Thursday, February 19th, 2015

The Art of Journaling: Do You Keep A Reading Journal?



Do you keep a reading journal? It’s basically a record of what you’ve read – impressions, reactions, questions, quotes, etc. It should at the very least include the date, title of the book, and the author’s name.

In one of the quotes below, the author wishes she would have kept a log listing all the books read since childhood and you know what? Me too! I’ve always been a voracious reader and over time, I tend to forget what I’ve read. It was only just recently that I came across the children’s book, “Gus Was a Friendly Ghost.” I’d completely forgotten all about Gus! It makes me wonder about what else I’ve forgotten.

How to Keep a book journal “A book journal preserves your reactions to what you read. This can make you a better reader and writer. As time passes, you will love reading through your journal and charting the evolution of your tastes. It can also add an exciting dimension to your book group.”

What is a Reading Journal?  “When reading and assessing complex types of writing, a “reading journal” can be helpful for recording observations and questions. A reading journal is more structured than mere “first impressions” or “personal reactions.” It helps you prepare for class discussion by collecting your insights or raising questions for us to pursue. It also helps you prepare notes on the material which may help with test questions.”

How To Keep a Reading Log or Book Journal  “A reading log or book journal is a great place to react to what you read. You can find out exactly how you feel about the characters; you may gain insight about the theme and plot; and you can expand your overall enjoyment of the literature.”

9 Reasons to Keep A Reading Journal “Whether it’s for pleasure, escape, research, study, or project….we read because we want to get something out of the experience. And when you finish reading that book, you feel something. By keeping a reading journal, you are spending more time on capturing that fleeting “something”.”

How To Keep A Reading Journal “To keep an insightful reading journal, record your insights as they happen.”

Back to School: Keep an Academic Reading Journal “The idea is, you record what you read, key ideas and quotes from the text, and your own reflections on the work, allowing you to fairly accurately recreate your initial reading at a later date, perhaps a much later date.”

Keeping a Reading Journal “If the reading has been very complicated, you may want to begin by summarizing it, in order to sort out the information covered. But you should not stop there. Go on to tell me what you think of what you’ve read. Try to make sense of it in light of what you’ve previously known about the subject and what you know about the text in general.”

How to Start a Reading Journal “The journal serves as a record of what I read and when, how many books I read per year, and what specific reactions I had. More than once I’ve gone back to my journal to determine what year I read a certain book, and not only if I liked it, but why.”

Do You Keep a Reading Journal? “Now, I’m trying to remember to list my books on the “Recently Read” and “In My Stacks” pages of Books on the Table, but I’m not even doing very well with that. I wish I’d kept a journal of all the books I’ve read, starting in childhood.”

11 thoughts on “The Art of Journaling: Do You Keep A Reading Journal?

  1. oh i wish i had record of all the books i’ve read since childhood. i started keeping one around 2001 … my current journal is just about full, hmm.

  2. Nope. But I do read my journals.
    I have a page of Notes on my phone that, along with my library acct info, has a list books and authors I look for at the library and Rediscovered, our local indie seller.

  3. As a student I was taught that you have to write to read. I don’t keep a log of every book I read but I do write about the ones that capture my attention.

  4. I’ve logged every book I’ve read since I was 13–almost 45 years of books. I read a lot, and I’ve referred back to my journals many times. I started by just listing the title, author, date finished, and a simple rating. I now include a few sentences about each book.

  5. I think this is a great article, I’ve been keeping a commonplace book since college. The level of comprehension and recall is amazing with regards to the books I write about in my commonplace book..

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