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Guest Blogger: How to start and write a reading journal by Library of Kate

Guest Blogger: How to start and write a reading journal by Library of Kate

Today we're celebrating National Book Lovers Day! As we're all book lovers in the WashiGang office, we thought we'd celebrate for the whole week! Are you a book lover, too? Have you ever thought about starting a reading journal to keep track of what you've been reading? 

We thought we'd kick off National Book Lovers Day with a guest blog on how to start and write a reading journal, from our favourite WashiGang crew book lover, Library of Kate! Yay!! Library of Kate is the master of reading journals and she has some great tips to get you started. Read more below:


How I started mine: 
Hello everybody, my name is Kate and I run a blog and Instagram called ‘Library of Kate’, and I am your guest blogger. I have recently joined the bullet journal/planner community after looking for a while to combine my love of paper and reading together, as well as how to record all my favourite reads in a physical format.
Guest blog how to write a reading journal by Library of Kate for WashiGangI had tried a bullet journal in the past and honestly, I’m not great at free hand drawing or writing; preferring the look of layered pieces of paper, washi tape, and stickers (of course). It was by chance that I stumbled upon a reading journal on a fellow Instagrammer’s page, where they used a bullet journal to record their thoughts down without drawing the whole thing out, and I knew this was the way for me. I just needed the right planner and essentials to begin, and that’s where WashiGang comes in. Honestly, their website is so well laid out and made it easy as a first timer to find all the right things.

I chose an Archer & Olive journal, B5 size, in plain black with the gold embossed moon on the front. I chose this size as it was big enough that I didn’t have to squish content on the page, but also not too over size that I would have to think of what to add. But what would that look like on the page? You may be thinking...
Guest blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangHow mine is laid out: 

Well, I have laid it out in a very fluid way, allowing it to be adaptable to what I feel like, or on how much I have to say. Let’s have a look inside. 

Like most journals I have a title page that I began with. As you can see from the image, it is a rustic witchy vibe, with a mixture of materials. I tried not to overload it, and keep it simple and aesthetically pleasing. Guest blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangOver the page, I have my rating system that I base my book reviews off. I love using washi tape here at the bottom on the pages, like a framing of the page or as an accent under a title. 

When it comes to laying out a review page, it really comes down to the book and how many embellishments I have that will work with the page, or what is new that I want to try out. In the next few photos, I’m going to go through how I put a spread together and a bit of my thought process. Guest blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangBook review: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

Once I finish a book and really enjoy it, I start to think of what I want to put on the page. I get all my materials together and make sure they all work together in the style I am looking for. But, let’s be honest, most of the books I read are either fantasy or paranormal, so they have a strong magical element, which makes it easy.  In the image you can see how all of my materials tie in with a central theme. The materials I am using are either from WashiGang or from around the house, like Amazon packing paper.Guest Blogger Library of Kate for WashiGang
From WashiGang - 

From around the house

  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape
  • Packing paper
  • Scrap paper. 

Guest Blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangI love this combination of washi tape so much; it's so aesthetically pleasing. I then print out a picture of the cover of the novel, and stick that on the page, sometimes in the centre or off to the left. If I am doing a two-page spread, I tend to put it on the first page, then leave the second for writing the review on. As you can see above, it balances the page out a lot more and allows me more room to write quotes that have stuck with me since finishing the book.Guest Blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangEmbellishment time! I recently received these pens from WashiGang and I’m obsessed with them. I love a really smooth pen that gives a good amount of ink and that you don’t have to go over to make it darker. These pens are 20/10. I have used so many pens in the past, and these are my all-time favourite, I need them in all the colours. Guest Blogger Library of Kate by WashiGangThings to think about while setting it up: 
When setting up my reading journal, I wanted it less to be about the plot of the book and what characters, more a personal opinion of the book, a memory keeping of sorts that makes me smile when I read back over the pages.
But what do I write on my pages
?Guest Blogger Library of Kate for WashiGang

  • An overview of what the book is about (in case I lose my memory and have to decide what to read again).
  • Thoughts on the characters (the important people).
  • A rating of the book (based off the front of the journal).
  • Some quotes that stuck with me. 
  • And of course, the name and author. 

Here are some other pages I have done, just to show you some different ways as well as how they change. Guest Blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangGuest Blogger Library of Kate for WashiGangThis is my form of meditation or personal time, I put an audiobook on and forget about the world for a bit.

Have you thought about a reading journal? Or even a movie/TV show journal? 

Oh my gosh!!! Thank you so much, Library of Kate!! We loved reading about how you set up your reading journal! We're also feeling very inspired to get reading. 
What's on your reading list? Let us know in the comments! 

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Andrea - August 16, 2021

Thanks for sharing Kate. I love our setup and your insta page

Crystal Barker - August 16, 2021

These are some really nice tips for a reading journal! I’ve always wanted to start one and with the info in this post I feel ready to give it a go! Thank you very much! 😊

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