Reading Journal – October 2020

Journaling

This month, my journal is a little different. I’ve been having a hard time focusing and haven’t had a ton of time to do things for my blog and bookstagram so I really had to throw my journal together this month. My basic layouts are the same but the way I have approached them is slightly different. I hope you still enjoy it!

The first major change I made this month was that I downloaded a font rather than hand lettering my titles. I used “autography” front dafont.com and just typed out all the words I wanted and printed them on regular printer paper. This definitely saved a lot of time and, to me, looks really crisp.

I don’t plan to really have a set TBR for the next two months. Instead, I have made a list of all the spooky/creepy/murdery/dark books on my backlog and want to read as many of them as I can over the next two months. I also don’t want to pressure of choosing them now so I have a jar where I’ll randomly select books as I am ready for them. I do have two books I need to read in October and I’m sure I’ll have some library holds come through but anything else I pick up will be from that jar. I tucked the list in a pocket I made in my journal and I’ll cross them off and then move the list over to my November spreads when it’s time.

I also changed my reading tracker. I used to spend a ton of time drawing out evenly spaced squares to color in for each day I pick up a book. I’ve found that I truly do read something almost every single day so the information also doesn’t end up being super useful. I decided that this type of tracker is not only easier to set up, but gives me more information. Down the side, I have each day of the month numbered and across the top there are numbers counting the number of pages I read each day. I am a little nervous that I won’t be able to keep up with it, but I’m going to give it a try!

My “books read” and “blog/insta planning” spreads are essentially the same as always because they are simple to set up and definitely serve their purpose. The only difference is that at the bottom of my planning spread, I have some space to write down some random ideas that I don’t want to commit to a date yet because that’s been an issue especially towards the end of each month.

Lastly, I have a spread where I will print a photo of my favorite book of the month and a place to write down the number of books and pages I read. Last month, I talked about wanting to include more stats but the time to set up my spreads really snuck up on me but fingers crossed for next month!

Hope you enjoy looking through my spreads for October!

The supplies I used include:

Pilot G-2 07 pen

Crayola Super Tips marker

Washi Tape (I think this is the set. I’m not sure since it was a gift)

Stickers from Stickii Club September subscription

Reading Journal – September 2020

Journaling

Over the weekend, I was able to take some time to set up my reading journal for September. As usual, this theme is inspired by my Stickii Club stickers, in particular, a holographic postcard they included in last month’s pack.

I’m not completely sure how to describe this theme but this postcard matched some of the other stickers included in the pack really well so I just went with it. My general spreads haven’t changed much because I’m enjoying how they’re working out for me right now but I might want to start experimenting with some different layouts in the future.

I haven’t quite finalized my TBR yet because I want to try to participate in the Buzzwordathon (a week of reading books with the word “night” in the title) but I have plenty of space to create two lists for my regular reading plans and for any special readathons I want to participate in. For my “Days Read” spread, I think I want to start having one color to indicate physical reading and one for listening to audiobooks since I have really been more reliant on audiobooks since going back to work.

My “Books Read” spread is the same as always but I might try to create a way to make it look a little neater when it’s all filled in. That might mean using my grey Mildliner to highlight every other row or just making more distinct columns. As far as my planning spread, the only real difference this time is that I used a decorative, thick washi tape to split up the columns and I think it gives it a more interesting look.

For my final spread, I have room to paste in a picture of my favorite book of the month and space to write down how many books and pages I read for the month. I think I might want to start including other stats here such as format and star ratings because I include those in my wrap-ups each month.

Anyway, that’s really all for my journal this month. I hope you enjoyed looking through my spreads!

Stay safe,

Sam ❤

Reading Journal – August 2020

Journaling

Since first sharing my reading journal earlier this month, I’ve decided that I want to keep sharing my monthly spreads on my blog. I looked through all of my Stickii Club stickers and decided on this fantastic sheet of blueberry stickers and decided that would be my theme for August. I think it has the cutest summer vibes and I hope you enjoy looking through my spreads ❤

This is my title page for August. I tore the corners off of a piece of scrapbook paper to give some more visual interest throughout these spreads. The lighter color blends in with the paper a bit, but in person, you can see that it has a slightly different texture. I also used the Paper Mate Flair to do all the lettering in these spreads.

For these spreads, I started with some stickers and washi tape to create a header. I also carried the paper corners over here since I don’t usually create a long TBR each month. As I’m starting teaching again in August, I know I’ll be reading less anyway. As I looked back at my “Days Read” spread, I realized I’d written “Books Read” instead. In order to fix that, I cut out a piece of paper and taped it in to cover up my mistake. I swear, I write the wrong thing somewhere every month. Oh well.

My actual “Books Read” spread looks the same as it did last month. I think I want to change this up because when I fill this in, it sometimes looks a little messy. I’m not sure what I want to do yet but I’m going to take time to browse some other spreads that function similarly and see if I find something I’d like for September. My favorite and most useful spread is the next spread, though. I tried this for the first time last month and being able to have a space to plan ahead for both my blog and Instagram has really helped me maintain a regular posting schedule. I might have to play around with that schedule once the school year starts but I can at least plan posts and potentially take the weekends to write and schedule blog posts as well as pre-take some IG photos.

Lastly, I have space to talk about my favorite book from that month and space for my number of books and pages read each month. At the end of the year, I’ll be able to look back and have some year-end stats and a pretty good start on my list for my top books of the year.

If you keep a reading journal, what spreads do you find useful? I’d be open to adding some to my monthly spreads.

My Reading Bullet Journal

Journaling

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.