Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tools for Readers: Book Journals

Jeri's book journal

As an avid reader, it's been extremely helpful to me to keep a list of books I want to read - or at least take a peek at, and see if they seem worth my time. And I also keep a journal of the books I have read, and how I felt about them.

You can certainly do both of these things without any specialized products - I do! I started keeping book journals back in the fall of 2002; those are some of my journal pages above. I've used various all-purpose journals; there are tons of lovely ones to choose from. Sometimes I write pages, sometimes just a few words - and I don't worry about being neat. (My books to read list is on the computer.) But if you'd like something designed especially for readers, there are quite a few choices.

(There are also all sort of computer-based tools, but that's another post for another day.)

Read, Remember, Recommend is subtitled a "reading journal for book lovers." It provides you with lists of award-winning and other notable books. There are author pages that "provide a convenient place to note an adored author and all of his/her works" as well as pages to track books your want to read, books you want to recommend, and books you've loaned out. And then, of course, there are the pages for you to note what you have read. The web site kindly provides good images of all the pages, so you can readily see if this is something that looks good for you. [via Organize Your Life]

A Book Lover's Diary, from Firefly Books, has a similar set of sections: books to read, books read and a personal review, books to buy, books loaned out or borrowed, favorite books, memorable passages, and addresses of libraries and book stores.

The Book Lust Journal from Sasquatch Books has simple pages with just a heading for date, author and title - and then a place for notes. Reviewers on Amazon.com have noted that there are separate sections for memorable lines and books loaned out - and some wish there were section dividers.

BookNotes: The Booklover's Organizer, comes from Jackson Creek Press. Besides the section for book notes - four books per page, according to the pictures on Amazon.com - there are sections for books on loan and for personal reflections.

Green Chair Press provides another reader's diary, in two different designs. (The other one features a cat.) This one would work for those who just want to rate the book, not take any kind of detailed notes.

Want even more journal options? There's Smart Women Read Between the Lines, the What I Read mini-journal, and the Lifestyle Notebook - Books from Design Within Reach.

A Life Well Read lets you record much of the same information as many book journals, but it uses a series of note cards organized in a keepsake box shaped like a book. The standard categories are My Books, My Favorites, Books I Want, Books On Loan, and Books To Give. You can also add personalized categories. I don't think it's a "perfect holiday gift" as the web site claims, since each person's preferred book-tracking tools will be different. But I'm sure some people will find it works perfectly for them! The folks at A Life Unplugged are kindly offering a 10% discount; enter the discount password DDALWR1 on the "Special Offers" page.


Anonymous said...

Oh, man, Jeri. I've been working a post for my blog for after Thanksgiving on best paper organizing-related gifts, and between your two-parter on portable file goodies and this one, you're scooping all my ideas. I'm going to have to INVENT something to beat you to it, and you're such an intrepid reporter on the organizing world, you might figure out how to scoop me on my own inventions!

Glad we have you as the industry's product expert. You rock!

Jeri Dansky said...

Julie, I'm glad we're both holding off until after Thanksgiving for holiday gift-giving suggestions - even it means we get scooped. (Sorry to have done that to you, though. I wasn't thinking of them as potential gifts - just as organizing tools.)

Anonymous said...

These are REALLY cool! What a great gift idea for avid book readers and a tool for people to hate to let go of books because they are afraid they will forget they read them. Would love to have you share this post in the Neat and Simple Living Cafe too!