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How (and Why) to Keep a Book Lover's Journal

Updated on February 20, 2012

A book lover’s journal is simply a journal of the books that you have read. It could also be called a Book Journal, Book Log or Book Diary. I love the term, ‘Book Lover’s Journal’ myself because the first one I was given was when I was about 10 had the title. It’s beautifully bound and is full of art and information all related to books and literature. Today, that same book purchased new is worth nearly 100$, but there are many other options for your own Book Journal.

My first Book Lover's Journal
My first Book Lover's Journal

Why should I keep one?

Do you ever go too quickly from one book to the other? I’ve found that when I jump from book to book I don’t give myself the time to absorb everything I just read. I can’t be fully affected by or immersed in the author’s work. For me, taking the time to consider what I just read and make comments about it is the best reason for keeping a Book Lover’s Journal. Of course there are many more reasons:

  • You read a lot of books
  • You have a hard time remembering the details of books
  • If you are a writer they are a great way to keep notes of things you did or didn't like from another author’s work
  • Love of literature
  • To compare one book to the other
  • To compare your experiences with a book on second and third reads

A recent entry
A recent entry

I love going back to the earliest entries in my first book lover’s journal and reading what I thought about books as a child. For example, here are my comments on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina in 2001 (I would have been 12):

Regardless of people’s warnings that this book presented too much of a challenge for a seventh grader I tackled and immensely enjoyed this work of Russian literature.

Wow, clearly from way up on my high horse I was not able to write a single thing that I actually liked about Anna Karenina, just that I tackled it. Today, I remember being so confused by that entire book in seventh grade. I love seeing the difference from the haughty and self-aware young girl to my more recent entry on Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last year:

Holy sh**! That would be the most apt phrase to describe how this book effected me. I’m never seeing the movie and I’m not reading anything else Larsson wrote. F***, this guy's amazing!

How do I keep one?

Keeping a book lover’s journal is very simple. The most basic materials you need are 1) a journal, 2) a writing utensil and 3) a book to read. There are a number of journal’s made specifically for the purpose of recording your thoughts about books. The picture above is of my first Book Lover’s Journal. It’s so beautifully made that it’s still one of my favourite books on my shelf. It's full of great information and spawned my fascination for bookmaking.

However, I’m one of those people who physically cringes at the thought of throwing anything away. So, when I finally filled the book up (I had been using it on and off) I decided against purchasing a new one and decided to go the creative route. With a few frozen pizza boxes and some yarn I made my own Book Lover’s Journal. The great thing about making your own is that you can dictate how much space you need to write about each book. In my new journal I was able to spend three pages going on about Orwell’s 1984 and the red scare, but only needed one page for Fleming’s For Your Eyes only. 


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    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 5 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      You should! I have found it really deepens my relationship to the book I'm reading. Otherwise it's too easy to move on without letting the first get under your skin the way a good book should.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      I'm loving this idea of keeping a Book Lover's Journal, to record books read and thoughts about them; I think I might start keeping one.

    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 5 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      Thanks for stopping by, Angelique. Good luck with your book.

    • Angelique Loux profile image

      Angelique Loux 5 years ago from Ohio

      I going to try writing a book. My life is prety interesting. I vote this hub up also!

    • ar.colton profile image

      Mikal Smith 5 years ago from Vancouver, B.C.

      Thanks James. I'm glad you liked it. It's a great way to keep track.

    • JamesPoppell profile image

      JamesPoppell 5 years ago

      Interesting idea. I have never heard of anything like this. I am a book lover and this would be a great thing to put into practice. Vote up. Thanks.