Whether you're a certified bibliophile or someone who just likes the occasional beach read, a reading journal can be a worthwhile investment. The best reading journals have at least 100 pages, can log at least 50 books, and are designed to suit your particular journaling needs.
The number of books that a reading journal can log is one of the most important factors to consider when buying one,
and this is dependent on both the format and the size of the journal. Much like guided journals, reading journals can offer varying levels of writing prompts as a springboard for your reflections. Some simply ask for the title, author, and genre of the book you’ve read, while others provide sample discussion questions or encourage you to find memorable quotes.
More complex prompts will take up more page space per book, while simpler ones will allow you to log between one and two books per page. If you can do without pre-assigned prompts and categories, you can simply invest in a blank journal and dedicate a single page (or more) for each book you read.
Next, you’ll want to consider page size. Journals with large 8-by-10-inch pages provide more room for note-taking, while smaller journals trade space for portability. Cover type is also worth thinking about, since hard covers are very durable, making them great for readers who like to carry their journal with them everywhere they go. Softcover journals tend to be more affordable, but they don’t
stand up to wear and tear as well.
Finally, think about the
type of binding you prefer. Journals with perfect bindings or glue binding tend to be both easy to find and very affordable. Wire-O binding adds another layer of reinforcement, which is great for those who tend to carry journals everywhere they go. Other types of construction include lay-flat binding, which allows pages to lay flat on a surface for easy writing, and Smyth sewn, which are stitched at the spine for added durability.
Check out our recommendations for the 16 best reading journals below — and once you’ve picked the right journal, don't forget to have
a good pen ready for taking notes. 1 The Best For Most Readers
If you want a quality reading journal that will stand up to wear and tear,
is a solid choice. It's made with a durable hard cover and measures 4.5 by 7.5 inches, making it easy to carry in most bags. It also has a concealed wire-O binding so that the pages lay flat as you write, and the inside of the spiral offers a convenient place to store your pen. The Book Lover's Journal
This journal allows you to log up to 67 books, and it dedicates two pages of space per title. Each entry includes a star rating chart for elements like pace, plot development, and ease of reading, as well as an entire lined page for notes and opinions. There are lots of extra features, too, including recommended reading lists, a space to record books you want to read in the future, pages to list books borrowed or lent, and more.
One fan raved: “I’ve tried a few different book journals and this is definitely the best one I’ve come across. It has everything you need and all the pages you would actually use. It has a really cool and descriptive rating system, places to put all the book info, and on the opposite page where you can write your thoughts about the book.” 2 A Minimalist Reading Journal That Will Look Great On Your Desk
Kunitsa Co. Reading Journal is a functional and durable notebook with a minimalist look. Between the mint hardcover exterior are 167 8.5-by-6-inch pages that can log 52 books, and the lay-flat binding makes writing on the pages easy. There are two pages allotted for each book, with options for audiobooks included. The first page records the title, author, dates started and finished, and ratings for three categories: how exciting, ease of reading, and overall rating. There’s also a place to record details like the genre, number of pages, and publication date of each book you’ve logged. This is followed by three writing prompts with enough space for paragraph-length answers. The second page, designed with a dot grid, is entirely dedicated to the reader's thoughts and favorite quotes. This reading journal also has bonus features like reading challenges, lists (books borrowed, finished, did not finish), and a daily reading tracker. One fan raved: “As an avid reader, I LOVE this journal and don’t know how I didn’t have one sooner! Perfect for reflecting after finishing a book, jotting down quotes, and having the memories to look back on one day. Would absolutely buy as a gift for another book lover and have gotten sooooo many compliments on mine since I got it!! 10/10 recommend!!” 3 The Best Budget Pick
$5 softcover reading journal is perfect for readers on a budget. It's the same price as many plain ruled notebooks, but with page layouts specifically designed for readers who want to record their thoughts. Each 8.5-by-11-inch page provides room to log one book, including the title, author, publisher, dates started and finished, genre, page count, and a one-sentence summary. Additional space is provided for a review, notes, and quotes, as well as an overall star rating chart. The 124-page, perfect-bound journal has room to record 120 books, and provides a handy index so you can find past entries without rifling through all of the pages. One fan raved: “I love this log! It has exactly what you need, no more no less. I especially like the table of contents at the front, keeps it super organized!” 4 A Reading Journal For Fans Of Book Riot
colorful reading journal is inspired by the annual Read Harder challenge from the popular independent editorial book site Book Riot. At 160 pages, it has room to log an estimated 50 books, with two pages for every entry. The first page is for recording the basics (title, author, publisher, year published, genre, and dates started and finished), a brief review, a section to describe the book in three words, and an overall grade from A to F. The second lined page is dedicated to notes, quotes, and other things to remember. Interspersed between the logs are 12 Read Harder challenges, inspiring quotes, and reading recommendations. The glue-bound journal measures 5.13 by 8.25 inches, and includes a ribbon bookmark and elastic enclosure, making it convenient to travel with. One fan raved: “I love the details! [...] The pages are thick enough that pens won’t bleed through. The spine, once worked a bit, will lie flat without breaking. There is a ribbon bookmark and an elastic strap to keep the journal closed. I absolutely love the three pages of piled-up book illustrations with blank spines to create a TBR list! This really set the journal over-the-top for me.” 5 This 12-Pack Of Blank Notebooks For Total Customization
If your journaling style doesn't require prompts or structure, let your imagination run wild with this
12-pack set of 60-page notebooks. Readers can dedicate as few or as many pages as they like to recording thoughts on each book they finish. The 5.5-by-8.3-inch Smyth-sewn pages come in three styles: blank, lined, and dot grid, and the blank Kraft paper covers can be painted, doodled on, or decorated to your taste. Blank books offer the freedom to make up your own categories and rating systems; readers won't feel confined to predetermined spaces for adding notes and quotes. One fan raved: “I love this journal and have bought these packs twice. The covers are super durable, the paper is super smooth. The covers are easy to decorate with stencils, paint, stickers, ink, etc. Will definitely be buying this product again!” 6 The Best Small Reading Journal is a tiny reading journal that packs a punch. At 4.07 by 5.12 inches, this glue-bound hardcover journal fits in almost any bag, and can keep track of up to 86 books. Each page has space to record a book's title, author, start and end dates, a star rating, and additional thoughts. There are also reflective prompts and inspirational quotes woven throughout. Some reviewers wished there was more space for notes, but another rebutted, “If you want to write a dissertation about every book you read, then buy a blank notebook; if you want to summarize your key thoughts, reactions, etc. (as I do), then this is the journal for you.” What I Read One fan raved: “I am an avid reader and enjoy keeping track of what I have read. This mini journal makes doing so easy and handy, small enough to carry in my purse. Friends have liked perusing it and getting ideas about what to read next. If you want lots of space to write an extensive summary and/or assessment of each book, this is not the journal for you, as it is very compact and concise.” 7 The Best Reading Journal For Beginners
reading journal is a good choice for more casual readers who are new to reading logs. The paperback journal has 110 lined, perfect-bound pages with space to log up to 100 titles. Each 8-by-10-inch page includes the standard fill-ins like title, author, genre, and start and finish dates. There are also lined sections for a general review and quotes from the book. In addition to single book review pages, the journal has a separate index and “To Be Read” list. While it doesn’t have too many extra features, it’s a good starter purchase that will help you decide if it's worth investing in a higher quality journal down the road. One fan raved: “Can’t remember the name of that book from last year or a favorite quote from the book? This journal is perfect with room for a variety of things you want to make note of and ability to cross reference later. You can put as much or as little as you want.” 8 The Best For Fans Of Moleskine Notebooks
If you're a fan of Moleskine notebooks, then you’ll love the brand’s
book journal. This 5-by-8.25-inch lay-flat hardcover journal contains 400 pages of the brand's signature ivory-colored, rounded-corner paper. Books are organized by alphabetized tabs, with room for approximately 15 to 20 books per letter. Each unlined page records the title, date read, author, nationality, edition, publisher, year published, original language, awards, and book type. There are also sections for notes, memorable quotes, thoughts and impressions, and a star rating. The journal includes two ribbon bookmarks, an elastic closure, a double expandable inner pocket, and themed stickers. It's all packaged in a premium box, making it ideal for archiving and long-term storage. One fan raved: “Absolutely love this book journal. Tried several others and I was disappointed. This journal helps me keep up with all the authors I love and allows me to see what I’ve read and what’s next in the series. I use a gel pen and have no issues with bleeding through as other reviews have stated. I’m very happy with it. I even bought a second because this one is filling up fast.” 9 A Practical And Affordable Reading Journal
This perfect bound
paperback reading journal is an affordable option for voracious readers. The 7.5-by-9.25-inch notebook size won't take up too much space on your desk, but the 117 pages still allow enough room to log up to 100 books. Each book is allotted one page, where you can record the title, author, genre, page count, format, how you first found out about the book, and dates started and finished. There are 14 lines for writing a general review or opinions, as well as a rating system for plot, characters, ease of read, and the quality of writing. Extras include a reading wish list, a reading log that doubles as a table of contents, space for favorite quotes, and a page for your 12 all-time favorite books. One fan raved: “This reading journal is absolutely beautiful. It’s everything I was looking for, appealing design with lots of space to write down everything I want. I especially like the reading log which also serves as the table of contents for a quick and easy reference and the reading wish list is very handy for organizing in one place all the books I’m recommended and want to read next. Overall a great journal for a very good price.” 10 The Best For Book Club Members
reading journal is designed with members of book clubs in mind. Its 256 perfect-bound pages allow you to log up to 100 books, with two pages available per book. The first page includes basic details and reflective prompts, and there are also star ratings for seven categories — writing style, relatability, originality, readability, personal impact, plot, overall rating — with space to include six additional categories of your choosing. A second lined page is for book club notes, with a section labeled “My Biggest Takeaway.” The journal also has 50 sample discussion questions for fellow readers, a recommended reading list, and suggestions for making the most of your book club experience. At 7 by 9 inches, it's easy to store in most bags and transport to meetings. One fan raved: “Ever forget the author of the book you enjoyed? It happens but never again for me, I have this to keep track of all of my likes and dislikes. Detailed and well made. The paper is thick so ink from a pen does not bleed through. Several members for my book club ordered these at the start of the year and we are all happy to fill them out each month as we discuss the books we have read.” 11 An Eco-Friendly Journal With Spiral Binding
reading journal is both high quality and environmentally friendly. It has a solid hard cover for durability, and a wire binding for comfortable writing. The 200-page design allows you to log up to 100 books (two pages per book), and its 7.5-by-9-inch size provides ample space for taking notes. Prompts on the first page include ideas expressed, favorite characters, and feelings after finishing the book. The second lined page is for notes, comments, and dates that the book is loaned to and returned by others. This journal is printed with soy-based ink, and the pages are made of acid-free recycled paper. One fan raved: “I use this to write down my thoughts after I have finished reading a book. I love that it is spiral-bound so that I don't have to hold it open to write and can easily look at it when I am writing reviews. My favorite part is the second page that provides additional space for me to take uncategorized notes on my reading. Pairing that with some of the prompts on the first page is perfect.” 12 The Best Faux-Leather Reading Journal
elegant lined notebook is a good choice for the free-form journaler, with the added benefit of being made from vegan-friendly faux leather. Measuring 5.75 by 8.25 inches, it has 160 pages of thick paper that resists bleeding and holds up to erasing. The sturdy hard cover is bound with vegan leather and available in seven different colors, as well as a cork cover option. Design details include lay-flat binding, an elastic closure, and a ribbon bookmark. The notebook is delivered in a presentation box which is helpful for readers who like to safely archive completed journals for future reference. One fan raved: “This notebook is gorgeous. I am a keen writer and use diaries, notebooks etc everyday so I needed something both high quality and comfortable to use. This ticks all of the boxes for me. [...] The paper is really high quality and you can tell; the pen ink doesn't show at all through the other side of the page. There is a page holder attached in the style of a material band which is a handy addition too. I have recently bought three more to use as notebooks for my writing. I recommend.” 13 The Best For Readers Who Like A More Structured Journal is a great choice for readers who prefer a more structured journaling experience. The 5.5-by-7.1-inch, glue-bound hardcover journal is compact and durable, and its 192 pages can log an estimated 100 books. There is only one page allotted per book, but it covers all of the bases. In addition to basic details like author, publisher, and genre, there's a dotted grid for jotting down how the book was discovered, memorable quotes, and thoughts and impressions. Enjoyment, craft, and overall star ratings are included in a sidebar. This journal includes tons of extra features, including a “To Be Read”’ list, a reading habit tracker, and plenty of tips for becoming a better reader. Multiple recommended reading lists include books by season and genre, and even a section on books about books and bookstores. My Reading Life One fan raved: “For a book journal, this is the most versatile I have seen. It goes beyond creating spaces for you to date reads and log reviews. It has recommendations and suggestions for structuring and maximizing your readership- which is fantastic. Who doesn't wish they could read more and cut out the duds?” 14 The Best Reading Journal For Those Who Read A *Lot*
logs 105 books — five more than many of the other options on this list. At 6 by 9 inches, this 110-page perfect-bound reading journal is a compact and easy-to-carry reference for all of the books you've recently read. The pages are printed on high quality stock and bound in a matte-finish soft cover. There's one page per review and it covers all of the bases, including format, page count, start and finish dates, star rating, and where you got the book. There are lined sections for a written review and memorable quotes, as well as a blank box for notes. Finally, an index helps you search for a specific book — a handy feature when you’re sorting through more than 100 titles. Reading Log Notebook One fan raved: “Looks great - it's what I was looking for. Includes index pages and room for 105 books […] Pleasant, quality journal.” 15 A Compact Reading Journal For Your Nightstand
With 110 pages and room to log 100 books, this 8-by-10-inch perfect-bound paperback
reading journal fits all relevant details in a single page: title, author, page count, start and finish dates, book format, source, and genre. A generous lined section is provided for a written review, and a blank box for great quotes is included at the bottom of the page. A sidebar has a star rating section for plot, characters, and ease of reading, as well as an emoji rating system for your overall impression of the book and a small three-question prompt section. Ideal for those who read in bed, you can keep it on your nightstand and use it to jot down notes as they come up. One fan raved: “I absolutely love this book log! I am a bookstagrammer and read 70 or more books a year and this log has everything I need! I bought 2 of them and am so pleased! There’s plenty of room for your review as well as start date/finish date, genre, title, publisher, author, any quotes you liked in the book, and more!”
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