Whether you’re a certified bibliophile or just like 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.
What To Look For In A Reading Journal
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 hardcovers are very durable, making them great for readers who like to carry their journals 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 is stitched at the spine for added durability.
Check out our recommendations for the best reading journals below — and once you’ve picked the right journal, don’t forget to have
a good pen ready for taking notes.
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 sort of had my own book journal, which was just a blank page journal wherein I kept track of everything I’d read, along with various details about each. When I ran into this Journal, I loved it so much, I bought it on the spot, and then came home and ordered a second copy from Amazon. You couldn’t ask for a more comprehensive journal to record your readings, and all in 4 5/8″ X 7 1/2″. You even have a nice covered spiral binding that not only allows the journal to lay flat, but also gives you a nice channel for your pen.”
Number of pages: 216 (67 books) | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Wire-O | Colors: 1
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 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: “I loooove this reading journal! […] After looking at so many different options, I chose this one and was not disappointed. It has so many great pages and layouts, and there are PLENTY of each page that I know I’ll be able to use this for a few years. I think it actually motivates me to read more because I get to fill it out when I finish a book. Would make a great gift for any avid reader!”
Number of pages: 167 (52 books) | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Lay-flat | Colors: 4
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’ve just started using this reading log and love it. In the beginning of the book it has a place for you to list up to 120 books that you’ve read. There is a separate page to rate and review each book—title, author, rating, date started/finished, page count and review. It’s just what I was looking for to keep list of books I’ve read.”
Number of pages: 124 (120 books) | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Perfect-bound | Colors: 1
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.”
Number of pages: 400 | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Lay-flat | Colors and styles: 8
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: “Great way to delve into a satisfying reading experience. I just completed the first challenge by reading one of the recommended books and was not disappointed. I look forward to the rest of the suggestions.”
Number of pages: 160 (50 books) | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Glue-bound | Colors: 1
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!”
Number of pages: 60 each | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Smyth-sewn | Styles: 3
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: “This journal is great. It’s cute and compact but it packs a punch. It’s filled with a ton of pages for reviews with these random pages thrown in for things like your favorite authors or a page to list all the books your want to read ect. It also has these cute quotes related to books thrown in. I love this journal and it’s great to keep track of all the Kindle books I read.”
Number of pages: 128 (86 books) | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Glue-bound | Colors: 1
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: “I have always wanted a book journal. This is perfect for me as someone who is just starting. I read a good deal so I needed a journal with lots of entries, this has room for 100 books. It’s big and has lots of room to write and gives you promts of what to write where. So excited to start filling it in.”
Number of pages: 110 (100 books) | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Perfect-bound | Colors: 1
A Practical And Affordable Reading Journal
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 reading, and 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: “Such a great product! Loving the layout and how well thought out all the pages are. It makes a great journal for book reviews and having some fun details to remind you of reading that particular story. From the Table of Contents where yoy can write book titles, to the dedicated review pages, and then the quote section in the back, along with the added TBR/Wishlist pages you will never want for another journal again!”
Number of pages: 117 (100 books) | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Perfect-bound | Colors: 1
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: “It’s well made, well thought of, and made with BOOK CLUBS, specifically, in mind. It even has a list of suggested books that have been popular at book clubs from classics, to young adult, to diverse voices, to books by women, etc. with 210 book suggestions to read! Also, there are enough pages to document 102 read books and a book log in the back for an additional 30 books you’d like to read in the future! This is a MUST have for book clubs (or any reader!) There are even questions and tips on how to conduct a book club and what points to bring up! It can’t get any better!”
Number of pages: 256 (100 books) | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Perfect-bound | Colors: 1
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.”
Number of pages: 200 (100 books) | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Wire | Colors: 1
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 hardcover is bound with vegan leather and available in seven different colors. 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: “Wow! I was absolutely blown away at how beautiful this journal looked. Everything from the appearance, the packaging, the feel. I was completely mesmerised by this book. […] I am so in love with writing in it. The pages are thick and they don’t bleed thru as I have been using a sharpie pen and have had no problems. I also love the book mark attached to it and the rubber band that keeps the book closed.”
Number of pages: 160 | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Lay-flat | Colors: 7
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: “Anne did really think of everything with the book journal. The size is perfect, the colors are happy, every section is a delight. If you love to read you will thoroughly enjoy this journal!”
Number of pages: 192 (100 books) | Cover: Hardcover | Binding: Glue-bound | Colors: 1
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.”
Number of pages: 110 | Cover: Paperback | Binding: Perfect-bound | Colors: 1
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!”
Number of pages: 110 (100 books) | Cover: Paperback (hardcover also available) | Binding: Perfect-bound
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 23, 2021