How (and Why) to Keep a Book Lover's Journal
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.
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
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.
- How to Make a DIY Journal
A step by step guide to making your own Book Lover's Journal. Plenty of pictures!