Reading Journal

We read a lot of books over our lifetime. It’s not always easy to remember what we did last week let alone the plot of a book we read a few years ago. Not every book moves to an easily embedded memory. Keeping a reading journal helps with memory retention and gives you a reference to look back on.

You might want to use a large journal (8 1/2 by 11) so each book can have a complete page to itself. Keep in mind you’re not writing a book report.

What to include in a reading journal.

Finish: Y or N
Brief synopsis:
Impressions while reading:
Final Impressions:
Favorite quotes:

When you are reading do not be afraid to use mini “post-its” to mark phrases of things you want to remember. You can always remove and reuse them when you’ve finished your journal entry.

If you do more reading than the average person you will need to organize your reading journals to make it easier to find desired entries. Here’s where your computer will come in handy.

Number your books and create a file on your computer called Reading Journals. Then create a document with the following headings: Title, Author, Journal Number and Notes. Save it in your Reading Journals file. If you keep it all in one document you can search for titles or authors using the program’s “find” feature. Here’s an example of one made with Excel. It could have been easily made with a Word document or whatever processing program you normally use that allows tables.

Keep your reading journal where you read most often so you’ll be more likely to fill it out. You can enter new books into your file document at the same time or wait until your journal is finished and list them all in one sitting. Whatever works for you.

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