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Create a Rewarding Reader’s Journal – 6 Inspiring Ideas to get you started!

Reading Time: 7 minutes
Create a rewarding Reader's Journal

The fantastic thing about keeping a reader’s journal is just how rewarding and personal it can be. We look at some cool ideas that help lovely book nerds like us to create the perfect reminders of brilliant reading journeys. We’re assuming you’ve already found the perfect book log, notebook, sketchbook, journal, or binder in which to document your bookish adventures. If you haven’t, then find something that you love and will want to keep working in (there’s more on that later)! So, let’s dive into your soon-to-be brilliant book journal and get started!

Idea 1: Shelfie Your Beautiful Bookcase

Bookshelf pride is all the rage these days. Take a look over on Instagram and you’ll see how much pleasure can be had from documenting a much-loved bookshelf! This can be the perfect way to kick-start your book journaling journey.

But don’t just write lists of all the books you own – add some magic! There are lots of interesting ways you can record your own collection to make your book journal a special place.

A visual book list idea for your reader's journal
It’s fun to create a visual book list in your reader’s journal like this one

Start by drawing some bookshelves in your journal. Book spines can be represented easily using simple rectangles. Then add your books’ titles to the spines. Mix in some color, and flag the books you love best with stars or emojis. Mark out the unread books too. If your book collection is a big one (lucky you!) and it’s too daunting to tackle the whole bookcase, just pick out your favorites and document them.

Alternatively, arrange some of your best books creatively (in themes perhaps), add some suitable props or ornaments, and snap some fab photos. You can then print them out and paste them directly into your reader’s journal, or clip them onto a page.

Idea 2: Create a Brilliant Book Wish List

We can all dream about the many books we’re planning to buy and read. Half the pleasure is in the anticipation, so set aside some pages in your reader’s journal for recording these bookish wants and desires.

Reading Goals and book wish list inside the book lover's journal
Use your book journal to plan your book wish list and reading goals

Once again, there’s no reason to get bogged down in dull unadorned lists, instead draw some more shelves and fill them with the books you are lusting for. These books are special, so display them in your bookshelf drawing as if they are featured titles in your favorite bookshop. Go a step further this time and doodle their front covers in your reading log, not just their spines.

A little bit of accountability

Make your book journal part of your routine
Make your reader’s journal part of a routine

Use your book wish list to give yourself some accountability. For example, don’t allow yourself to buy that next book on your booklist until you’ve added something great to your reading journal about the previous one. Make your reader’s journal part of a routine, and then watch it blossom over time. You can also create pages for reading goals (if that suits you), and then treat yourself to the shiny new book when you reach a particular goal!

Idea 3: Make Your Reader’s Journal Reflect Who You Are

One of the best things about journaling is seeing how over time your book journal turns into an incredibly personal view of who you are and what you like. In most cases, you will be journaling for yourself, and slowly this will become a treasure trove of your own thoughts and ideas. So fill it with everything you like, and keep true to yourself.

What we’re saying here is that it is your journal, not anyone else’s, there is no right or wrong way to do any of this — as long as it works for you!

Some people will worry about how good their writing is, some think they can’t draw or doodle, some people worry about missing little details. Don’t let any such fears stop you. You are journaling because you want to, and however you go about it, that’s okay! If it becomes messy, so be it, if it’s always crisp and clean then celebrate that too.

Your reader’s journal is ultimately a keepsake of all the fantastic journeys that books are able to provide. A creative reading log like this is a great way to celebrate what’s important in your own special book-reading world. You’ll be able to look back in the future and dip back into all the thoughts, ideas, and emotions that they’ve evoked.

Idea 4: Keeping a Journal of Bookish Details is Fine, but Celebrate with Creativity Too!

A reader doodles in her book journal about Virginia Woolf's 'The Waves'
Celebrate the books you read with some fabulous creativity in your reading log

When you’re reading a brilliant book, you are basking in the creativity of the author, its creator. But actually, this is a team effort! Your own imagination is busy too. It’s your imagination that is creating the pictures for you; it’s immersing you in this other place; it’s reacting with thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

A book lover’s journal is the perfect place to express this! Whilst it’s great to be a book geek and record all the nitty-gritty details — such as publishing date, author’s age, even the ISBN if you’re into long numbers — don’t forget to also repay the author’s gift of creative thinking.

Some book journal ideas that help keep it creative

So, how can you do this? Well, there are so many different ways, it’s fine to find your own and enjoy the ride. Here are some ideas on getting creative in your reader’s journal:

  • Have a go at doodling your thoughts about what you’re reading. This might be doodling imaginings about characters, places, or even ideas. Make your doodles quick and free, reacting openly to emotion, themes, and ideas. Don’t get too worried about how ‘artistic’ they are!
  • Create a random poem with words taken from a passage or chapter, add it to your reading log and decorate it.
  • Draw, color, or paint an image in your journal to represent something that’s really core or important about your book.
  • Pick some favorite quotes or passages, and copy them into your journal with flourish and style. Decorate them with suitable symbols and doodles.
  • Create a collage by cutting out from magazines, photos, and leaflets. Choose cuttings that speak to you in some way about the book, and arrange them on a page in your book journal, sticking them down with glue to create an interesting composition.
Book Lover's Journal filled with a reader's doodles ceebrating 'The Waves' by Virginia Woolf
Use your book journal to record thoughts and doodles about the book you’re reading

Idea 5: Book Lovers Binge on Brilliant Ideas

Your reader’s journal doesn’t have to stop at book reviews, reading lists, and reading goals. There are lots of creative and interesting extra pages you can add. Think about what you like most about the books you read and invent some special pages to reflect those ideas.

Creative ideas for your book reader's journal
Creative ideas for your book reader’s journal

Here are some starter ideas for special pages that you can include in your creative book log. These are only ideas, adapt and add to them for your own reader’s journal.

  • Create pages about specific characters you meet in a book. Build profiles of those characters using notes, doodles, and gluing stuff in. You can record characteristics, costumes, friendships, backgrounds, and much more.
  • Write a letter to a character in the book, try surprising yourself by taking an opposite view and see where you land up.
  • Invent some meals and drinks based on the plot or characters within a book.
  • Write and design an imaginary magazine interview with one of the book’s characters and add it to your journal.
  • Create a map of where everything takes place, add notes, doodles, and images. Maybe you might want to use a large sheet of paper and have it fold out from your reader’s journal like a regular map.

Idea 6: Get Giddy on Guidance with a Book Lover’s Guided Journal

If you find that the empty page in your new book journal is just a little bit too daunting, you’re suffering from the dreaded blank page syndrome. You’re not alone, many of us find making those first marks very difficult!

No more blank page worries!

Luckily, there is something that can help you smash down any such barriers, and that is to use a guided journal to inspire you recording your bookish passions. A guided journal makes it super easy by giving you prompts, ideas, and activities along the way. There are a number of preformatted book logs and book lover’s journals available, with templated pages for adding your book’s details and your own reviews. They can help you keep a record, often in a diary form, of all the books you read.

Introducing “The Book Lover’s Doodle Journal”

We think though, that you will want to go a step further with your creative expression of your love for books — and that is why we have created “The Book Lover’s Doodle Journal”.

Woman holding copy of 'The Book Lover's Doodle Journal' paperback book
Introducing ‘The Book Lover’s Doodle Journal’

‘The Book Lover’s Doodle Journal’ is packed with inventive ideas to help you express and record all the things that you love most about books and reading.

Create a beautiful visual record of your bookshelves, and plan your reading goalsGet inspired by brilliant excerpts from books you may know, and by some you may not, and create personal art, poetry, or collage. Doodle up groups of your favorite books, design a fantasy bookstore, invent a book-based dinner, and much more. Use this unique book lover’s journal to keep a creative doodle record of the next books that you read, with space alongside to log all the important details. You’ll also discover a range of bookish treats to cut out fold and keep, including bookmarks, swap cards, a pocket wish list, gift wrap, and more

The Book Lover's Doodle Journal - The perfect creative book lover's journal

‘The Book Lover’s Doodle Journal’ is the perfect place to celebrate your love of a good read. It’s available to buy now from Amazon or follow this link and find more details about this amazing creative reader’s journal.

"The Book Lover's Doodle Journal" Available now at Amazon