Wednesday 12 January 2022

My 2022 Reading Journal

My 2022 Reading Journal

My 2022 Reading Journal

One of my goals for 2022 was to create a reading journal to help better keep track of my challenges and reading. Previously, I would have a page set up on my blog for my reading challenges, a page set up for all the books I read in a year, and I would use my notes app on my phone while reading. However, I would always fall behind with updating my pages, and the notes app would just be used for keywords. I would always end up filling everything in later, having to go through my various app shelves to remind me what I had read over the last few weeks, and what challenges they fit. It just wasn't working. So when I saw someone on Instagram had blogged about their own reading journal, and saw the different ways they could be used, I was inspired. And I thought you might be interested to see what it looks like, and how I use it.

The notebook I'm using for my journal is the SemiKolon Classic Notebook in Mint. My reading journal isn't particularly pretty or creative. I use different coloured pens, and that's it. I'm not bujoing; my journal has a practical purpose only. I'm also not too bothered about making mistakes; I know from experience that if I let myself be bothered about making mistakes, I consider what I'm doing to be ruined and don't really go back to it. So there are plenty of mistakes and errors here, but they're fine!

Title Page

Contents Page

So the first two are simply the title and contents pages.

Best Books of 2022

Books Read in 2022

A fair number of my pages were inspired by Angie of Read With Angie's post about her own Book Journal, like this Best Books of 2022 tournament style spread. The idea is I pick my facourite book for each month, and choose between my January and February favourites, and so on for each couple of months, until I'm finally left with one favourite. The next spread is where I'll list the books I've read each month, along with star ratings.

Days Read, Pages Read, and Books Acquired in 2022

So the next spread is adapted from a spread I found on Pinterest, and those of you who bujo will recognise, it's a general tracking spread. For each day of every month, I mark down if I've read or not (coloured if read, crossed if not), and the colour I use corresponds to a ball park of how many pages I read that day. At the same time, I also plan to write a number in the boxes whenever I get a new book, with a total for each month at the bottom. This is simply so I can see the numbers at a glance. I have another page for track exactly what I receive later. At the bottom left you'll see a little box where I'll be tracking how many pages I read each month, and the total for the year. Originally, this was a page spread on the following page, very much like Angie's "Total Pages Read 2022." But after creating the majority of the first pages, I discovered I wanted another year-long tracking spread, but didn't want to put it after January. So as there was room on this page to put my total pages for each month in miniature, I stuck it there, and glued in a page from a completely different dot-matrix journal over the spread.

Type of Books Read in 2022

So this is the new spread I added in. I was scrolling through spread ideas on Pinterest - a bad idea considering I had already finished, but I was eager for more - and found a few list pages people had for tracking certain things, and one that was specific to reviewers. I wrote them all down, and tried to think of a way I could come up with tracking them all at once, and this is what I came up with. It's a page to track the type of books I read throughout the year. By "type," I kind of mean source. Along the left is each month, and along the bottom I have categories for whether the book read was a finished ARC, a proof, an eProof, a book I bought, or a book that was gifted to me. I also wanted to differentiate between books published this year (2022), and backlist books/books already on my TBR (BL). Then I wanted to further differentiate whether the title was an adult (A) or a YA book (YA). Colour denotes the genre read. And for any review copies, I've got a key for whether I received them as a book blogger or bookseller. There's also a horizontal line for re-reads. This isn't perfect; I've only allowed myself three slots for each type each month (three slots for a YA backlist finished copy, three for an adult backlist copy, and so on). So this could all fall apart if I end up reading more of one type of book, but we'll just have to see I guess. It might have been different if I worked on this page when I was first setting up my journal. I could have made it a two page spread.

NetGalley Stats 2022

I really want to try and keep on top of my NetGalley eProofs this year, so when I saw an Instagram story template created by @LaurasLoaningLibrary for NetGalley tracking in her templates highlight (I can't link to the specific template, unfortunately), I knew I wanted to use it in my journal. You put your stats from the beginning of the year at the top, track how many eProofs you read each month, how many you receive each month, and then figure out how many you have unread at the end of each month based on what you started with from the previous month, and what your current feedback ratio is. Because I don't have a physical pile I can see, I can kind of forget how many eProofs I have to read and how many I'm adding to them. And due to requesting more books than I ever expected to be accepted for when I first got NetGalley, my ratio is pretty poor. I want to try and improve it if I can, and I think physically seeing the numbers will be helpful. Also, @LaurensLoaningLibrary also has a very similar template for physical books, too! I was so tempted to use it too, but my physical TBR is confusing, because I also have a huge number of books I want to donate (which covid is making difficult), but maybe next year, if I'm able to pass on the masses of books this year.

Then I have several pages for my reading challenges. These very simple spreads were inspired by the reading journal spreads shared in Happiest When Reading's 2021 Year-End Wrap-Up - which TP linked to in a comment on my own wrap up post, in which I said I wanted to start a reading journal for 2022. Thank you TP!

12 Challenge

2022 Adult SFF Backlist Books Reading Challenge

Hodderscape 2022 Reading Challenge

The first is for the #12Challenge hosted by @ShadowBooker on Instagram. It's to read 12 books recommended by 12 friends within in 12 months. I really struggled to get recommendations from 12 different people originally, so you can see I've made some changes here. Some people suggested more than one book, so I wrote them down, but then realised it doesn't quite work. I got there in the end, though. I'll tick them off as I read them.

Then we have two SFF reading challenges of 12 prompts each; I've been really wanting to read more fantasy lately, so I'd been on the lookout for SFF challenges. The 2022 Adult SFF Backlist Books Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish Vahalla, where we aim to read SFF novels published before 2022 that fit the prompt, and Hodderscape's 2022 Reading Challenge on StoryGraph, where you read SFF novels that fit the prompts.

Fairy Tale Retellings 2022 Reading Challenge

Then we have the page for my own challenge, Fairy Tale Retellings 2022 Reading Challenge. This page is terrible, but I went and created a challenge with an odd number of very long prompts, didn't I? I couldn't work out how to make a similar spread as before with 17 boxes where I would also be able to fit the prompts and also the titles as they were read. So I went for this. It's not great, but it'll do the job.

Representation Challenge

A to Z Reading Challenge

Then we have another two reading challenges hosted by @ShadowBooker on Instagram, the Representation Challenge and the A-Z Reading Challenge. Check out her template highlights for the challenges. I simply copied out her bingo board template for the Representation Challenge, though I did have to alter the wording for some of the prompts to get them to fit. They're pretty much the same, and I'll be checking against her template once I've finished a book to double check it fits. The A-Z spread is a copy of Happiest When Reading's own spread (linked above). I think it's really pretty! However, I forgot that @ShadowBooker's challenge has a few extra prompts that are not included here, so I'm going to have to figure out how to track those ones.

2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge

NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2022

Another couple of challenge pages. I'm hoping to read at least 15 mysteries for the 2022 Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Carol's Notebook. I'm also hoping to read 25 books (I obviously can't count! Need to add a couple of spaces) for the NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2022 hosted by Socrate's Book Reviews, though with the tracking I'm doing, and the various challenges I'm entering, I'm actually hoping I'll read more than that.

Series on My TBR

I'm also taking part in Series on My TBR, which is hosted by @JennBairos. It's a prompt more than a challenge, to get you to try and read more from the series sitting on your TBR. What I like about this is that, as it's not a challenge, there's no real pressure to get everything read. I've gone for 24 series ranging from series I want to finish, series to continue, series to srart, series to start and complete, and series to re-read. I think I'll do fairly well as a few of these series work for some of the challenges I'm hoping to read for. And having it written out like this, I have more of an idea of what there is to read, which makes it seem more managable, rather than a huge number of individual titles. And I have to say, while it's "series on my TBR", there are some titles in these series I don't currently own, so it's not quite so bad. I found this prompt in Read With Angie's posted, and did a similar spread to her for it.

Shimmering Worlds Reading Challenge 2022

As I mentioned, I really want to read a lot of fantasy this year, so when I found the Shimmering Worlds Reading Challenge 2022 hosted by @AFantasySky on Instagram, I had to sign up. The aim is to read 12 SFF books by authors of colour that fit the prompt. This page was originally going to be where I listed the books on my TBR I've had for ages that I'll read for #BeatTheBacklog by Lisa of Owl Be Sat Reading, but I'll probably just track these at the back, now.

Then I have my pages for January!

Books Acquired in January

January Page Tracker

The first page is for tracking books acquired this month, but with more info than the previous tracker. Here I'll list the date, title and source, and will tick them off as I read them. Then I have a page for tracking the number of pages I read each day in a month. This is inspired by Angie of Read With Angie's "Angie's Way", a way she tracks the reading she should do each day. I'm too much of a mood reader for that, but I like the idea of tracking what I do actually read. Again, it's the date and title, and then I have starting page and final page read for each day, the total number of pages read that day for that book, and then daily pages read for the off chance I read more than one book in a day. It's unlikely, but we'll see. The mistakes made were where I was counting a page twice if I had stopped halfway down a page, and starting halfway down a page, so I had to correct and add a few .5s.

January Overview

I then have my January Overview page. Here I'll track the books read in January, the total number of pages from the whole month, the genres I've read, the categories of books read, any notes from the month that might have had an effect on my reading, and a little calendar that I can circle as I read each day. I know I'm already tracking when I read in a previous spread, but I thought it would be helpful to have a tracker for each month as well as one for the whole year, and this little calendar works well. The Bear and the Nightingale is longer than 255 pages, but I started reading it in December, so not counting the pages I read before 1st Januay.

January Reading Notes

And then I have a page for any notes I have while I'm reading, to help with my review. As I mentioned at the start, I normally use my notes app on my phone with keywords, but I found that when it comes to writing my review, I can never remember the exact point I had to make. I tend to get the gist of it, but always feel I made a stronger point when I first thought of it. So now I have somewhere to actually write my thoughts as they come to me, and have them to look back on when it comes to writing my review. This is one of the key reasons I wanted a reading journal. The only thing is, I originally thought I'd be getting a lighter journal and I could take it everywhere with me to write in as my thoughts came to me, but it's going to add a fair bit of weight to my bag, so I'm unsure now. I'll try it out and see!

Books Owned for Challenges

Finally, at the very back I've listed books on my TBR that could work for different challenges, so I don't have to root around my books or my eReader. I can just look at my lists, choose the book, and then go and grab it. Really helpful as a mood reader. I have two lists so far, going on to the next page, and I'll probably write more. (The one title in brackets in this list is in brackets because I don't actually own it. I mis-read a blog post and thought I had it already when I don't.)

So that's my reading journal, and how I use it! Do you use a reading journal? Do you have any spreads I've not included? Do you think you might want to start one? Let me know in the comments!

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