Sunday, April 05, 2009

Reading Journals

How do you track your reading and reviews and everything? What about your to-read list?

I have a pretty good system--a notebook. The only problem is, it's almost full. If I write small, it should last through the end of the month, which would be really nice because not only does it give me time, but this particular reading journal started with May 2006, so if I can get to the end of April, it will be 3 complete years.

My system is, when you open it one way, it's my "have read" list. I write down the name of all the books I read. When I post the review, I put in a little check mark. This is how I ensure that I review everything I read. If you flip the book over and open it the other way, it's my to-read list and then I just cross off titles as I read them. Eventually, the two lists meet in the middle.

Reasons that I love this notebook:

Unruled paper. Seriously, I do not like lines.

You can't tell which is the front and which is the back. The front and back covers are identical and there's no upper margin on the paper, because the paper is unlined.

The size. It's only 5 x 3, which means it doesn't take up any room in my bag. I like doing this on paper instead of online (notice how I haven't touched GoodReads in months? Yeah.) I find titles I want to read everywhere and the book is handy for jotting them down. Also, I read everywhere, so I finish books everywhere. I get an abnormal amount of pleasure from adding them to the list as soon as I finish.

The spiral things are plastic so they don't get bent out of shape the fact it's spiral allows me to keep the book open when I'm doing housekeeping stuff for the blog.

The reason I'm asking is... this notebook is discontinued. I can't find another Roll-a-bind book that's the same size with all blank pages. Yes, they make slightly bigger ones with "blank" pages, but there's this little bit at the top to label the page, which means it will be at the bottom when I flip the book over. (Yes, I'm anal. DUDE, I'm a LIBRARIAN. We put stuff in order for a living.)

The first 2 reasons (indistinguishable front and back, blank pages) are the most important qualities, which rules out my usual favorite, Moleskine. (The back cover has a pocket and is embossed. Even though they do come with blank pages.)

The spiral, while nice, isn't a deal breaker. I do want it to stay small, but I'm not stuck on the 5 x 3, but I will say, no bigger than 5 x 7.

I have a closet full of lined Moleskines left over from school that I know I will suck it up and use, but, what's your system?

The first picture is of one of the covers, my "have read" side. The second is of my "to read" side. The third is showing a page spread from the "have read" side, the last picture is a page spread of the "to read" side...


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the blank paper thing. I actually keep these lists (mostly) on the computer, but I really like my notebooks to be unlined. I also like being able to use a notebook from both sides. Oh yeah, and small, so I can fit it in my purse. My favorite right now the Ru, made by Xonex — it does have a pocket in the back, though. Nice blank paper; it's not spiral bound but it opens pretty flat.

I found this blog review while googling for the name of the notebook:

Lotus Reads said...

My "to-read" list is on True, it's not easy to access when I am on the road, but I look at it so often I almost know it by heart! :)

Becca said...

I like your journals. I track everything on Microsoft Word. I just find it easier. I have a folder for just book lists and reading logs and challenge updates. I also have a wishlist on and BookMooch. But I try to keep everything on my computer. I do everything this way. I would be lost without my laptop!

Missy B. said...

I asked this very question today on my blog! :) I am overwhelmed with the amount of books that i have and need a way to track what's been read/unread/reviewed, etc. I think the notebooks are a great idea. If someone comes up with a better idea, please let me know!

MotherReader said...

My system - and feel free to use it - is to write down what I read and parts of reviews in a series of random spiral notebooks that I've taken over the years from the piles of barely-used notebooks the girls had at school. The special bit of fun in this system is that I often can't find a particular notebook, so I end up writing to-read or have-read lists, two or three times. And if that isn't enough excitement, the notebooks look exactly like every other notebook we have in the house with two kids with five class notebooks each. The joy of searching for my misplaced one, well, it's hard to capture. Since I'm not getting reviews up as much as I used to the notebooks remain full to taunt me with their not-quite reviews. If I do finally post one, I tear out the page.

(I don't know why I can't do better at this aspect of my reading and reviewing.)

Kimberly @ lectitans said...

Thanks for this great post! I posted about it at my blog here: