The host of Booking Through Thursday reflects:
Do you keep a list of the books you’ve read? How? In a journal? Through one of the online services? If so, WHY? To keep good records for future reference? To make sure you don’t accidentally reread? If not, why not? Too eager to move on to the next book? Too lazy? Never thought to bother?
The book reviews on this blog are straight from my reading journals. I have adopted the same format since my first reading journal: the review should be no more than two pages, with at least two quotations/passages, with a brief plot summary and a note on the author’s language, style, and moral theme. I have recently started my fifth Moleskine® notebook on October 25, with my review on The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. The header of each entry will contain the title, the author, the dates read, and page number. Since I started school, reading and journaling had been hand-in-hand. While a reading journal can be helpful for recording observations and questions. I find mine to be more structured than mere “first impressions” or “personal reactions.” The two pages devoted to each book contain my overall impressions of the reading, particular passages or details stand out to me, and personal experiences or background relate to the reading. As you see, reading and reflection are like both sides of a coin. It doesn’t take too much time out of my reading—usually an entry over coffee during breakfast. If reading is the absorbing of author’s words, then reflection is the interaction. The journal is a transcription of my conversation with the book.