Reading Journals and How to Use Them

If you’re interested in further engaging with the texts you’re reading, a reading journal may be something to consider. Imagine a space dedicated to your personal thoughts, memories, and ideas about the books you’ve read. A journal is a great way to create a tangible form of your reading experience and can be completely customized to match your needs. Below are just a few of the ways you can use a reading journal.

1. Record your reading

Just like any journal, your reading journal can be a great place to keep track of your goals and accomplishments. Keep a running list of the books you’ve read, are currently reading, or hope to read in the future. Have you fallen in love with an author’s writing style? Write their name down so you can look for their works in the future. Maybe you have a reading goal for the year or want to rate the books you’ve read in order to recommend them to a friend. Logging or listing your reading habits will give you a better grasp on your reading journey.

2. Creative Engagement

Keep characters alive in your journal through photos that remind you of them or their world. Collages and scrapbook style journaling can offer a creative outlet and a way to keep these stories fresh in your mind. It can be nice to look back on these pages in the future to help find similar themes when searching for your next read.

3. Take Notes

Are you someone who enjoys filling the margins of your pages with notes? Maybe you highlight quotes or place sticky notes on lines you want to remember. Consider writing these annotations down in your journal to refer to later. Are you reading a book for a class or with a group of friends? Writing things down can also be useful in sharing thoughts or questions with others.

4. Summarize your experience

Do you want to remember plots, character names, and fun details even as time moves forward? Once you finish a book, summarizing it in your own words is a great tool for remembering it down the line. What was the book about in your opinion? Who were your favorite characters and scenes? Write your summary or review in your journal to solidify your experience.

Final thoughts

These are just a few ways to fill your reading journal! If you’re interested in starting your own, there is an ever growing online community dedicated to recording their reading journeys. I hope this list has inspired you to take an active role in your reading adventures!

Stay creative, and stay curious!

Photos for this article were found on

Published by samanthavelie

Hello! I'm currently a Senior studying English and Creative Writing while interning as a blog writer for Our Future Reads!

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