2024 Reading Journal Setup

🎄☃️✨ Welcome to Day 9 of Blogmas At Home! It’s 16 days until Christmas and Hugh Grant is dancing to ‘Jump (For My Love)’ in households everywhere. ✨☃️🎄

Today’s post is another bullet journal setup, but this time- it’s a reading journal!

I must confess: I have previously tried (and failed) to keep a reading journal- I don’t think it even made it past January. I burned myself out setting it up, didn’t keep up with it AND I have my suspicions that the whole kerfuffle negatively impacted the amount of reading I actually did. Naturally, then, I am giving it another shot. I know, I know, why would I do that to myself? But I just feel that a reading journal is everything I should like- I love to read, I love to journal, I love to track things and look at interesting stats (just don’t make me do any actual statistics- Maths A Level scarred me for life). I mean- an outlet for all of the creative inspiration I garner from reading? It’s everything I could ever want. Long story short, I am determined to become a reading journal person. This time around, though, I’m being smart. Before I even started, I set myself some very clear ground rules:

  • Limit the number of spreads

Too many trackers/spreads to keep on top of just makes journalling feel like a chore to me. I already have lots in my day-to-day bullet journal- I only want the bare minimum in this one.

  • Keep it simple

I am definitely guilty of going over the top with my bullet journal themes/decorations. The last thing I want to do is overwhelm myself when I’m just setting up my reading journal, so it was really important that I kept things simple.

  • Make sure I don’t have to fill out my reading journal every day

I need my reading journal to be something I want to fill out, so I think it’s best to make it more of an ‘occasion’ to do so- that is, not something that has to be filled out every day/will feel like a chore. I already have my day-to-day journal to keep me on top of things- I want this journal to be just a fun project for myself. To do this, I’m going to keep a copy of my reading tracker in my day-to-day journal, to fill in as I go, which I can then transfer to my reading journal whenever I feel like it, so it’s ready to use when it comes to filling out the rest of it.

  • Be less prescriptive

When I made my reading journal last time, my plan was to do a monthly ‘summary’ of my reading. That’s a nice idea, but when your reading is as sporadic as mine (I’m a bit of a boom-and-bust reader), it can make you feel a bit down when you come to make a monthly summary and find you have read a grand total of zero books. This time around, I really want to use this journal as a creative outlet and create themed spreads for the books that I really enjoyed. I want this journal to be some sort of cross between a reading tracker/diary and a book ‘sketchbook’, all in one.

Those were my ground rules going into this and so far, so good. In this setup, I’ll show you the opening pages of my new reading journal for 2024.

Ready? Let’s go.

Table of Contents


For my reading journal, I chose the Notebook Therapy Tsuki ‘Honey Bee’ Journal in the A5 size. I was just looking on the website and I can only see the travel version for sale, so I wonder if the A5 one has been discontinued? I hope not, because it’s a really lovely journal. The pages are super thick (I’m hopeful for no ghosting/bleeding!) and the edges are gilded and sprayed with a honey bee pattern. The cover is super soft- it’s actually velvet! It has an elastic closure, back pocket and two ribbon bookmarks, but it does not have a pen holder, which is sad but I’ll get past it, because I only really need to keep a pen with my day-to-day journal. Also, it came with the little golden bee paperclip pictured above, which is just the prettiest thing and made my magpie heart very happy, so that was nice.

The notebook has 176 pages, so I’m hoping that it will actually do me about 3(-ish?) years of my reading journal. We’ll see, but I very much like the idea of not having to buy a new notebook as often as I have to for my day-to-day journal. However, the pages aren’t numbered, which I usually wouldn’t mind, but I do want to include an index in this journal, so it’s a little bit of a drag. Ah, well. The softness of the velvet cover makes up for it- I’m obsessed.

Equipment + Supplies

To make this setup, I used the following supplies:


A new bullet journal means a new nameplate and, while I don’t tend to go too crazy in terms of decoration on this spread, I figured I’d add a few little stamps, just for kicks. I stamped my name using my alphabet stamps, then used the library card stamp to add some decoration. Because I expect this journal to fit in multiple years’ worth of content, I thought it would be nice to keep track of the years within this journal here, so I’ve written 2024 in the first row.


I never really use indexes in my bullet journal, but, seeing as this journal will span multiple years, I thought it would be a good idea to include an index so that I could easily navigate through the pages. I also decided to colour code my index, so I have highlighted the page numbers that I have already filled in for 2024 with my Tombow 990. I’ll change colour for each year, so I can see which spreads are from which year at a glance. As I mentioned, Notebook Therapy journals do not have page numbers, so I’ll be adding my own as I go through. I think I’m going to match the style of the number to the style of each spread, just for a bit of a fun, so I’ve only added numbers to the pages I’ve used, so far.

To make the index, I just used my Muji pen and a ruler to create 2 tables per page, each with 2 columns: one for the page number and the other for the title of the spread. I stamped ‘index’ along the top, then used the plant stamps to add some decoration. It’s super simple (just what I needed!) but I think the stamps make it very pretty.

2024 Cover Page

For 2024, I wanted my theme to be very quick and easy to create, but still aesthetically pleasing, to motivate me to actually use the journal. I decided to rely super heavily on stamped decorations, while adding some dimension with my beloved brown kraft paper.

For my cover page, I stuck some torn brown kraft paper into the bottom right of the right-hand page. I layered the number ‘2024’ (using the stamps my alphabet set), on top of the frame stamp from the ‘Our Stories’ set, as the yearly header. I then added some more decorative stamps across the page.

For my quote page, I opted for a quote from one of my favourite trilogies of all time: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. For obvious reasons, I thought it was fitting for a reading journal. You can see how I’ve done the page numbers for this theme here- I just used a hole punch to punch out little circles of the brown paper and used my glue pen to stick them into the bottom corner. I then used my Muji pen to write the page number on top. I really like this method, because I think it makes the (rather ordinary) page numbers look kind of fun, but still elegant.

Reading + Series Trackers

Next up I have my trackers- on the left is one for my reading and on the right is one for specific series. I have included a reading tracker in every bullet journal I have ever made for myself, so I knew I would use this spread. It’s essentially just a carbon copy of my usual tracker- the first column is for the book number, the second column is for the title, then the next two columns are for the dates I started and finished reading the book, respectively, and the final column is for my rating. I don’t tend to include the name of the author here, because a) I typically remember who wrote the books I’ve read and b) I don’t have enough space! Like I said in the intro, I think I will still keep this spread in my day-to-day journal, because I know otherwise I will forget the information after I inevitably procrastinate filling this one in. I’ll just copy out the information when it comes to filling out my reading journal/making the new spreads- but I still want it here so that I ultimately have all my reading info in one place.

On the right-hand page is my series tracker. I got the idea for this spread from Plant Based Bride on YouTube and I plan to use the same method of drawing one small circle per book in a series, which I will then colour in once I have read each one. I have space here for 9 series, which is rather ambitious, given my reading stats of the last year, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry!

Upcoming Releases, Wishlist + TBR

My ‘Upcoming Releases’ page is essentially a mini calendar that will help me to keep track of when books I am looking forward to reading are being published. I have one box for each month, in which I will write in the publication date and title of the upcoming releases.

On the right-hand page, I have two boxes: one for my wishlist- i.e., books I want to buy/borrow, and one for my TBR (to be read)- i.e., books I already own but haven’t got around to reading yet. Honestly, I am SO bad at reading my TBR, so I’m hoping the satisfaction of ticking off books here might encourage me a little? Maybe? Hopefully? I’m not sure.

Myths + Legends Around The World

Okay, this one’s a little niche, but it’s essentially just a reading challenge, of sorts. Next year, I really want to read some myths and legends from all over the world. My educational background is in Latin and Ancient Greek, so I’ve read a lot of Greek and Roman mythology and I absolutely love it, but I’d also love to stretch my understanding of myth and culture by branching out a little more. As you can see, the main feature of this spread is a map of the world (which I printed directly onto my brown kraft paper and stuck into my journal). My intention is that, whenever I read a mythological text from a new country/region, I’ll draw a line from that place, going out into the blank space surrounding the map, where I will write the title of the text/any extra info. I haven’t set myself any parameters for this challenge- it’s just something I would like to do, so I thought it would be nice to have a space to keep track of it.

Final Thoughts

This setup is much shorter than my typical setups in my day-to-day bullet journal- even my monthly ones! Like I said, I wanted to keep my reading journal pretty minimal, just so I didn’t get overwhelmed by excessive tracking or challenges, because I know I won’t respond well to that kind of pressure. Having said that, I still think I have everything I need to make this journal useful to me, so I’m very excited to get started with using it next year!

In terms of the style/design of the journal, this feels very much like my bullet journalling style. Admittedly, I’ve never really used decorative stamps (aside from my alphabet stamps!), but I’ve definitely gone with the whole torn-brown-kraft-paper-and-minimal-black-line-art vibe multiple times before. I think it suits me, but it also suits the cosy vibes of reading in general, so I’m happy. Also, it was SO fast to set up and that was exactly what I needed.

Have you ever kept a reading journal? Let me know in the comments below!



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