Today, I’ll be sharing something I’ve been nervous about sharing – my reading journal. I’ve always been nervous about showing off my journal because I am not incredibly artistic and don’t have ~*aesthetic*~ handwriting, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s important for people to show off their average-looking reading journals. I’ve talked to so many people that say one of the biggest reasons they don’t have a reading journal or bullet journal or anything is because they aren’t artistic. I was the same way for a long time and didn’t want to start one for myself, but I’m currently in my third month, and it’s both useful and fun for me. That being said, I want to show and talk about the spreads I have for the month of July and hopefully inspire anyone who’s interested but discouraged because of their artistic abilities.
This is my title page. I like having a way to separate each month from the last, but I usually keep it pretty simple. I wasn’t going to use the green paper to write the month on, but I very confidently wrote “June” on the page and had to cover it up. Oh well. I used a sticker sheet from Stickii Club throughout the spreads to keep a consistent theme. I also used a Zebra Mildliner to draw some bubbles. The might not translate well on camera, but they’re there, I promise.
My next two spreads are my TBR and “Days Read.” I typically choose a TBR of five books I own, either physically or digitally, that I haven’t read yet. I kept it really simple and used some stickers and washi tape a friend gifted me for graduation to decorate the page. I marked the first book on my list as DNF, and I will use the same Mildliner to highlight the books I complete. On the other side, I just drew some squares and numbered them for each day of the month. I color them in with a Mildliner if I’ve read (or listened) to a book that day.
I made a simple chart for my “Books Read” spread. I use this to track the books I actually read each month. I have space for the title, author, and star rating. I have a nonfiction book listed as my first read of the month, and since I don’t give star ratings to nonfiction, I simply drew a line across that section. The spread on the other side used to be a place where I put quotes from books as I read them, but I found that I wasn’t tracking them as I read, and it was something I just filled in at the end of the month and never looked at it again. I swapped it for something more practical for me, and now I use it to write down a schedule of blog and Instagram posts. This makes it a little easier for me to keep track of ideas and stay on a consistent schedule.
The last page for the month of July is just a place to put my favorite book of the month and some stats. I will print a picture out of the cover of my favorite book each month and then glue it into my journal. Beside it, I usually write a few words describing different reasons why this book was my favorite. These spreads will help determine my favorite books of the entire year when we reach December. At the bottom of this page, I write out how many pages and books I read in the month. I have a spreadsheet on my computer that tracks all of this information, but I like having it in my journal.
So that’s all I do in my reading journal for each month! It might not be beautiful, but it does help me track my reading and keep up with my blog and bookstagram. I hope that if you’re interested in starting one, this shows that you don’t have to be good at it to make something both useful and fun.