Tuesday, 8 November 2016

How To Keep A Book Journal


I am a sucker for notebooks. I have small ones, big ones, thick ones, thin ones, clothbound ones and a lovely Harry Potter one that my best friend got me. She rocks.


I turned my beloved Harry Potter notebook into a book journal, which I’ve been using it for a month now and I love it. I use my journal for all sorts of things, and I thought it’d be nice to share those things with you:

  1. Book titles

Well, we might as well start with the obvious! When I start a new book, I write down its title and the author and then I colour over it with a colour that ties in with the cover (usually).

  1. Quotes (pink highlighter)

I was never much of a quote collector but then I read Americanah and felt the need to write down so many that it seemed like a good place to start with my book journal. I now collect quotes that I find beautiful, or which resonate with me, and also ones that help me dissect a character and their actions.

  1. Definitions (blue highlighter)

I really like having this as part of an entry. There were a couple of words in The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche that I didn’t know, so rather than just looking them up and inevitably forgetting about them, I decided to keep note - just like I would if I were reading in German.
  1. Google Searches

If anything in a book makes me want to Google something, I keep note of the result of the search in the entry. An example: in Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, Eileen asks herself about the origin of the phrase ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’. I did a bit of googling and found that actually nobody knows exactly where the phrase came from, but one possible explanation is that sometimes it rained so hard the bodies of animals would be washed down the streets.

  1. Thoughts

What do I think of the book? Are the characters believable? What’s the pacing like? I keep track of all these thoughts in entries so that when it comes to writing a review (which I will be doing more of), I know exactly what I was thinking whilst reading the book, rather than relying on what I can remember of my feelings.

  1. Ratings (yellow highlighter)

Finally, I keep track of ratings and my reasons for a given rating. This is also to help me with reviews and to provide a quick reference when it comes to writing my wrap ups, to see which books stood out for me.
 I cannot recommend creating a book journal highly enough! Especially in terms of blogging it has been a godsend when writing reviews and wrap ups. It's also just nice to go back and see what I thought of a back when I was actually reading it.

Do you keep a book journal? Is there anything you put in it that's missing from mine? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy reading and have a fantastic week,
Zoe