Planner Review Planners Reading

Ep 106: Reading Life & Reading Journals

August 8, 2022

Quick notes — we’re on vacation and have so much to report, but that will wait until tomorrow.

In this episode, I discuss the strategies I use to make reading a regular part of my life. Short answer: routines, a bit of tracking/attention, and finally embracing the Kindle/Kindle app/Libby app!

Then, I delve into 4 book journals:

1- My Reading Life – A Book Journal by Anne Bogel (Modern Mrs Darcy!) – a cute book with a spine that lays flat, great book rec lists, and dot grid in the log pages!

2- Bibliophile Reader’s Journal by Jane Mount – gorgeous illustrations in full color, lay-flat spine, and excellent picks on the cover!

3- My Reading Adventures: A Book Journal for Kids also by Anne Bogel. She was kind enough to send it to me, and Annabel is a fan! She shares her review in this ep!

4- The Cultivated Reading Journal from Cultivate What Matters. Very pretty cover and color choices, no book rec lists (for some, this may be a positive!). Similar styling to other CWM offering but less luxe paper. No dot grid/line on the log pages..

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Back with more tomorrow! I will leave you with one preview . . .


  • Reply Arden August 8, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Great pic!!

  • Reply Katherine B August 8, 2022 at 8:37 am

    Reminds me I want to return to Harry Potter World here in the UK. Last went summer 2015 with daughters then aged 11 and 15, after the end of primary school for the younger one. She is now 18 and awaiting A level results next week, older one is at university but I’m sure they would both still love it, just in a different way.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 8, 2022 at 9:50 am

    Can’t wait to hear more about your vacation!

    I am glad your reading is in a better place. I think when you have young kids, especially one that fight bedtime/need a parent in the room, ebooks are the best solution. I pretty much exclusively read on my kindle or kindle ap. I got way less frustrated when I was dealing w/ our son’s insistent that we stay in the room (which he has stopped insisting upon this summer – thank goodness) than my husband did since I would read on my kindle ap so the time wasn’t “wasted.”

    I got Anne Bogel’s reading journal and was pretty consistently using it until this summer. Now I am so far behind that it feels too onerous to update it. I like the idea of having a physical tracker for my reading since I don’t really own books anymore. But I just don’t use it so won’t be getting another one. But I used goodreads and have been on it since 2007 as I was kind of a beta tester since my friend’s brother’s friend in grad school developed the ap and wanted feedback. So I have a ton of history on there and will never stop using it, but I also use a spreadsheet that I got from Sarah’s Bookshelves Live since I am a patreon member and I religiously use that and also use it to track my TBR. I used to use goodreads to track my TBR but there are way too many books on it, so it’s just too overwhelming.

    In terms of good books, I just finished “True Biz” which is set in a school for the deaf. The author is deaf so it’s an owned voices book and it gave me a lot of perspective on the deaf community and ways it’s been discriminated against as well as the controversy around cochlear implants. But all that ‘education’ was done in a subtle way through the storyline/character development. It was a great, unique book.

  • Reply Grateful Kae August 8, 2022 at 10:12 am

    Awww, awesome picture!!! Have so much fun!!! (Side question- how do you keep your long hair down like that with the Orlando heat?!!! Doesn’t that make you so hot?? Or are you just so used to the heat I guess?)

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 8, 2022 at 11:13 am

      I put it up like 5 min after that pic haha

  • Reply Coree August 8, 2022 at 10:39 am

    Lovely family picture!

    I use Storygraph to log my reading – but I’d blow through a reading journal pretty quickly. I’m at 80 books this year already, all that plane time.

  • Reply Charlotte August 8, 2022 at 10:52 am

    I got the Erin Condren Star Wars (7×9) themed reading journal for my 6 year old. The paper feels similar to the planners, nice and thick. The spacing of the fields they fill out is good for elementary school. I like how there’s a big area to draw their favorite part of the book as well.

    Looks like they now also have an A5 size geared towards older kids/teens with more space to write about the book.

  • Reply Stephanie August 8, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    I loved Annabel’s review! Thinking of buying one for my 10yo!

  • Reply Emily August 8, 2022 at 1:19 pm

    Love the family photo! I usually think A looks so much like you but can really see the resemblance with C here. Enjoy vacation!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 9, 2022 at 9:16 am

      Cameron and I 100% look alike 🙂 totally agree!

  • Reply Helena Murphy August 8, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    Your recommendation of a Becky Chambers book helped resuscitate my reading life! Just found out today that the sequel is out “A Prayer for the Crown-Shy” was released on July 12, 2022.

    The truth is that at the current stage of my life I had to finally get over my fantasy of sitting in the perfect oversized armchair, under the perfect reading lamp, by the perfect window with a view, and the perfect cup of tea with a PHYSICAL book and just embrace my (3-yr-old never used) kindle + Libby combo. That happened on a cross-country plane ride and the e-reader curse was broken. Now I’m on my 10th book, scrolling far less and looking forward to every opportunity to dive back into it.

    Keep the recommendations coming!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 9, 2022 at 9:15 am

      Yes! Can’t wait to read that sequel. And so true the fantasy reading vs reality!

  • Reply Ry August 8, 2022 at 5:29 pm

    Commenting for the first time! Long time listener of both pods. Your reading journey sounds just like mine and Murakami was also what initiated my return to reading. Just had to ask if you read Killing Commendatore and what you thought of it!? I believe it is his most recent novel. The reviews I read weren’t great so I wasn’t expecting much but it is now my new favorite! My reading goal this year is to re-read all of his novels because it has been so long. I previously set it as a quarterly goal and that was definitely too ambitious of me as I only got through 4. Forgot how lengthy they are!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 9, 2022 at 9:15 am

      I have it but have not read it- but this makes me want to!!

  • Reply Pankti August 8, 2022 at 5:46 pm

    Love Annabel’s review and love this pic! We went to Universal along with our Disney trip we went at the beginning of February. My kids (2 & 5) loved it and I honestly feel enjoyed it a bit more than the Disney parks. We have started watching movies and they were able to relate to the characters a bit more (The Grinch, Minions, Shrek, etc)

    Regarding your query about a number to text to – have you looked into a google voice number? Both my husband and and I have one and give it out more than our actual cell phone numbers. It’s helpful to use to chat with various customer representatives, or to get shipping updates, but don’t want it crowding more important messages.

  • Reply Klara Furuberg August 9, 2022 at 3:06 am

    Have you seen this from the Hobonichi release?

    ●365 Days Check-Off Sheet
    This page has a bubble you can fill in for each day of the year. Use it to track studying, working out at home, or anything else you’d like to do every day. Let this check-off sheet help you stay motivated and achieve your goals!

    You can find it on this page, I am really exited about this and I hope you will do an episode of BLP on Hobonichi this year as well. Thank you for introducing me to paper planning 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 9, 2022 at 9:14 am

      Omg I’m so so excited! Yes will 100% be doing a full hobonichi ep with all the changes and a full review.

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