Yesterday I finished my fifth reading journal, and so I thought that it would be a good opportunity to write a post about how I set up my reading journal.
I use my reading journal to keep track of what I read and to encourage me to read more. This is the journal that I’ve just finished, a Moleskine Two-Go:
I used to use a Field Notes Arts and Sciences notebook for my reading journal, but once I got back to reading more it made sense to move to a larger journal. For the past three years I’ve used the Moleskine Two-Go, and I fill one book journal a year (70 books are logged in each notebook).
This is the setup in my old reading journal. Three pages of index:
The Moleskine Two-Go comes with pages that are blank on one side and lined on another, which is perfect for my use case, except for the second index page, which I need to rule myself:
I missed a line on the second index page, so the index numbering came out a little wonky. It’s only for me, so I don’t mind.
Here’s a sample of a complete page. I talked more about my thoughts behind the design in a previous post, but you can get the gist by looking at this sample. I like drawing something that captures the book for me on the opposite page, which is why I love the Moleskine Two-Go format.
At the very last page of the journal I keep a log of how many books I read that month. It’s ten books so far for December, but the month isn’t done yet so that line isn’t filled.
Here is my new reading journal, a Moleskine Two-Go, this time in green (my previous ones were in light grey, dark grey and navy):
I love the texture of the fabric colours on this, and the shade of green is interesting. The two contrasting bookmarks and the endpapers are grey.
The first page, marking when I started the notebook and which journal number it is. This notebook doesn’t leave my desk yet I still write my name and email in case I misplace it somehow.
Next comes the index page. Since this is my third Two-Go reading journal I already know to number the pages until 139 (I number odd pages only, since my reviews are on odd pages), which comes out to 70 books.
I rule the second page, because I tried just winging it on the first year and it didn’t come out great.
On the last page I create my books per month tracker:
I number all the pages of the index, but only the first 25 pages of the actual book journal. I will continue numbering pages in batches as I add books to the journal. The great advantage of using a completely unstructured book here is that I can do whatever I want with it, including starting the numbering after the index pages and not on the first notebook page.
These are the pen and pencils that I’ll be using in this journal. The Rotring 600 is a ballpoint, and the only ballpoint that I regularly use. The Caran d’Ache Bicolor has been my companion in these notebooks for several years. I use it to highlight things, and sometimes in my book scene sketches. I used the Blackwing 611 in my previous reading journal, and this time I’ll be using the Blackwing 4.
The first non fiction book in this journal:
The first fiction book in this journal:
That’s my new reading journal all set up and ready to go. I hope that this inspires you to keep a reading journal of your own, one that will encourage you to read more and help evoke the memories of reading a specific book.