Setting Up My 2022 Reading Journal

I’ve always liked the idea of bullet journaling in a sort of abstract way. I liked seeing what people came up with for their layouts and spreads and how creative they were. I toyed with the idea of starting one of my own, but, well, the problem was… I have no life. I have nothing to fill a bullet journal/planner. (And I’m perfectly content this way! If I could be a hermit, I would.)

So, I never really got into it. Until one day, when I was scrolling through my YouTube home page, and saw a video recommended for me about “reading journals”. Intrigued, I watched it.

And thus did I find a way to get in on the bullet journaling craze. (It’s still a craze, right? I know it’s been around for a few years, but…)

At the very end of December, I ran into B&N and got myself a little Leuchtturm1917 journal.

I watched a few more (a dozen more) videos on reading journals, figuring out what I wanted and didn’t need in mine, and then I started. I decorated my first two pages myself with some basic flowers and used some highlighters to color them in, which I rather like.

I didn’t have any washi tape or even any color markers to decorate my journal with at first. I ordered some, but while I waited for them to arrive, I set up the first half of my “GoodReads 200” spread, which was a basic log sheet. As you can see, I messed up a lot and found out that white-out doesn’t work great with fineliner pens. (I’m a perfectionist, so I’m rather proud of myself for not immediately giving up the whole project then and there.)

As I don’t have a color printer, I stuck to black and white images I could color in myself to decorate my journal with. I also used a postcard I got from a set from ALA. As you can see, once the stickers came in, I filled up the sticker spread with them as well.

Once that was done, I bought some pretty reasonably priced scrapbooking paper and made some backgrounds for my reading challenges I was taking part in through 2022.

My “read every day” challenge is going well! Instead of using just one color for the log, I alternate between two or three colors to track my progress. This gives it more visual interest, I think, and makes it prettier. Sometimes I use colors from whatever my monthly spread theme was, such as in January and March; other times I just used some stereotypical colors associated with that month, like February for Valentine’s, though my theme was not Valentine’s Day inspired.

The bingo card I’ve already completed, as you can see!

Now that I’ve finished my winter bingo card, I’m working on the 2022 PBN Reading Challenge, found here.
I did have to change out one challenge for another on the list, but that’s fine, it’s my journal and I can do what I like.

I won’t be starting the summer bingo until May, maybe June.

And look at that, I’ve already failed one of my personal goals! It’s fine, though. I’m making progress in other areas of my reading backlog, so I won’t beat myself up too much about this.

I did start in on the next challenge, then stopped, because I didn’t want to use the same books for multiple challenges. I may switch between this one and the PBN challenge going forward, depending on if what I read fits one of the challenges.

The A-Z Reading Challenge! Not doing too badly, so far.

Another sticker page, along with another colored in printout of sakura. Then my pages read log. Some people do a daily pages read sheet, but that seemed a little too fussy for me (and I don’t keep track of that anyway), so I’ve just done a monthly one. As you can see, I’m still figuring some things out. The most pages I’ve ever read in a month was 8,150, so I set that as my maximum. We’ll see if I can meet it!

Another sticker page! I just really love stickers, okay? Then comes my “owned TBR” which is books I own. At first I was going to keep track of when I received them (the first “R” checkbox line) as well as a checkbox line for when I read that. I took that first option out so I could better fit more lines on the spread and have it take up less pages.

Next is my series tracker! This actually isn’t all the series I own or started and haven’t gotten around to finishing. These are just the ones I’m going to focus on getting to first, and then once/if I finish this, I’ll do another spread and choose more. I was a little daunted by how many series I’ve got going, actually…

Lastly, I’ve got a pretty late addition to my journal, as you can see I didn’t put it in until the very last day of February. I bought the spreads here.

I noticed that I had a bad depressive crash in February, and it walloped my reading as well. I was still reading every day, but not as much, and I wasn’t finishing books as quickly as usual. I decided I wanted to keep track of my mood to see if I could find any patterns. As you can see, March started off rough for me, but it’s been steadily improving. (I also, hilariously, did not write down what markers I used for which colors/moods, so I’m just using whatever one is closest in color. This is a mistake I intend to rectify in April’s mood spread.)

So that’s it for the start of my journal! Do you journal? If you do, what sort: life bullet journaling, reading journaling, or movie/TV journaling, or something else entirely? Let me know!

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