Back in July or August of 2001, I entered a contest on a whim. Only one entry was submitted and amazingly enough, I got lucky and was chosen as one of three winners of "A Good Book is the best of Friends: A Reader's Journal".
At first glance it looked somewhat intimidating (like writing a book report) but I was determined to try it. So, the next time I finished reading a book, I opened up my Reader's Journal and began the first chapter. The first page is basic information on each book... title, author, genre, publication date... all of which you can get inside the book you are reading. It also includes place of purchase and received as gift from blanks along with keeping track of who recommended the book to you and if you recommended it to someone else.
There is only room to journal 25 books in this volume and I am a very avid reader, so it would be full already if I were journaling every book
I read. Instead, I'm doing a best of and worst of sort of thing, and with series, I'll journal just one book, and maybe comment on others in the series in that section.
I always have reasons for reading a book and favorite characters, but had never thought to write them down before... now I have a place to do that. There is a place to write down book notes (and this I use for a short story synopsis of the book). Then it gets into questions about the book... three pages, but only one question per page. I just put an answer there,(underlining whether I'm answering the fiction or non-fiction question) and if there is room sometimes a favorite quote from the book.
The next two pages are essentially blank with lines, meant for answering some of the prompts included in the front of the book, but I'm saving those for when I read a book again later... and for most books I've journaled like this I WILL read them again. Now and again, I may journal an especially BAD book so I won't bother with it again, but I don't pick up too many of those.
As it turns out, this Reader's Journal is not as difficult to use as it seems to be at first. If you don't like using the prompts, who says you "have" to answer their questions? You can write your own feelings, comments etc in the spaces provided for answers as well as on the last two pages where there are no prompts.
I can think of a few things that weren't included in this "Reader's Journal" that I probably should be tracking, and thus far I haven't done so because the prompts are not there.
Date started, Date finished, Did this book win any awards and if so which ones? Publisher, ISBN (Well, I'd rarely if ever need that, but some of you may.) There may be other things, too that I haven't thought of, but it does an admirable job with very little effort on my part, so I have to give it a 4 out of 5.