One of my goals last year was to read a lot of books. I wanted to reach 50, but once I reached it, I knew I could aim higher. I bumped up my goal to 100, and ended up very close.
How did I do it? Well, last year, I tried something new: using a reading journal to track all of my bookish data (to-reads, what I read this year, Goodreads challenges, etc.).
Perhaps you’ve heard of bullet journals, meant as an aesthetic way to portray your life, with mood trackers, movies watched, grades, etc. There’s total freedom in choosing what you want to write about and how you want to write it.
Well, a reading journals are bullet journals dedicated solely to books, and work in a similar fashion. You can choose different pages for your journal for different topics, and decorate and design them the way you’d like. Also, don’t forget: half of the fun is choosing the notebook itself!
Here's what I had in my reading journal:
- The Goodreads 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime List (edited slightly according to which books I think will interest me)
- Reading challenges and my progress
- Books I’d like to read (also known as to-reads)
- Favorite books of all time
- More pages of to-reads…
I also had a few pages dedicated to writing, but it was mainly for reading. I tried to update my journal as often as possible to keep the most current numbers.
So why stick with a journal? There are sites to help you keep track of your reading progress, but I love writing everything down. At the end of the day, it makes me feel more accomplished than a few clicks ever could (however, I do respect if you use websites to help you, because they are quick and simple). In addition, you can bring your record with you everywhere, without having to worry about any Wifi connection. You can even design your own layouts, titles, and fonts in your journal. Also, it’s pretty interesting to see how many books you’ve read at the end of the month and at the end of the year!
Most importantly, though, I think it’s important to keep track of what you do, no matter where or how you do it. Keeping track of what I read kept me motivated to keep going. This can be applied to any goal, and I think that you’ll find yourself being more efficient, and happier, by writing/listing/typing out how much closer you are to your dreams.
So do you want to start a reading journal? How do you keep track of books you've read or want to read? Do you journal? I’d love to hear about it below!