If you look carefully at some of my book photos, you’ll see a journal hidden in the background. Here’s an example:
If you’re wondering what that journal is, it’s my book journal. My book journal is literally my reading companion. I may not have it on me all the time, but it’s definitely there when I need to write some thoughts down. I also use post-it notes and then just tape it all in here. I want this to be my record for reading. Whatever encounters I have, whatever character flaws, whatever plot holes, I want it all in my book.
I use it to write all my thoughts, feelings, and book-related musings. My TBR for the month goes there. My thoughts while I read go in there. All my thoughts that will go into my review are also written in my journal. Blog posts and articles that I have ideas for also get its start in this journal, but I don’t really do that anymore. I have the internet for that.
But the best part of this journal is that I decorate it with fun stickers, use colorful pens, and basically use it as a daily journal just about books.
Here’s how I approach my book journal:
I like to start my month with the list of books I’ll be reading. You can see here that this is for December (and the edits I made to my December TBR). I also have a few pages in the front to record every book I’ve read recorded in this journal. I use that as my index for finding what I wrote later.
You can also do it bullet journal style and add some reading life pages. Track your reading hours. Track what days you’ve read. Make yourself a little calendar on how you want to read. I don’t have that in here because I have a separate agenda where I keep all my dates and To Dos. This also keeps my journal from being a catch-all for my daily life.
You can write long essays. I like to keep my thoughts to simple bullet points. Using stickers and washi tape make the page pretty and fill in the gaps where a bullet point won’t fit. I’m so against a half-written document, so I do my best to format my writing to make it look more full.
Here’s some of my favorite tools to write about my books:
I’ll never be able to spell this name correctly, but this is my go-to journal. I’ve been using these particularly for the last five years. They’re the size that I want (honestly, I feel Moleskines are weirdly skinny). They’ve got a grid pattern, which I love for writing out lists or organizing my notes. There’s also numbers at the bottom of the page, which I randomly find charming. It’s the bullet journal, so if you’re interested in getting into bullet journaling and using it as your book journal then this is the one for you. My current one is the 1917 copper version.
Remember Ghostwriter? Remember that Ghostwriter’s friends would wear felt pens on a lanyard everywhere? I really wanted to be one of those kids with the pen, the composition notebook, and a friendly ghosts that helps me solve mysteries. Even as a kid, I coveted these pens because they were the exact ones those kids used. Luckily I’m an adult now and I can use these all the time. These are amazing for creating fun and colorful headings for your posts. I love using them to annotate my books as well. It gets even more fun when you can match the color of your pen to your book’s cover. I also love to use them as pens and write my heart out.
No, I didn’t sell myself out to Paper Mate. I’ve tried many pens over the years and the only ones I always come back to are the Inkjoy. When I first played around with these pens, I was meh about it. I especially didn’t like it because it smudged pretty bad on my paper. However, I continued using them because out of all the pens I’ve used, these are the smoothest for my writing style. I think my writing style has to be cramped to a point where my hand is just a bunch of gnarled fingers.
I’m just going to share with you some cute design I found on Amazon, but there’s a ton of washi tape all over the Internet. Use them to create cute borders, headers, or footers for your pages. I love to decorate with washi tape even if it’s just a tiny piece to fill a gap in the corner. Washi tape also becomes a versatile tool around the house especially when you need some tape and a little bit of decoration would bring your gift/envelope/lunchbox/computer keyboard a little brightness.
I’m not a very strong artist. I can’t draw a stick figure without messing it up. Because I can’t draw beautiful pictures in my journal, I resort to using stickers. There’s a ton of different Etsy shops with beautiful stickers. I love using stickers for this instance. It’s an easy way to convey emotions, share a little smile, or even decorate to theme out your page. I use them before I start writing just so that I have a little writing companion. My favorite is stickermestickers.
These are an amazing invention. It’s tape, but you can roll it on. That means, no mess, no drying out, and you can easily tape items into your journal without thinking twice. I love having it around to paste notes I’ve left on random scraps of paper into my journal. It’s also great for gift wrapping, regular uses for glue, etc. I use it pretty much daily for stuff around the house.