In January, I decided I wanted to make myself a book bullet journal. I bought a dot grid journal and mapped it all out. By April though, it was clear it wasn’t working as it was more work that it was worth, and I couldn’t make it work for me. I scoured the internet looking for a reading journal that I could just fill in, but couldn’t find just what I was looking for. So… I designed one myself, with all the pages I wanted and needed, without any of the fluff and extra stuff that just bogs me down and takes the enjoyment out of reading and filling in the book journal.
1. Just the right amount of detail.
I designed my reading journal to have enough pages to read up to 60 books per year. Unless you’re in the super elite group of mega readers who read with every spare minute, I figured that would be enough for most people. If you’re reading more, there are loads of other journals available, but this isn’t it.
I designed pages that would be useful for me, without superfluous info, just what is needed and is interesting to reflect on. Things like the book title, author, genre, the number of pages, when you read it, what format you read it in, a quote from the book and the space for a review. I also love the idea of having all the book covers in my reading journal, so included space to glue mini covers on each review page.
2. Not just book reviews.
I’ve been following a few booktokers over the last year or so, and seeing what they’ve included in their book bullet journals has been so handy for me, both in working out what I wanted but also what I didn’t want.
I’m not interested in including chalenges, but I realised some might want to, so I have intentionally left a couple of blank pages. I would also love to have a top 5 or top 10 page but know others aren’t interested in that, so that is what I’m going to be using one of my blank pages for.
Some extra pages I have included though are:
- a star rating reference to remember what your star ratings mean throughout the rest of the journal.
- a handy list of books you’ve read and their star rating, so that you don’t have to flip back through all your review pages to remember what you’ve read in the year.
- a bar chart for number of books read each month of the year, and another bar chart for number of pages read each month.
- a reading goal page which is a page of 60 blank books. The idea is that you number the books up to how many you want to read, then colour the books in as you read one, to hopefully have a page of coloured, numbered books by the end of the year.
I’ve been colouring mine in the colours of my star ratings so that I have a record of how many of each star rating I’ve read over the year.
- a bookcase to colour in as you see fit (as seen above).
- 12 monthly stat pages which are short and simple recap pages which also include a small illustration to colour in
3. Hand lettered type and little illustrations.
I really enjoyed adding my signature hand lettering to all the page titles, and drawing little bookish illustrations to colour in - once complete, the reading journal is lovely and colourful and is mindful to fill in without being overwhelming.
4. A lovely penguin classics inspired cover.
Using a dark dusty pink, the cover of the reading journal is covered in little book cover illustrations and has a similar feel to the linen covered penguin classics books, though it is just printed, rather than fabric covered. The words Reading Journal are hand lettered amidst the open book covers that adorn the cover.
Future plans for other covers are in the works, and a blue and or green cover will be coming in 2024, with all the same awesome pages inside the reading journal. So if this pinky colour is not your thing, stay tuned! If it is your thing, you can get yours here.