I am not a journaler. I've tried for so many years to journal my life and it just . . . never happens.
I was first compelled to journal a book when I participated in a book club this summer. It was part of the assignment: to find something new and creative to do as you read.
So I tabbed pages and quotes as I read the first book, Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan. I found it amazing how much more themes and quotes stood out to me, when subconsciously looking for them! Since the book is middle-grade and set in Africa it was an easy read, but had lots of wildlife. Thus the extra thing I added was pictures of the birds Rachel mentioned and characteristics of them.
The second book I journaled (also for book club) was An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. I could not wait to do this one since it is one of my favorite books! As you can tell, I used plenty of tabs.
This time I even color coded them: green for a quote or observation, purple for something I could formulate a question off of for book club. (I am going to lead this session and will post a PDF with the questions for you guys to answer!) With some fine point pens my friend gave me for graduation, I was able to make the journaling I did match the tabs. I love it when colors have a purpose :)
The purpose of tabbing is so that I don't have to stop reading; I can just flag something I like and journal it later. So that was awesome.
Another book I journaled was If I Run by Terri Blackstock. This one I picked up from the library after becoming curious. I had no intention of journaling it until I realized what a good subject it would be a few pages in! Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of this one before I had to rip out all of my beautiful blue tabs and return the book to the library :(
I was so thrilled that this book included discussion questions, that not only did I journal this book, I typed up all of my journal notes on it and decided to share them with you! I figure it is the best way to show you exactly how I do it. (Probably best not to read it if you haven't read the book, or intend to. Some mild spoilers are contained.) You can click here or check it out on my Reviews page.
I haven't decided what book I'm going to journal next, but it shall be glorious! It really does help me get more out of a book. Since writing things down helps me remember them anyway, I've found this a very good way to retain more of what I read.
I highly recommend that all of you try journaling a book at some point. If you're going to do it, some tips:
- you cannot journal too much your first time!
- pick a low-key book to begin with
- use a journal that can lay flat
- make it your own (pictures, doodles, quotes, song lyrics, research)
- share pictures with me! :)
I'm so excited about everything I've discovered while journaling! Have you read any of the books I mentioned? I highly recommend all three of them, especially for journaling. How do you book journal? What kind of journaling do you most enjoy?