinking about your own experiences, beliefs and values.
- Consistent journaling can help improve your writing and critical thinking skills.
- Track your reading to meet your monthly/yearly reading goals. Keeping a journal can help keep you accountable to your own goals.
- Journaling your thoughts and reactions can help enhance your comprehension of the book and also facilitate discussions within a book club or literary community.
- You are doing it for a class assignment.
Reasons to NOT keep a reading journal:
- If you are like me, who can start obsessing about organisation and task management, it can become detrimental to your mental health to try to log everything to do with your reading. It may lead to stress and anxiety when you are hard on yourself when unable to meet those goals.
- You just want to read for fun and don’t care about all the goals. reflections and tracking! This is perfectly okay!
To go along with this post, I have created some free PDF printable reading journal kits that you can print out as many times as you like and bind them however you like! At the time of writing this post, there are 3 kits you can grab when you sign up to my newsletter!Sign Up
There is a plain black and white US letter sized Minimalist Reading Journal that can be printed at home with ease and minimal ink, punched with holes and filed in any standard folder or ring binders you prefer! Then, for the more crafts loving readers amongst us, I have included two junk journal reading journal kits! These can also be printed on US letter sized papers, folded and bound into tradiitonal book formats using any of the myriad of book binding methods out there. They come with some ephemera and pockets for those familiar with junk journaling.
But for now, let’s talk about some of the pages included in the free Minimalist Reading Journal kit.
1. Reading Log
Create a simple table with columns to record the books you’ve read, together with the authors who wrote them and the star rating you would give them.
2. Books To Read / TBR
Plan your “to be read” list and check them off as you complete them for that sense of ecstacy that you can also get from sniffing books, old and new.
3. Monthly Recap
At the end of each month, recap your reading goals, progress and achievements, as well as what you can do to improve in the months ahead.
4. Yearly Recap
Reflect on the reading goals and challenges of the past year as well as the resolutions of the year ahead.
5. Favorite Quotes
Dedicate a page to favorite quotes from each book. Decorate it with some creative calligraphy or doodles! Just putting some ideas out there! 🙂
6. Favorite Author/ Author Spotlight
Feature an author you admire, a different one each month perhaps, including their bio and a list of their notable works.
Jot down book recommendations from friends, family, online reviews, bookstagrams you admire (we have one too by the way, check the footer for the link!). Note down who recommended what and why.
8. Book Review
Review all or some of the books you read, perhaps the ones that were the most memorable. Reflect on why it stayed with you and how it impacted you, your opinions and preferences. Or a more objective book review that speaks on the literary strengths and weaknesses of the book.
9. Reading Reflections
Reflect on the books you have finished, all of them or the ones that impacted you the most. What did you learn about life, the universe and everything? Would you read it again and why? Or you can reflect on your reading trends, habits, challenges, book club discussions, etc.
There are of course a whole lot more that can be done with reading journals, whole lotta pages that can be added and a whole lotta crafting that can be done with the junk journaling style kits, if you’re up for the challenge! At the time of writing this, you will receive a huge discount on one of the reading journal kits when you sign up to the newsletter! If this is not the case any more, there will still be some sort of deal or offer I will include exclusively for the newsletter subscribers! So what are you waiting for? Go sign up!Sign Up
But if you’d rather not go through this newsletter signup business, and would rather deep dive into the world of reading junk journals, check out the variety of junk journaling style reading journals on my shop! The variety of themes are sure to please booklovers of many niches! From the seasonal magic of winter wonderlands and fall coziness, to the dark and mysterious poem, The Raven!