Creating a library collection in your bullet journal

bullet journal library collection

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 post shared by (@organisedlittleunicorn) on

 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 ×
  • Javascript and jQuery
  • 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 ×
  • Disclaimer
  • Go Set a Watchman
  • Nomad ×
  • Memory Wall
  • The Norfolk Mystery
  • The Night Circus
  • The Silkworm
  • Doors Open
  • Horrorology
  • 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.

1 Comment

  1. Oh lucy! Your illustrations are really good – your very good! I LOVE calligrapghy and am thinking about starting to BuJo myself so this is great. So with all these great books you have read in 2017 (keeping positive that you have achieved your goals 😉 ) where do you stand on reading ? Especially with commuting to work and having bad eyes already (glasses wearer since 16) where do you stand on e-readers vs the traditional paperbook? What do you use?

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