What is Reading Journal?

What is Reading Journal

A Reading Journal is a very useful tool for keeping track of the books you have read and what you think about them. It is a simple and creative way to become better readers, and get the most out of reading. The Reading Journal also has other uses, such as keeping records of the books we want to read, keeping recommendations from friends, and much more.

How to start a Reading Journal
Creating the first entries in your reading journal
How to establish a logging habit
What do I need to start the Reading Journal?
Frequent questions

Beyond the practical utilities mentioned, these types of notebooks or templates help us improve our reading comprehension, retain important information or information that we want to keep, manage timelines with dates of when we start and finish a book, and even perform a critical analysis of the readings carried out.

This article aims to help you create your own reading notebook. From the format, the initial setup and how to make the first entries, to how to create an effective recording habit.

How to start a Reading Journal

How to start a Reading Journal?

1. Choice of format

The first step to creating your Reading Journal is to decide the format of the notebook. It is possible to use a physical notebook, or digital options such as apps or text documents. Our recommendation is that you carry the notebook physically, since they offer several advantages over digital options.

  1. Deeper connection . The act of writing by hand on paper strengthens the connection with the words, generating a deeper memory of the readings you write down. It also allows greater customization, since you can add drawings, stickers or bookmarks, turning the process into something much more intimate and meaningful for you.
  2. Less distractions . With a physical notebook you will avoid the common distractions of digital devices, and moments of disconnection from technology are created, something very beneficial for concentration and mental well-being.
  3. Improved retention and comprehension . Writing by hand activates areas of the brain related to learning and memory.
  4. Access without technological dependence . A physical Reading Journal notebook does not require internet access, nor does it depend on the battery, so it will always be available when you want to make notes. Additionally, physical notebooks are less susceptible to technological issues such as file corruption or software incompatibility over time.
  5. Health benefits . Reducing screen time has benefits for eyesight and reduces eye fatigue. The process of handwriting can also be meditative and therapeutic, as it reduces stress and encourages creativity.

Although digital options offer their own advantages, the physical notebook has a unique charm and specific benefits that can make Reading Journal practice a richer and more personal experience. Here I leave you some templates so you can start keeping your reading notebook.

Creating the first entries in your reading journal

2. Initial setup

Once you have decided on the support on which you will create your Reading Journal, it is time to effectively organize your notebook. Here are some ideas on how you can achieve it:

  1. Index . Dedicate the first few pages of your Reading Journal to creating an index. And update it as you add entries to make it easier to quickly find specific books or notes.
  2. Page numbering . If your notebook doesn't come with numbered pages, take a moment to do it yourself. This way you will have a functional index and you will be able to organize your notes effectively.
  3. Fixed sections . These should always be in your Reading Journal:
  • Book summaries . In this section you must write a brief summary of each book read. This will help you remember the plot and key points.
  • Favorite quotes . Dedicate a section to recording quotes that have impacted or inspired you, and note why they are meaningful to you.
  • Personal reflections . Reserve some space for your personal thoughts about the books. How has this reading affected you? Has your perspective changed?
  • Character analysis . If you like to delve deeper into the characters, consider a section to analyze them, their motivations, and their development throughout the story.

4. Lists and records . Keep track of the books you've read, along with the completion date. This gives you a clear view of your reading habits over time. Also keep a list of books you want to read. You can organize it by priority, genre, or author.

5. Use of color and symbols . Use colors to categorize entries by gender, feelings or priorities. Create a set of symbols to quickly jot down common ideas (e.g. a heart for parts you love, a question mark for confusing concepts).

3. Other interesting sections that you can add to your Reading Journal

  • Goals and achievements section . Set annual or monthly goals for the number of books you want to read, and track your progress. And it incorporates challenges, such as reading a book from each continent or completing a famous series.
  • Periodic reviews . In this section you can reflect on your readings in specific periods, highlighting your favorites, surprises, and disappointments.
  • Leave room for creativity . If you have artistic inclinations you can incorporate illustrations of scenes or characters from your readings.

Experiment with these ideas and adjust your organization to what best suits your needs and preferences.

How to establish a logging habit

Creating the first entries in your Reading Journal

With good structure and regularity, you can establish a journaling habit and turn annotations into a rewarding part of your reading routine. Here are some examples to create the first entries in your Reading Journal:

Creating the first entries in your reading journal

Examples of first entries

  1. Summary entry for your latest book .
  • Reading start and end date : January 1 - January 15.
  • Summary : Write a brief summary of the plot, focusing on the main points and the outcome.
  • Main Characters : List and briefly describe the main characters and their roles in the story.
  • Personal impressions : Reflect on how the book made you feel, what you thought about the characters and the plot.

2. Favorite quotes entry .
  • Quote : "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man, possessed of a great fortune, needs a wife."
  • Page : 135.
  • Commentary : Reflect on why this quote is meaningful to you or how it reflects a central theme of the book.

3. Thematic reflection entry.

  • Topic : Social classes and marriage.
  • Reflection : Discuss how the book addresses the topic and what you learned or how it made you reflect on it in your personal life.

How to establish a logging habit

Set a specific time to write. Decide if you prefer to spend a few minutes each day in your Reading Journal or if it is better for you to have longer sessions once a week. The important thing is consistency.

Make sure your reading notebook is always in a place where you can easily see and access it. This will remind you to make your entries regularly.

Start with short entries. If the idea of ​​writing long posts seems overwhelming, start with short notes about what you read. You can expand your entries as you feel more comfortable.

Reflect on the Process. Spend time thinking about how the process of maintaining a Reading Journal benefits your reading experience. This can motivate you to continue the habit.

Be flexible and creative. Not all your posts have to follow a fixed format. Experiment with different types of entries to keep your curiosity and interest alive.

And finally, share your discoveries. Talking about your Reading Journal with friends or in book clubs can increase your motivation. Sharing your reflections or discoveries can make the process more interactive and rewarding.

What do I need to start the Reading Journal?

To start your Reading Journal you will need some basic materials that will allow you to organize your thoughts, reflections and analysis about the readings effectively.

  1. Notebook or diary . Choose a notebook that inspires you to write . It can have smooth, squared, dotted or striped leaves, depending on your preference.
  2. Pens and pencils . Have good quality pens on hand that write smoothly and that you feel comfortable with. Pencils are useful for making preliminary notes or for those who prefer the ability to erase and correct easily.
  3. Colored markers . Useful for highlighting important quotes, themes or for categorizing your readings by genre, author, or any other classification system you want to use.
  4. Post-its and sticky notes . Perfect for adding additional thoughts to pages without writing directly on them. They are also useful for bookmarking specific pages for quick reference.
  5. Stickers and washi tape . They provide a personal touch and can be themed according to the book or the emotion you want to reflect. They are also great for decorating, creating tabs for sections, or marking important pages.
  6. Book clips and bookmarks . With clips you can keep related pages together or mark the current page you're working on. Use a bookmark to know where you left your last entry without having to fold the corners of the pages.

Additional Tips : Choose materials that reflect your personal style. This will make the process more enjoyable and motivate you to maintain your Reading Journal. If you plan to use heavy inks or highlighters, consider a notebook with heavier weight paper to prevent bleed-through. With these materials and our tips, you'll be well equipped to start your Reading Journal, creating a personalized space for your reading reflections, analysis, and literary creativity.

Frequent questions

What is a Reading Journal or reading diary?

A reading diary, also known as a Reading Journal, is a personal tool where reflections, analysis, and comments on the books you have read are recorded. It is not only limited to summarizing the content, but also allows you to explore thoughts and feelings that arise while reading.

How do you make a reading diary?

To create a reading journal you must select a format that fits your preferences and decide on its organization, from a free structure to predetermined sections. Record reading summaries, personal reflections, favorite quotes, and analysis of characters and themes, personalizing your journal to enrich your reading experience.

How can keeping a Reading Journal help me?

Keeping a Reading Journal improves comprehension and retention, encourages critical thinking, contributes to personal development by reflecting on new perspectives and life lessons, and inspires creativity by writing about various aspects of books.