The MMD printable reading journal.

The MMD printable reading journal.

As a rule, I’d rather be reading than recording what I’m reading.

But I do it anyway, because I love having a record of what I’ve read, and what I want to read.

While Goodreads is nice, I have a soft spot in my heart for paper. I like to touch, browse, and jot notes in the margins. Besides, there’s nothing worse than intending to read, grabbing your phone or your laptop to plug in the book you’re about to start, and falling down the social media rabbit hole. 20 minutes later you forgot why you got online in the first place and you forgot all about your book. (That can’t be just me.)

reading journal 1

There are great reading journals on the market (this is my favorite), but ready-made journals lack flexibility. Blank books are nice, but some of you (and that includes me) need a template to get started.

That’s why I’m delighted to introduce the printable MMD reading journal.

reading journal 3

Here’s what you’ll find in the journal:

• a blank “books I want to read” list
• a blank “books I abandoned” list
• 30 full two-page book entry spreads, to record thoughts, quotes, and opinions at length
• 12 3-per-page book entry pages, for when you want to remember you read a book but don’t want to journal about it
• 8 pages of reading inspiration
• 16 pages for note-taking
• lots of bookish quotes for your enjoyment

reading journal 5

This journal is designed to be flexible. (Hat tip to Lauren of Santa Clara Designs who worked hard to make it easy to use.) Print all the pages, or just the ones that interest you. Print as many or as few book entry pages as you desire. If you love to take notes print plenty of notes pages.

reading journal 2

Here’s how to use it:

1. Check your inbox. The journal is free to all subscribers (blog or newsletter). All current subscribers should have a journal ready and waiting for them. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.

2. Download the journal. (I recommend downloading it instead of printing from a preview pane.)

3. Print the journal (or selected pages, as you choose). The PDF is designed for single-sided printing. The cover page is in color (it’s not necessary to print it in color, but it sure is pretty); the rest is black and white.

4. You can leave the journal full size (8.5 x 11), but I cut mine in half to create a 5.5 x 8.5 journal. (I love the deckle-edge effect I got from cutting the pages in half.)

reading journal 6

5. To finish the journal, either:

• Hole punch it and place it in a 3-ring binder. I love the binder option because you can easily add and remove pages and dividers. (My Avery polka dot binder is from Target: this is the same binder in a pretty floral design. These are the dividers shown.)

• Have it spiral-bound at an office supply store. Kinko’s did mine for $3.99. (They also printed my cover page in full color; I used thick cardstock for the front and back covers.) The spiral-bound version looks terrific and is more compact, but it’s not as flexible. (I use book darts in my own spiral-bound journal for keeping my place.)

I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback on this Journal 1.0 project. Thanks for subscribing, using, and sharing!

I never travel without my reading journal

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  1. Charleen says:

    I’ve subscribed three times and still haven’t received the journal link if I could get that please? Loving all your articles too by the way.

  2. Sarah Bowden says:

    I was so excited reading this blog. I love your journal and haven’t found any on Amazon I like at all. I will have to wait. Sigh ! In the process of moving from a moldy house. Love your podcast, blogs and recommendations. I will be purchasing my first book today in a long time. I have it narrowed it down to 3 I think =)

  3. Gwen says:

    Hey.. I love your blog and your reading journal.. I have a request. can you please write a post about your personal reading journal. I really want to see how you fill it in. 🙂

  4. Debbie Thomas Martin says:

    Looking for suggestions!
    Our book club is a mix of young and older women. When we started our group was small so when there was an event such as a member having a baby, or someone moving away we would ask for a donation from m the members to buy a gift, but now that we’ve grown and so many of the younger members are getting married, births, etc, it’s gotten out of hand and we would like to handle this differently. How do other groups address this in their groups?
    Thank you for any suggestions!

    • We are constantly having moms have new babies in our group. So we don’t do donations or gifts but instead for each mom we set up a meal schedule (there are a lot of great sites that offer this service for free) and then whoever is available can sign up on the schedule. This helps each mom feel supported and not everyone helps every time. We just naturally rotate. We often have military moms move away. We have a private facebook group and they will often post about items they can’t take and want to sell, and whoever is interested will buy them and we support them that way. Hope that helps, glad your group is growing!

  5. I’m so excited to try the journal. I’m emerging from the ‘baby fog’ of having an infant. My little guy is now 7 months old and I’ve got a huge stack of books I’m ready to dive into, and just like Anne said it’s always a struggle to write about what I read, but I’ll regret it if I don’t. I love having summaries of what I read and what stuck out to me.

  6. Lorelei Perkins says:

    Hi, I would love to show this off at my next book club meeting. When I subscribed 2 days ago, I don’t think I saw the link for the journal. Help, please!

    • Just a tip, in a pinch – you can copy the url for this page and open it in a private browsing window or in a different browser and then put your address in the Subscribe to Updates box and click submit. I got a link to download the journal in my welcome email when I subscribed. You might need to use your spouse or friend’s email address if you’re already subscribed, I don’t know.
      I haven’t used the journal yet but I have it on my to do list to take it to Kinkos and get it bound for a few dollars like someone else recommended. I’m excited because I’m almost in the middle of a ton of books, I use Google Keep on my phone to take notes but like she said I don’t want to always have my phone with me, or get distracted.

  7. Janet McDonald says:

    I do not see the download for the reading journal. Hope do I get it? I am subscribed to your emails. Thank you.

  8. Katrina says:


    What a perfectly lovely reading journal! I’ve always been a Goodreads gal, though I’ve slacked off on both notating and reading in the past year, as I’ve been growing my online fourth-grade teaching business. But now I’m going to try paper again with your journal. There is nothing — NOTHING — like the feel of dark ink spilling out of your favorite pen onto a fresh sheet of paper. (I love the UniBall Vision Elite, Black, Fine. What a pen!)

    By the way, have you discovered the Canterbury Classics Word Cloud editions? They are affordable, yet feel so luxurious. That book company just nailed it with these editions. They came out with the last 2 Jane Austens as well, just this past week, I believe. Obviously, I have to order them. 🙂

    Thanks again for such a lovely gift to your listeners!

  9. Louise Hesse says:

    I am unable to download the reading journal after trying twice. Obviously I am doing something incorrectly. Thus, I will try again, but would appreciate a word of advice from you. Thank you so much for your help!

  10. I just downloaded the pdf of your journal and gotta say this,very unique type of journal it is.No doubt that when you have this opened besides a novel ,it will make you write down the things you loved in that novel.Getting My Spiral BOUND Copy SOON…….😊😊

  11. Dianne says:

    Tip: You need to print the book in landscape layout. You may also need to choose to print in black and white.

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