Keeping a reading journal can be very satisfying. Not only do you get a feeling of accomplishment each time you add a new entry, but you’re creating a guide you can refer to whenever you need a reminder about you what you read, where and when you read it—and, most importantly, what you liked (or didn’t like) about it.
But if you’re already busy and stressed, keeping a journal can start feeling like work, making reading a chore rather than a pleasure. If you’ve kept a reading journal for a while, you may even find yourself avoiding starting a new book so you don’t have to complete the task of writing up your journal entry when you finish it. This, of course, is counterproductive.
Rather than giving up on your journal (or reading), consider this low-pressure alternative: take a daily snapshot of what you’re reading. You could focus on a particular passage that resonates with you that day, or take in the setting in which you’re reading. Here are some examples:
Now that you have these pictures, what do you do with them? You could post a daily “what I’m reading” snap on a social media account (Instagram would be perfect for this), save them and post as a set on your blog when you finish a book, edit them together to make a short video, or print them out and paste them into your private reading journal. Pick the option that feels right for you, the one that makes you feel least stressed and most satisfied.
If you’re posting online, tagging your posts and typing out the quotes you’ve photographed will make searching easier in the future. While you can add additional commentary or ratings, it’s not necessary. The pictures themselves, particularly if you snap a few key quotes, will be enough to jog your memory in the future. The point of this exercise is to make keeping track of your reading fun (again), so keep it simple. Happy reading!
Photo Credits: Rhino Neal/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd) | Mike/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd) | S.Tore/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd) | ladyb/Flickr (CC-by-nd) | bibliothekarin/Flickr (CC-by) | Wil Taylor/Flickr (CC-by-nc-nd) | kate hiscock/Flickr (CC-by) | Thalita Carvalho/Flickr (CC-by-nc) | Lis Ferla/Flickr (CC-by-nc)