I am a planner/notebook/journal addict. Always have been, always will be. And hey, there are worse things to be addicted to. *ahem Coke Zero…*
I do have a Goodreads account (you can add me as a friend here) which I think is great for tracking how many books i’ve read this year, joining groups and discovering new books, as well as keeping an ongoing list of books I need to buy. But I wanted something as a permanent reminder that I can add to and keep track of all the books I’ve read and what I thought of them. Enter the Moleskine Passions Book Journal. It took me a while to make it my own, but now I have, I love it.
It comes with a tabbed alphabet section that I just couldn’t get my head round. I didn’t want to record my books alphabetically, I wanted to order them by date read, so that when I read series, they’d be next to each other, roughly and I can see what I read in one month, 6 months, a year etc. So the first thing i did was cut off all the alphabet tabs. Sacrilege, I know. But now it’s more usable for me.
These are the pages designed for filling in the book descriptions. Nice and big, with spaces to write the Title, Author, Nationality, Publisher, Date Read, First Edition Date, Year, Original Language, Awards, Notes, Quotes and Opinion, as well as a Rating system in the form of stars. I tend to fill most of them, with a few changes. Under the ‘Notes’ section I write how many pages the book is, I rename the Opinion Box ‘Synopsis’ and I use the Quote section to write a mini review. I like to write my review in there as it is the biggest space, and sometimes I can still add a few quotes in there too. I’ve started adding the synopsis in more recently as I found when I looked back at books in a series, I couldn’t at a glance remember what happened in a certain book. So a quick synopsis of usually a couple of bullet points help me remember which one is which. I don’t tend to fill the Awards section in and thankfully it’s quite small so that’s okay, and in the Year section I write the year my particular edition was published. I also colour code. Ish. I write my review in a light blue Staedtler triplus fineliner so it stands out, and also allows me to write more in the space than a regular ballpoint, and I use a pink one to write the pages, so if for whatever reason I want to add up how many pages I’ve read in month, year etc.. I can easily see it.
At the very beginning of the Journal there are these Planning pages (above). I’ve been reading a lot of series this year and I was worrying I would forget which sequels I’m waiting for so I thought I’d write them all down in the front so I can easily find them. On the far left of the page I write the name of the series, eg. Game of Thrones (for ease rather than A Song of Ice and Fire), Bruno, Eleanor of Aquitaine etc. so I know which sequel it is. Next to that I write the author, and on the right, I write the possible/rough date it’s due to be released if I know it, and the title of the new book, again, if I can find it. As you can see, some just say ‘May 2016’ and others have a rough date and a name. It’s still got plenty of space so I can keep adding. Luckily, there are some black pages toward the end of the Journal that I can start using should I run out of space. This book comes with three handy bookmarks attached so I’d still be able to easily find my place if and when I need to move my list.
At the very back of the book there is a handy index. I suppose this is more helpful if you chose to keep the alphabetic system they give you but I still think it’s handy to fill in, especially as time goes on and it gets fuller. There are 160 pages dedicated to book descriptions, 60 personal tabbed pages (below) and 15 blank pages, all included in the index. Super helpful!
There are six personal tab sections and the Journal comes with stickers that are kept in a big pocket on the inside of the back cover that fit the tabs. Some of these are empty so you can write your own tab and some say things like; Wishlist, Reviews, Articles, Holiday Reading, Bookshops, Events, Book Clubs… I could go on. Again super handy if you need to keep a lot of lists. I currently use the Wishlist sticker for a tab (although this doesn’t get much use now I use the Goodreads ‘Want To Read’ shelf as a kind of wishlist) and a Classics tab. There I list all the classics I want to read. I’m hoping that when I have a job that i’m only out of the house between 8-5:30ish rather than 6:30-7 I’ll be able to join a local bookclub or something that I can use those tabs for.
That’s pretty mush how I use my Moleskine Book Journal and I love it. I love that it’s easy to personalise and I can make it as colourful as I want and there are loads of spare pages to use. The paper quality is also really good, I get no bleed through and barely any ghosting at all. The pocket at the back is elasticated and split in two so there is plenty of space to put library/book receipts and bookmarks in. It’s light so easy to carry out and about with you if you need it for a club or to give recommendations. It comes with 3 strings attached to the spine that you can use as bookmarks, all different colours so you can assign meanings to them and comes with a stand alone bookmark to use in your books. The elastic that wraps around the covers to keep it all together is also very handy and efficient.
If you have any questions give me a shout. Happy journaling.