I’m so excited to start my new reading journal this year! After I ran out of space in my 2022 journal (because I read way more books than I expected to), I knew that I had to change up my system to be more flexible. It’s hard to start with one bound journal and estimate how many pages I will need at the beginning of the year.
I wanted a journal where I could add pages as I needed them, even in between existing pages, and grow with me throughout the year. Somewhere I could record the exact information I wanted and nothing else. And maybe something that didn’t require me to write and draw so many things by hand. The hand-drawn bullet journal look is appealing (especially if you can take the time to make it look evenly spaced and very neat), but I’m a busy person with moderate carpal tunnel syndrome. I can’t always sit down to draw out a new layout every time I want to add something new.
The other option I considered was going totally digital, but I rejected that for a couple of reasons. One, I’m already tracking my reading on a digital app, Goodreads. That’s worked well for me for years now, but I started a paper journal because I wanted to have fun with stickers and washi tape. And second, I found that the pretty paper journal encouraged me to read more and made me excited about finishing series, writing reviews, etc. So I didn’t want to lose the excitement and momentum I already had.
After weighing my options, I chose to create layouts on my computer and print them out to add into a book. I’m using an A5 6-ring binder because it’s about the same size as my last two journals but it lets me add pages whenever and wherever I want. Then I can still fill some parts out by hand and add stickers and washi tape.
I’ve been testing and working on this new format for several months now, and I’m finally ready to reveal it!
I found this binder cover on Amazon. I like that it’s purple and it has hardware on the outside that make it look like an old-fashioned bound book. Inside, you can see that it also has a pen loop.
There is a small pocket in the front, just large enough to hold a sheet of stickers. I decided to go with a witch aesthetic for the reading journal. You’ll see more illustrations inside on the spreads.
Space to track my reading goal for the year and to help diversify the authors I read. I don’t have a specific goal beyond reading 100 books in the year, but I want to be aware of what types of authors I’m choosing.
The bookshelf isn’t the most practical, but it’s fun to draw and color in.
Space to track the ratings for all the books I’ve read (on a scale of 1-5 stars) and also to track how many days I read. I read 365 days in 2022, so I didn’t miss a single day. I hope I can keep the streak going this year!
Tracking the new book releases coming out this year. So many good things to look forward to. I’m still filling this out.
My monthly stats at a glance. I took out the episodes space from last year. It’s too hard to manually count how many episodes I’ve read from serials, so I’ll just track books from now on.
My monthly cover for January. I’m not sure if I am going to track new releases on this page still, so I will think about what goes in the notes section.
My new review page layout. One thing I chose to stop doing this year was printing out all the book covers. It was too much effort. Instead, I’ve decorated each page with an image that fits the monthly theme.
Finally, I have space to write all the books I’ve read during the month and the monthly stats. Everything is pretty empty right now because it’s just the start of the month, but I can’t wait to fill this out.
The only thing right now is it feels so small and thin with just one month’s worth of pages. Unlike a bound book, I’m not starting out with all the pages at once. That means I have room to grow, but it also feels empty right now. I can’t wait to see it grow and fill up throughout the year.