April 10, 2017

Bonjour BuJo (n°1): Logging Your Reading

Today I'm launching my first series on the blog, Bonjour BuJo. This will be a series dedicated to all things bullet journal (often nicknamed the BuJo by avid journalers). Bullet journaling has taken the Internet by storm. You can find information about bullet journaling on Pinterest, Instagram and many blogs. But for those of you who aren't familiar with bullet journaling, it all began with a simple concept that you can read more about here. Along the way, journalers have put their own spin on the system, customizing and creating to meet their own personal needs. 

Often times our greatest inspiration comes from our closest friends. I have to credit my bullet journaling journey to my best friend Alex. She introduced the bullet journal to me about 8 months ago, and now I can't imagine life without it. My bullet journal has truly become my "home base", my hub for weekly plans, upcoming events, dates to remember, habit trackers, lists, ideas, thoughts, and beyond. On top of all of that, it is the perfect creative outlet that I had been craving. 

Coming this summer, I will outline the entire process of beginning and keeping a bullet journal starting with a completely blank slate. Until then, I will be sharing some of my favorite ways to use my bullet journal. I hope you are inspired to try some of these things too (or to create your journal in a way that works for you)!

Now to the topic of the post: using your bullet journal to log your reading. I am a lover of Goodreads and I still use this as a place to keep my "to be read list", connect with other readers, and track my yearly reading goals. That said, I still wanted a pen to paper, personal spot to keep my reading record. After listening to an episode of What Should I Read Next? that discussed logging your reading, I was inspired to begin. When logging reading, different readers prefer to record different things. In addition to the title and author of a book, you might mark the date started and the date finished, the genre, the number of pages, your rating, your favorite quote, or even abandoned books. The information you wish to keep will be based on your preference. 

I decided to go with a simple layout that included title, author, start date, finish date, genre, number of pages, and favorite quote. I wanted to track how frequently I was finishing a book, to notice patterns in genre so that I might expand into new territory, and to keep page numbers so I could have a concrete record of how much ground I covered over the course of a year. I think the quote has become my favorite part of this log. I feel that in searching for a favorite quote I read more closely, and when I select a favorite quote at the end I make sure it sums up what that particular book meant to me. When you read book after book, it is hard to remember every detail. However, remembering the feeling that book brought you can be incredibly powerful. 

 (my bullet journal reading record)

(the picks I plan to read to finish out this log, plus book darts from The Novel Neighbor to easily keep track of favorite quotes as I read) 

My goal this year is to read 24 books. I wanted to increase from my goal of 16 in 2016 (which I surpassed), but keep it reasonable enough to fit in with my busy life filled with teaching, family, friends and travel. I only made space for 12 books in this journal as I am so close to beginning a fresh one. I will continue my book logging there. 

Do you have a favorite way to log your reading? I would love to hear about your ideas in the comments!

Warm wishes from me to you,

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