Reading

2020 Reading Journal

Book journal cover
Book journal, stickers, pens

This year I am determined to improve my reading game because if I’m aspiring to write more then I really need to match it with reading more. It’s not entirely a New Year’s Resolution because I started at the beginning of my Christmas break from work.

My new reading journal was part of my Christmas gift from my daughter and her family. It’s a Leuchtturm 1917 Jottbook Master notebook and when I unwrapped it and saw the black cover I immediately wanted to decorate it with printed photos of the cover of each book I read. So far I’m happy with the concept but strangely incapable of putting any sticker down straight. Never mind; it’s not like it’s some artwork for an exam upon which the rest of my life depends – it’s just a book for my own enjoyment.

How do I like the Jottbook? I do love a good exercise book because it always seems like the slim profile is easy to write in. As with all Leuchtturm products, I find the paper is a little on the thin side – it takes fountain pen ink well, but there is more shadowing on the reverse of the page than I personally like, and a touch of bleedthrough here and there. So far, I am just writing on the right-hand pages and when I’m through to the end I may turn it upside-down and work back through on the reverse pages. We shall see.

How am I enjoying the reading? Very much indeed. Of the three books I’ve read so far, one was a re-read and still a series that I am a big fan of; one was something I wanted to read just to see whether my gut-instinct is right and it is: I don’t want to read any more of this author; the other was just something I have never read even though I know the story by heart. Now I’ve read it I never have to read it again!

I don’t have any set books that I intend to read this year, I’m going to play it by ear, but I think I’d like to re-read This Side of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald because it was his first published novel and it would be cool to read it in its centenary year. I have had a sheet of paper with me for years reminding me I ought to read some more Christopher Isherwood. Also, I’d really like to find some novels that are published this year that I might like to read. I don’t read a lot of current fiction because it can be very formulaic and it’s not easy to find something that grabs me, so the majority of reads will hopefully be new to me but older to the world.

Here is the basic layout I am doing for each book I read:

Reading journal inside
A typical reading journal layout

That reminds me – I ought to add the original publication date for each book.

So that’s my reading journal. Tonight I will start a slim volume of short stories which sound interesting and will be a little light refreshment before I head into another longer novel.

Do you keep a list or review of books you read, or are you content with the reading without any need to record anything about it?