Why Book Journaling is Important –
A Guest Blog by Victoria Iwinski
Hello my beautiful readers!!
So I am going through a bit of a transition in my life at the moment. I have officially finished my first book journal. My mom gave me this tiny, $7.00 notebook from Journals Unlimited for Christmas in 2014. Much to her dismay, it has been my favorite Christmas present I can recall. This NOTEBOOK.
Now, I’ve completed it and have read 80 books, and I just started a new journal. (Don’t worry, same $7.00 tiny notebook, just a few years newer). Then, I started to ask myself why I feel like this is a big transition in my life, and why I’m finding it tough to part with my book journal.
So, as a result of my overthinking, I thought I would take some time out to discuss an activity that many readers probably don’t partake in: Book Journaling.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: Book journaling? What’s that? Why do I need to it? Isn’t reading the book enough?
Well, hopefully by the end of this post, I will have convinced you that book journaling is arguably an essential tool for all book readers.
So back to the first question. What on earth is book journaling?Honestly, I don’t have a formal definition for it. To me, book journaling is writing down certain aspects of the book you have read pre, during, and post- reading.
For example, pre-read, you might want to write down the Title, Author, the Date you started the book, What genre the book is in, and your interest in the book.
Then, during the reading, whenever you find quotes that really stick with you, take a moment and write that down in your journal.
Post-read, write how you felt about the ending, who your favorite characters were, your overall opinion of the book, and the Date in which you finished.
You are not limited to these categories. These are just the categories my book journal is laid out in and I find them very effective. But do you, boo boo.
Now to answer the second question: Why is it so important?
There are a few reasons why I find book journaling beneficial. Some of these reasons you may agree with and others you may not- once again do you.
1) I believe that writing down different parts of the book during the whole cycle of reading a book is helpful in full comprehension. I feel like in English they forced us to write about certain parts of books, and I think they were using this theory. If you are not only reading something, but writing and reacting to a book too, you are more likely to remember key points, characters, and themes.
2) It helps you reflect on the novel you read, and it gives you time to debrief after an especially emotional book. There have been a number of times, even in this past journal, where I have looked like this after reading a book:
They drain you, they rip your heart out, and you feel like you just broke up with your true love. But, that’s when post-read writing really helps. I will write about favorite quotes, favorite characters, who I think will change or get better, and how I felt during the end of a book, and I feel more closure and I don’t look like Emma Stone eating ice cream.
3) For those of you who love to read, but don’t have the time to re-read books, book journaling is a useful tool to go back into the world of one of your favorite books without reading the whole thing. Maybe you just want to re-live a few moments of this book; refer to your book journal (where I know you wrote down those page numbers!) and just read those 10 pages. It’s quick, and you’re still fooling your brain into thinking you read the whole thing.
4) Another one of my favorite reasons to book journal, is the opportunity to look through it and provide recommendations for others. My friends will ask me every once in awhile for a book recommendation, and instead of looking through all of my books and thinking “WHAAAA??” I normally go to my book journal and think about how my friends would react to certain books. Also, what I have added to my new journal is in my comments section I will be purposefully putting who I think would enjoy this book- just to make it even easier!!
5) Last but not least, book journaling gives you the opportunity to look back and be proud of your reading accomplishments. I love going back and looking at all of the books I have read and seeing how diverse (or in some cases NOT diverse) my reading is. It challenges me to be a more accomplished, well-versed reader, and it gets me WRITING- which as my graduate school professor mentioned yesterday, is a very important skill that people will need forever.
So, I hope you read this post and really think about starting your own journal. Trust me, it will make your reading experience richer.
Happy Reading (and Writing!)