I’m taking a new approach to tracking the books I read this year! I’m slowly filling a dot grid notebook in the bullet journal style. I’ve made spreads to track my titles, monthly summaries, audio vs. print, how much my library saves me every year, and book reviews. In this post, I will be sharing the second part of my book bullet journal. My previous post has the first part of the journal.
The next layout in my book journal is my Kindle Read Down Challenge. This encourages me to read my Kindle library – books I’ve purchased on Amazon or have received as my free monthly First Reads. I add a mini picture of the cover as I finish each one. I’m casually trying to read one book per month.
In January, I read the new Dean Koontz book that I purchased, so I put that cover on the page.
One layout that I do not have in my journal that some other book journals have, is a physical TBR (to be read) challenge. This is because I don’t really buy physical books. Last year, I only purchased three (printed) books. Of those three, I have only one unread book. Others might benefit from tracking that type of data. This is why I’m opting for a Kindle challenge instead of a physical TBR challenge.
My next double page layout is my favorite: it’s the StoryGraph Challenge. In other peoples’ journals, this might be called the GoodReads Challenge, but this year, I’m using StoryGraph to record my reading for the year, digitally.
For this layout, every time I finish a book, I color in a 2×2 block. A commenter on Instagram said it looked like a board game. I think that’s true! There are 100 blocks in this spread. We’ll see how far I read! There’s room to add more blocks if I need to.
Next up, we have a 5-Star Favorites page, and then there are a few more empty pages for extra room. I’ve been gluing cover photos of the books onto the blank side as I finish a favorite book. I’m up to 8 so far this year. I think it might be fun to show the finished pages at the end of the year?!
The next double spread is a Monthly Summary layout. On this page, I fill in the monthly totals of total books read, pages read, and the quantities of print vs. e-books vs. audiobooks. The purpose of this summary page is to see the entire year at a glance for comparison. This info is pulled directly from each individual month’s page. There’s not a lot of decoration here besides a strip of washi tape and using my markers to color each month’s header.
I love the next section – it’s a summary of my monthly library savings. Last year, I told my husband that the library saves me a fortune. I guess we’ll find out exactly how much this year! In January, my savings were $164.38. I typically enter books here in batches. I recommend using the book price however/wherever you would normally purchase books. I don’t count re-reads or books I own, obviously.
If I had a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, I would probably add an additional layout to find out how many KU books I read per month to see if it was worth the subscription cost. Conversely, if I had a membership to BOTM, I would add a layout to track how many of those books I read vs. accumulate.
The monthly summaries for each month are the most labor intensive pages, besides the book reviews. In the above photo, I have listed what I read in January next to a calendar with highlighted bars. The bars indicate when I started/ended reading each title and the color corresponds with the underline color of each listed title. For example, the 31st has a single bar going through that day, marker colored in purple, and it was the last book I read for the month, started and finished in one day – #15 – How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz.
The book number of each book also corresponds to the Library Savings page. I draw a little headphone picture next to the titles that I listened via the audiobook version on the Libby app.
On the opposite page, I have a book stack photo of some titles I read in January. Underneath, the data for the month is detailed in boxes: books, pages, fiction/non-fiction, print vs. ebook, etc. This data is transferred to the Monthly Summary page. I obtain the pages read total from the StoryGraph app.
Lastly, my reading journal has book reviews. I’ve used stickers for the numbers, and I hand write everything else, including drawing the stars. I had a great start to the year – so many good star ratings! I loved starting the year with so many books I looked forward to reading. That helped me get off to a good start.
For February, I just turned the page after my most recent book review and started February’s summary on the next page. These pages are pretty thin, so in places, I glue blank pages back to back. Adding patterned cardstock also works.
Looking ahead: there are so many options for additional layouts in a reading journal. I’m thinking about adding a TBR list – as sort of a wish list of books I want to read. Also, a list for upcoming releases that I don’t want to forget about.
That’s all I’ve got so far! Thanks for reading.
To Print Book Photos:
- Screenshot book covers from website/google search. Edit to remove background.
- Use a collage app to select book covers to make one image from many. I use PicCollage.
- Print or upload to photo printing service.