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Do you love to read? For me, it’s one of my absolute favourite things to do. If you’re looking for a way to keep track of the books you have read or the books you want to read in the future, try using a book tracker, or a book log, in your bullet journal, planner or notebook.
You can use a book log to keep track of all the books you have read (or listened to, if audiobooks are your thing) over the course of a month, several months, or even over a whole year.
Like any other tracker, recording what you have achieved over a specific time will give you a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
You can also use a log to make a note of any books you want to read in the future (to help you remember them). They might be recommendations from friends, titles you hear about in podcasts or articles, or books you come across at the library, or bookstore that appeal to you.
What’s great about reading?
If you’re reading this, then I’m guessing that you’re already a fan of reading!
However, with so many other distractions, and demands in our day, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves why reading is wonderful and completely deserves to be an important part of our lives. Particularly so if you sometimes feel guilty about taking the time to read, or others are telling you that you should be doing something else “more important”.
- Reading helps us gain new knowledge on any subject that interests us. Long after our formal education at school finishes, we can continue to learn and grow.
- Reading is a great form of both stress relief and self-care. It allows us to take a break from day-to-day problems and annoyances and gives us time to ourselves to relax and recharge.
- Reading fires the imagination. It helps us imagine how things could be different, for ourselves and for others. This can be the first step in taking action to make our life, and the lives of others, better.
Author Neil Gaiman in his acclaimed lecture to the Reading Agency, at the Barbican in London, highlights the important place reading and literature has in the world.
I particularly love his focus on literature’s unparalleled ability to foster empathy for others:
You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. You’re being someone else, and when you return to your own world, you’re going to be slightly changed. – Neil Gaiman
To sum up Gaiman’s sentiments simply, people who read, and people who encourage others (particularly children) to read, make the world a better place.
Do you wish you could read more?
This post from Gretchin Rubin on getting more reading done has lots of great tips for fitting more reading into your life.
My favourite tip is no. 7 – always have something to read with you. I always have my Kindle with me, so if I’m waiting for a delayed train, or stuck on a bus in traffic, I can use the time to read. The time spent waiting that ordinarily might seem boring or frustrating can become pleasurable just by having something to read.
Join a Book Club
One of my favourite activities each month is getting together with my Book Club. We each take a turn hosting, and whoever is the next person to host chooses the book. Our only rule is that it has to be a new read for all of us. It can’t be a book anyone in the group has read before.
Being part of a book club also provides a sense of accountability. You really want to get the book finished before the next meeting!
We’ve read a wide selection of fiction, non-fiction, old and new. We’ve all read books we may not have ordinarily picked up or chosen to read. Some have been hits, some misses, but we always enjoy getting together to discuss them at our meeting.
We talk about what we liked, and what we didn’t. How the story made us feel. What we learned. I’m not going to lie and say we only discuss books. Often it’s our only chance of the month to see each other and, particularly when the wine’s flowing, there is always so much more to chat about!
One of the (many) lovely things about living in Edinburgh is that the Edinburgh International Book Festival is for 3 weeks every August. It’s a wonderful opportunity for our Book Club to see and hear authors we have read, as well as discover new authors and books for future reading.
Which brings me back to keeping a book tracker, or book log…
Tips for Designing a Bullet Journal Book Log
Book logs come in a wide range of formats and styles. The only limit is your imagination.
You can use a simple list, a bookshelf image, use washi tape to decorate, stencils, stamps, stickers, or printables. Or any format really – it’s completely up to you!
Take a look at these 10 creative ideas for book tracker inspiration:
I’ve created a “books I have read” printable which is available to A Lovely Year subscribers in the Resource Library.
You can cut out the elements to stick into your bullet journal or planner, or you could trace the shapes onto your own pages.
If you’d like a copy of the “books I have read” printable, just sign up below to receive weekly updates from A Lovely Year and you can access a copy in the Resource Library.
You’ll also get free access to printable art, quotes, planners, trackers and other resources to help you boost your happiness, get organized, and feel accomplished.
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