I’m pretty low tech when it comes to organizing my reviews. If I’m on the go, I take all my notes in a tiny little Field Notes notebook. Then they will eventually get transferred to a Leuchtturm1917 or Rhodia Webbie for long term storage. If I’m at home they go straight into the Leuchtturm/Rhodia. Since my reviews aren’t lengthy diatribes, I can hold hundreds in a single journal. My 2016 journal, for example, has over 400 titles with my little notes and comments.
For my National Book Award/Baileys reading quest, I decided to get a bit more organized. I was searching the Leuchtturm site and stumbled across the Ex Libris journal. After checking on how many books it will hold (156, if you are interested) I decided to go ahead and treat myself. If you haven’t seen one yet, I’ve included some info and photos for you.
Same cover as all Leuchtturm journals but it comes in more earthly colors as well as the normal vivid ones. It also has Ex Libris embossed on the front cover to help distinguish it from others if you happen to be a journal whore like me! Same sturdy little ribbon to mark your place and elastic band to close it tight. Same off white pages that are awesome for tired reading eyes. Oh, and same back pocket to keep goodies like bookmarks, reading lists, and any genre stickers you might use. That’s where the similarities end.
Once you open up the journal, it’s a whole new world. The journal is divided into three sections. The first is the main review section which is designed for one book per page. It gives you lines to fill out that include basic book info such as title, author, publication year, etc. It also, interestingly, has a place for you to check whether it is a book or audio book. There is no choice for ebook which I found pretty strange in this day and age. Since I don’t partake in audio books this part was pretty useless for me so I covered it with a tiny photo of the book cover instead.
The second section is for lists. There is a place for you to note books you want to read, what books you want to give, and what books you have lent or borrowed. Cute but not really useful for my needs so I’ll be using it as extra space for information about the National Book Award and Bailey’s Prize.
The last section is pretty awesome and calls to the librarian in me. It’s a simple alphabetical section where you can list books and authors with their page numbers so you can quickly find them. An index of the journal, if you will. Since I read in random order this is a fantastic section to help me keep books straight and find the reviews quickly so I can post them on my site.
How about you? How do you keep track of your reviews? Do you have the Ex Libris (or another book specific journal) on your Christmas list?