Start A Reading Journal! But Of Course, It’s Not That Easy – At Least Not For The Nervous Reader
Yay I Finished A Book… Now What?
You’ve just finished reading a book. Maybe it was the 6th book you’ve read this month, or maybe it was the first one you’ve finished this decade – either way, congratulations! Now what?
You might think that you’re done with the book, that you can now move on to the next title on your list, or finally just have closure on that whole “book reading” thing and move on to your next Netflix binge.
You would be wrong.
You are forgetting about documenting what you’ve read. Because as we all know, in this age of Social MeMeMedia, if you don’t post it somewhere, it didn’t happen. Unless you live under a rock – in which case… how do your books fit under there??
But for reals, I’m talking about keeping a reading journal.
So What Is A Reading Journal?
This is different from a TBR, or to be read list. While both of them allow you to indulge your list obsession, there are a few major differences:
- A TBR list is an anxiety producing tool to help you obsess over all the books you’ve come across that look SUPER interesting, and that you want to read. And then you’re reminded of how little time you actually have to do any reading, and you watch the list grow longer and longer with no sign of EVER catching up, not to mention, how to solve the problem of what to read next?? Unless you’re one of those “read the next thing on the list” people. How droll.
- A reading journal, on the other hand, lets you gloat over how many books you have read so far, and ideally you’ll write a short to unnecessarily long review / summary of what you’ve just read. You know, so you don’t forget. Because if you read enough, you might forget. Or your memory starts going, regarding what you read and what it was about. Which mine did, around the age of 25. I worked for B&N for seven years and honestly can’t remember anything I read, except for maybe Hell’s Angels by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Also, reading journals are great for us OCD folks because it’s a lot like crossing stuff off your list. Or even better, it’s like making a WHOLE NEW LIST. It’s like Heaven, amiright?
But seriously, plain and simple – you should have a reading journal. Because books.
OK, You’ve Convinced Me To Start Another List.
So now that you’re going to keep a reading journal, you are faced with the next question:
What should my reading journal look like?
SO MANY CHOICES…
Electronic or Hardcopy?
What information do you want to keep track of?
Are you going to review the book and give a short summary?
What about a rating system?
At first, I decided to go Old School and create a paper reading journal. I went out and bought a cute little binder and everything (because office supplies). I really thought this would work for me, but it just didn’t. I’m not really sure why… maybe it’s because I seem to be too hurried to hand-write anything. Typing is so much faster, and plus, I can access my electronic journal from anywhere, via Google Drive (don’t get me started on what happened when I tried to use Microsoft OneDrive, %^*$%*#$%)
So after doing a little research, I created a template for myself, that I fill out when I finish a book. It’s quick, easy, and for me, well… the quicker and easier something is, the more likely I am to stick with it. So I finish reading something and BAM! I’ve got my journal updated.
Too bad it still takes me so long to finish a damn book.
for the paper lovers:
Handy bits of info you might want to include in your reading journal entries – it’s from a real school so you know it’s legit.
We’ll check back in soon to find out if this method is still working…
And the topic of the TBR will be addressed in a separate, yet equally obsessive article series, of course.