Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Thinking About Books for 2021 Yet? Tracking What I Read - Reading Logs



As an avid reader I've been tracking the books I've read for almost 20 years.  I only starting reviewing books about 12 years ago and, I must admit that although I start each new year out with a new journal, usually a Moleskine (expensive but a quality product) if you compared one year to the next, I'm never consistent. Quite frankly by mid-year my journals are pretty messy.  Most times I've reviewed chronologically and then have sections for fiction and non fiction, eBooks, print books, audio books, library books and books read off my shelves but, that's usually been a pain to keep up. 

This coming year my goal is simplicity and consistency and, I just found a new, inexpensive reading log on Amazon that has everything I really need. I like the idea of turning the pages and seeing the same format for my reviews.  This one that I purchased has room for 120 books to review and it's 8x10" which I love as well.  It's a soft cover but it was only $4.99 as well. I'm not sure what the bleed through factor will be but, I'm planning on using a fine point pen or pencil. Take a look.







Here's one that is more expensive but I like the wire rings, hardcover and format for 200 books.

There are also several reading logs with cute covers to get younger children interested in book journaling as well.




Do you have a favorite hand written system or journal that you enjoy using for tracking your books  and writing reviews? If so, please share.

29 comments:

  1. Someone gave me something similar a couple of years ago for Christmas, which I've not used so I think I might do the same as you're doing. Who knows, I may get to like it and want another one next year. I usually just use a nice notebook.

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    1. Cath, I figured this was worth a try to achieve some consistency and the format is simple enough.

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  2. We don't have a reading log but we're ready for 2021 in hopes it will be a better year.

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  3. I started a book log on February 1, 1970, and have continued the list to this day. I've rewritten it a few times, and I'm about to fill-up the book I've been using since sometime in 1998. I do keep audiobooks separate from other books, but that's the only distinction I make on the list. Altogether, there are 3,569 books-read on the list as of this morning.

    Before computers, my biggest fear was losing the book - and I'd still hate to lose it - but now everything is also in Excel spreadsheet format and is easily searchable and sortable. I enjoy coming up with weird statistics and conclusions by playing around with the spreadsheet - and it brings back a lot of memories about who I was when I read some of the books and where I was when I read them.

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    1. Sam, 1970? wow, "color me impressed!" I'd love to see that document:)

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    2. It's a little "Black n' Red" notebook I picked up in London when I lived there, Diane. I think I posted about it once, so I'll see if I can find the post link. It's not a real impressive document, though, unless you take the time to flip through it slowly. What always strikes me is how much my reading taste has changed over the decades...and how similar it still is in some ways.

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    3. Diane, here's the link to the post I made about the list last January:

      https://bookchase.blogspot.com/2020/01/a-book-list-ive-maintained-for-50-years.html

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    4. Sam, I just checked out the post; so impressive. I said to myself that "I bet Sam was an accountant prior to retirement?"

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    5. You nailed it, Diane. I was a CPA, even by nature, I suppose. :-)

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    6. You remind me of one of my brothers (RIP) who was an Accounting Manager for 40 years.

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  4. I've been keeping a reading journal since January 1991. Wow, that is almost 30 years. My format has not varied: a college ruled, 9.5 x 5.5 inch spiral notebook. I am currently on Volume XVI. But I also keep documents on my desktop of authors and their books I have read, alphabetically. Those reading journals you show here look good, though I would rather spend my money on books!

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    1. Judy, Is it your reviews or just basic info about each book you read? Just Curious.

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  5. Oh, I love this, Diane and just ordered two. I had to switch to amazon.ca though so there's no commission if you're an affiliate. :-(

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    1. Great Debbie, NO, I'm not an affiliate, I tried it years ago but wasn't worth it.

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  6. I've mentioned before that I started keep a book journal in 1993. I've kept up with it mostly since that time. A few times I've taken some months off. However, I've been gradually adding it to my Library Thing account. Not for any particular reason. Just for something to do. Going back through my journals has reminded me of books and authors that I had mostly forgotten. The one I write in now is a spiral hardcover writing journal. It has spooky trees, owls, and a moon on the cover. I think this is my 6th journal since 1997. I don't write reviews in them, but note the title, author, date finished, and first sentence. Those you showed above are fun-looking.

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    1. Kay, I put mine on Goodreads as well and, I think I have most of what I've read in last 20 years there.

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  7. I so loved reading this. I only started keeping track of books in the 1990s - really after being online and among other readers. I haven't written in a print one for ages. I used to do book reports on the blog, but those have pretty much gone by the wayside. What I have is a list of the books on my blog, and that's it. If my blog should disappear, I'd have nothing. I really should think about this, and do something about it.

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    1. When I started working part-time instead of FT in 2001, I started tracking as I had more free time.

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  8. I used to use a paper journal years ago but then I would be at the bookstore and couldn't remember if I owned a book or not so now I just use Goodreads to track stuff. I don't do separate shelves for upcoming years. Just to-read, read, and some specialized shelves for book club, DNFs and the like.

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    1. Interesting! I would have bet money that you kept a written book journal as you seem organized and, I know you always share your new planner for the new year.

      So when you write a review on your blog, you just create it as you are doing your post?

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  9. I wish I had a journal with all the books I've read but didn't even think about it back when I was very young. I like the Books I've Read, A Readers Journal!

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  10. I love the idea of journaling and keeping handwritten logs--I even started one I was so excited about the beginning of the year! But I am terrible at keeping up with them. I do better keeping up my spreadsheets on the computer.

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  11. I have been thinking about my book tracking for 2021, Diane - it'll be upon us before we know it!

    I keep a notebook with titles I read which is categorised by the year, and of course all my documenting online with reading, but I do want to try and move towards a more concise method with not only tracking the books but my thoughts too, in a physical format. I just make a note here or there on random pieces of paper currently. I want to be more thorough with it and find a system that works well for me - I think I would keep my yearly notebook still though.

    These links you've shared are food for thought and I am hoping to have a solution to my search by the end of October. I do hope your new reading log works out well for you!

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  12. I use a molesking-like journal for to do lists, etc and in the front I keep track of the books I've read by drawing books on a bookshelf and writing a title on each one. I color code for fiction, nonfiction, and YA or adult. But, I don't put reviews in there, just online.

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  13. I haven't written a print journal ... but I like the ones you list above. I have used Goodreads to track reads but there's something nice about a print journal. I could see myself starting one.

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  14. I stopped using a print journal for the books I've read several years ago. I started back in 1996 and have 13 reading journals of various styles of formats. Once I started blogging on a regular basis, I decided the journals were redundant. In addition to posting all my reviews on my blog, I post them on Goodreads and keep a copy in a file on my computer. I'm slowly sharing my early reviews & thoughts about the books I read pre-blogging days every Friday in my "Looking Back" posts. It's been fun revisiting those old journals. Have fun with your new one. It looks very helpful!

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  15. Even though I log my books in Goodreads I can't resist a paper & ink reading log. I really like that large, softcover one you linked us to and ordered one for myself and one to give as a gift. Thanks for sharing!

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