2017 will be the year where I break a long-held rule. I’ve decided to make a New Year’s Resolution.
A friend reminded me that I once said the only point of resolutions was to oil the wheels of New Year’s Eve party small talk until the champagne kicked in. She also reminded me that my favorite New Year’s wish is a quote by Joey Adams, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.”
Guilty on both counts but I figure the best way to keep a resolution is to announce it loud and clear. So here is mine: in 2017 I plan to start and keep a reading journal.
What? No diets, fitness programs, mindfulness training, Spartan-like budgeting or some other way to become a better me in 2017? No, to become a better reader is more my thing.
What Exactly Is A Reading Journal?
Essentially, it’s a way to organize thoughts about what is being read, to make it easy for the reader to process impressions, feelings, and perceptions.
Do I Need A Journal For That?
Yes, and here’s why: recently I was straightening up my bookshelf and came across a copy of Fascinate by Sally Hogshead. There were eight little sticky notes in the book. The passages marked had obviously caught my interest at the time but I can’t remember why. I probably should read it again to find out.
Then there is my Kindle – I love the function where you can highlight text. Take for example, The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman; I’ve highlighted 15 passages that, for some reason, really took my fancy. Unfortunately, I didn’t make notes so I can’t remember why.
My journal will be an aid-memoir, a record of my impressions and will help me organize my thoughts about what I’m reading.
Here Are Three More Reasons:
- The journal can act as a prompt to search out similar books on the same theme, or to seek out other books by the author. I often intend to do this but something catches my eye, sending me in another direction
- With fiction, journaling could be a way to note themes as they develop and to record thoughts about characters
- Keeping a journal is a way to remember what I’ve read. Sometimes, when I’m swiping through the list on my Kindle, I’m surprised at what I find; that doesn’t mean a book wasn’t memorable, it means that I moved on quickly to my next read.
What Type Of Journal Should I Chose?
The short answer is one that suits me. I could choose a simple notebook and personalize it to my heart’s content, or I could go for classic styling, or maybe a theme that is dear to my heart.
Here are five to consider:
1. The Book Lover’s Journal by Rene J Smith
Judging by sales rank and review, The Book Lover’s Journal is popular. No wonder, it includes a host of features; a few standouts are a reading wish list, a record of books borrowed and lent, and a place to add info about book groups, fellow readers, and ‘book friends’.
2. What I Read (Red) Mini Journal by Potter Style
The name Moleskine has been linked to writers like Ernest Hemingway and Bruce Chatwin. As the company was founded in 1997, the link is tenuous but the classic lines of Moleskine notebooks were inspired by the simplicity of books used by Ernest and Bruce.
4. A Tolkien Journal by Running Press
Tolkien fans will be inspired by the pictures throughout. I think this would make a great companion gift to go with Tolkien’s novels for a young reader; it might inspire them to take up journaling.
5. Jane Austen Journal by Potter Style
Austen fans will love her musings which are peppered throughout, and there’s space for adding photos or related imagery. Wish I’d had something like this when I’d started out reading Austen all those years ago.
Still, there’s no time like the present. Who knows, my reading journal may give me ideas for my own writing. Check back with me this time next year to find out.
YouTube Channel: WhittyNovels
Featured image via Flickr
h/t About Education