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January Journal Theme: New Beginnings

I’m so excited to finally be using my brand-new reading journal for 2022. I learned a lot by starting my first reading journal last year, and that led me to make some changes. To see more about my first pages set up and a brand new spread that I’ve added, check out my last post: My 2022 Reading Journal.

I’ll do another wrap-up to talk generally about my reading in 2021 and what worked vs. what didn’t for the journal. But for now, here are the final stats for December! One last look at the cute Forest Friends theme.

Although there were a few days when I was too busy with holiday celebrations to read, I managed to read 12 books last month. I wanted to just blow through The Expanse books but they’re long and there were other books that caught my eye, too. We read (and watched the Studio Ghibli movie) Howl’s Moving Castle in the YA SFF Addicts book club on Facebook, which was lots of fun, and it gave me new insights into the story. If you’ve never read the book, I highly recommend it!

For my January theme, I wanted to include this beautiful piece of vellum that came with the reading journal. It has the quote “Life Begins Now” and the name of the company that created the journal in a beautiful rainbow holo foil. I love rainbow holo and I already had the washi and stickers to match it. I also added these adorable bunnerflies from the artist Heather Sketcheroos. And in addition to tracking all the new releases in the annual spread, I’ve copied them into this monthly list. I don’t know if I’ll have time to read all these books during this month, but I’m excited to add them to my collection!

As I mentioned, I chose this journal in part because all the paper is made from bamboo, which grows much faster than trees. Last year, when I started a paper journal, some people asked me if I thought it was bad for the environment. I try to be environmentally conscious in many of my choices, including not wasting paper. Most of my writing, tracking, schedules, etc. are done digitally on my phone, and that was how I kept a reading journal for years. But this is not an item that I’m going to fill out and throw away at the end of the year. I want to keep it as a memento for years to come. However, if it helps to have a journal made of bamboo instead of trees, then I’m happy to try it out. So far, the paper is very smooth and great to write on!

Here is the first entry. “The Churn” is a novella in The Expanse series, telling the origin story of Amos. I’m still rereading the series before I dive into the last book!

You can see that I stopped adding boxes around the book info at the top of the page. This was always a struggle for me to make it even and not take up too much other space. I thought that I needed the box to break up the text on the page, but now I’m trying to see how it looks without it. I want to keep the parts of my format that were useful and get rid of the extraneous stuff so it isn’t too much work to fill it out all the time.

I hope you enjoyed seeing January’s start! Come back on Friday for my 2021 review!


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.