One of the projects on my never-ending to-do list is to update my reading journal. I keep a notebook of every single book I’ve ever read, and it’s been a few years since I have added to it. I love this kind of record keeping because as much as it is nice to keep reading spreadsheets or track books on Goodreads/The Story Graph, there is something special about the tactical experience of flipping through a notebook to see what I read (& my handwriting!) in 7th grade, 12th grade, my junior year in college (where my now-husband wrote down dozens of titles for me), as a 25 year old, and now, in my late 30s. It’s not a fancy reading journal — it’s an index card size plain notebook — but I won’t lie. Every time I see beautiful reading journals online, I am deeply tempted to grab one.
If you haven’t kept a reading journal, it’s something worth considering. Whether you want a simple record or would like to use a reading journal to track challenges or goals, there are plenty of options out there for you. Book Riot has a pretty rad option with our Read Harder log, of course, but here’s a look at several other fun, useful, and gorgeous reading journals.
Reading Journals to Track Your Bookish Life
Keep track of your TBR, your monthly reading, an annual review of what you’ve read, and have space for book reviews with this soft-sided reading journal. Choose a journal with or without a bookmark, $21-$25.
This reading journal offers you space to track your TBR, the books you’ve read, favorite books, books that you’ve lent out, and the books you did not finish. You can also keep tabs on your reading habits, tracking daily reading, any challenges you might be taking on, and a space where you can color in your own book stacks. There’s a green and a beige color option, $25.
The previous two reading trackers aren’t dated, so you can use them anytime. But if you’re looking for a planner you can use to track one year of your life in books, this one by Novelly Yours is a great option. You can keep tabs on up to 23 books per month, recording: title, author, rating, date started, date finished, number of books read in the month, numbers book read in the year (for a running total), source, genre, format, number of pages, and owned vs. borrowed. There is space for monthly recaps, tracking challenge progress, and more. $30.
When you buy one of these little reading log notebooks to track your thoughts about your book club reading (or your own, if you don’t book club), you actually get two. Perfect for giving to a pal for buddy reading or for keeping a notebook in your bag with you as your travel notebook. These would also obviously make great book club gifts. $10.
Want to splurge and get yourself a custom reading journal? You can. This vintage-style option lets you personalize the cover with your name (or anything else you’d like to put in that space). The journal itself has four tabbed sections that let you track book details, favorite authors, to-read list, and notes. $50.
The minimalist style of this book journal gives it such a classy look. It lies flat when opened, and it has space for up to 100 book reviews. There are also tons of options for making lists, including: characters I want to remember, desert island books, book wish list, book club ideas, reading challenges, beloved quotes, and more. $30 — you can choose from several cover options if the one above isn’t your style.
Keep track of your reading with this ~100 page journal (with stickers!). You can record an overview of books you want to read and books you’ve purchased, as well as track book releases, reviews of titles you’ve read, and your progress on any challenges you’re taking on. $17 and up, as you can get a discount on purchasing a set of these — that would make a nice gift for your book bestie and you.
Take this tiny reading journal with you on the go so you can take notes and write your review of those books you finish. $11.
Are you interested in a colorful reading journal that not only has a bright and fun cover but has an array of colorful pages, too? This is your winner. Track your TBR, your reading habits, and more. $23.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Quirky Cup Collective’s immaculate reading journal. This thing is the definition of luxe — you can choose from a forest green or a deep blue, and the edges of the reading journal are all gilded. At over 350 pages, the journal has space and prompts for all of the bookish tracking and writing you could ever possibly want to do. As of writing, the journal is out of stock, but it will be restocked soon. $45.
Looking for other ways to track and sort your reading life? You’ll want to peep these reading tracker bookmarks — they’d go nicely inside one of these journals! — and these clever ways to read down your TBR.
– Kelly Jensen
No More Baldwin, Morrison, or Green: Clay County District School’s Materials Policy a Book Banner’s Dream
The Best Biographies of 2022
12 Books to Make You Ugly Cry