How to start your book or Reading Journal

My bookjournal falls into the category of “tiktok made me do it”. Well, it didn’t made me do it … it made me read again.
I’ve read very little in the last few years, but since the mid-2020s, the number of books I own has almost tripled. Tiktok is to blame. I’ve seen so many videos about captivating stories, exciting worlds and, above all, very attractive main characters. And so, little by little, more and more books were added.

bookjournal Archer & Olive

What is a Book Journal?

I would describe my version of a book journal as: your private collection of memories of books.
Yes, it’s not a new invention and there are many digital versions of it, such as Goodreads. But for my taste, it’s different to write a review than to somehow recreate the mood of the book for myself.

I like to think that in a few months or years I will be able to look back at my bookjournal and remember not only the content of the book, but also the characters, the world and the mood I was in, sometimes even the time I read the book (e.g. I read a book for Halloween and I can still remember exactly how scary it was).

How to find the right notebook

Just like any bullet journal, there is no one perfect notebook for book journaling.
My recommendation: use a notebook with either white or dotted pages if you like to create collages, pictures or little doodles for your bookreviews. If you prefer to write down your thoughts or summaries, then go for a squared or lined notebook.

I chose a Traveler’s Notebook from Archer & Olive. It’s a little smaller and, above all, slimmer than my bullet journal. It felt right for me to choose a notebook where I can hold all my creations in one hand and capture them at a glance.

bookjournal cover page

How to actually start

Let’s start with the good stuff and finally get into it.
Starting with an empty notebook, the first thing you should do is write your name on the first page.
On the opposite page, I pasted a picture of a bookshop. I could go to a bookshop every day and I would always find a book to take with me. Somehow that makes me want to read.
So my tip is to make the first page of your book journal one that motivates you to read. It can be a picture, a quote or even a drawing. Whatever you like, as long as it puts you in the mood to read.

Here are some ideas for the next few pages that might be helpful in the beginning of your book journal:

  • Books I want to reas (#toberead)
  • 22 books to read in 2022
  • Books I want to buy
  • Best book quotes/ Quotes to remember
  • Books I didn’t finish
  • Authors to remember
  • Book series tracker
  • Best books ever
  • Reading routines

22 books to read before 2022

The book review

I would like to show you two of my book reviews that can show you what my bookjournal pages look like.

The first page is for the book “Throne of glass” by Sarah J. Maas. If you’re active on Tiktok, you’ve probably heard of this book. For me, this book is one that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. I loved it and devoured it!
But: I read half of the book and listened to the other half as an audio book. And I was a bit shocked at how some of the words were pronounced and how I had imagined them from the spelling. So for my review I picked out all the words that were difficult to pronounce and wrote down the phonetic spelling (how you say it). Then I added two pictures of the main character and a map and the page was filled.

One site that looks quite different is my review of Six of Crows by Leigh Barduge.
The story was super detailed and the character development very strong. The book hooked me and took me into a world of thieves who became my friends. Looking for pictures to go with the book, I found so many on Pinterest that I found fitting that I didn’t want to choose. So on the left-hand side I pinned a large picture with all the characters on it. Then I pinned an additional picture of Kas Brekker (aka Freddy Carter) and a fanart of him. And I couldn’t do without sticking two funny pictures on top. One summarises the content of the book, the other shows a Whatsapp chat with answers to the question “Can I copy your homework?” which reflect the character of the main characters absolutely perfectly.

All the pictures I pasted I found on Pinterest. All credits for them do not go to me.

throne of glass book review six of crows bookreview sic of crows bookjournal

Find more inspiration

I’m not the first to come up with the idea of doing a bookjournal and I’m not the most creative. So here you can find some super creators who also show their bookjournal:


Which spread will you add in your book journal? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time, Xo — L

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