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.)
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.
Here’s what you’ll find in the reading 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
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.
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.)
5. To finish the reading 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!