I saw the idea of creating a ‘mini library’ on the bullet journal blog originally and fell in love with it. Since then, there have been a hundred variations on the theme. You need only look through Pinterest or Instagram to find tonnes of bookworm inspiration.
Having always loved reading, a journal library seemed like such a fun and creative way to track and remember which books I have completed. It’s great to look back on what you’ve read and I love the feeling of getting so absorbed in a book that you forget the world around you. Also, when you finally finish a really gripping but lengthy novel that has taken ages to get through, it’s really rewarding.
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
― Stephen King
These are some of my favourites journal collections on Instagram …
A pretty good philosophy if you ask me!
I can’t resist a good quote, as you may have guessed. Dedicating the whole page to this beautiful calligraphy serves as a great reminder as you revisit the bookshelves again and again throughout the years.
I have a soft spot for all of the little decorative ornaments on this page.
As you can see there are many, many different ways to approach a book collection.
One of my goals this year is to read a lot more, at least 2 – 3 books a month. It is so easy to get absorbed in Netflix or Youtube videos, but once I’m actually sat down with a book, I much prefer to read. For some reason though, it isn’t one of those things I think to do when I’m bored. I think School and University often take away the idea that reading can be purely for leisure, rather than as part of an assignment or with an exam/report/summary at the end of it.
Now I am working from home, finding the time to read is – ironically – much harder. I tend to read before bed, but don’t always allow myself enough time to do so. I’ll get absorbed in a lecture or chunk of code and before I know it I barely have time to brush my teeth and practice yoga, let alone read (which sounds incredibly pretentious now I write it but hey! you have to do what works for you!) I like to go to bed at more or less the same time each night, or I don’t function properly, therefore getting wrapped up in a story right before bed isn’t always conducive to a productive morning.
When I was working in another city, I used to get the train in every day. This carved out a nice half an hour chunk of reading time. It felt like a much more productive and enjoyable time of day to read, but emulating that at home, when I ‘should be studying’ doesn’t always feel attainable. I also began reading a lot more ‘self-help’ and non- fiction books this year. I thoroughly enjoyed Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders and have recently finished a book on mental health and the body called Cure: A journey into the science of mind over body by Jo Marchant.
I’ve incorporated self-help as a separate ‘shelf’ in my journal, as its a whole new genre of reading that I had never really considered before. Having more or less read solely novels since I was old enough to do so (plus textbooks in school) finding a new, and often a much more motivating genre of books has been great. I have written a few into my list, but I don’t actually own them all yet *oops*. So if you have any suggestions that I haven’t mentioned, regarding things such as mindfulness, motivation, yoga, women in tech, gut health, mental health etc. Then I would really love to hear your recommendations!
My Personal Library
I have written a list below, of all the books on my reading list for 2017, in case it isn’t as legible in the picture
- Empire of Things
- PHP for the Web
- HTML and CSS ×
- The Birth of the Pill
- Blog Inc
- The Establishment
- The Silk Roads
- I am Malala
- Pretty Iconic ×
- Different Seasons ×
- The Book of Human Skin
- Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children ×
- Go Set a Watchman
- Nomad ×
- Memory Wall
- The Norfolk Mystery
- The Night Circus
- The Silkworm
- Doors Open
- Big Magic
- I am here now
- Eat Pray Love
- 1001 Albums
- The 4 Hour Work Week
- Daring Greatly
- How to get a job you love
- The Four Agreements
- The Happiness Project ×
- The Power of Habit
Extras aka books I’ve picked up since creating this page.
- Fight the Fear
- Cure Body and Mind
- The Miracle Morning ×
Each time I finish a book, I colour it in. Meaning that by the end of the year, I should have a lovely colourful library to see how many I have managed to read. I can then look back in years to come at all of the words I have read over the years. Lovely and sentimental!
So far it has definitely served as a reminder and incentive to read more though I am moving much more slowly through than anticipated. Maybe it’s because I’m currently reading Stephen Kings Different Seasons. It’s an incredible book, but very heavy on the feels. I swear I’m going to have nightmares when I’m done. Currently halfway through ‘The Body’ and it’s giving me chills. I mean, technically it classes as 4 books right? Either way, I would highly recommend it!
One final note about the library layout itself. If I decide to write one up for next year, then I won’t fill out ALL of the book titles ahead of time. A tad overzealous really! I thought there would be enough to choose from – and there are – but as I have a book buying habit I always end up with new reading material to add.
This year already I have read an extra two books that aren’t on the ‘official list’. Variety is the spice of life after all, so maybe I will wait until I have read them to write them in next time! Other that, I have thoroughly enjoyed using this bullet journal collection. Let me know if you give it a try, I would love to see how you set up you own mini library.