Raise your hand if you’ve ever set a goal for yourself of reading more books this month or even this year? Hello, haven’t we all? Reading is a hobby that so many of us truly love but often don’t make as much time for as we would like to. People often tell me that they wish they could read as much as I do and so of course I like to ask them the question, “What is stopping you from reading?” Typically people will say that they either don’t know what to read and get overwhelmed choosing a book and then struggle actually taking time to read each day. The fact is that it really all starts with having a good planning and tracking system in place. So, let’s get into it!
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Here are a few tips for tracking and reviewing books.
Keep a Reading List So That You Always Have Something to Read
If you don’t already have one, start by having a list of books you want to read. How many times have you read or heard about a book recommendation but never wrote it down and just can’t remember what it was? I know that this has happened more times than I’m willing to admit.
Of course, the Flourish Digital Reading Planner has a “Reading List” template so that you’re good to go! Now, if you’re wondering why go digital? Can’t I just use a piece of paper? Well, in theory, yes, but there are a few big advantages to going digital. Most importantly, it allows you to have access to your reading list when you’re on the go. So, if you are getting coffee with a friend and she’s telling you about the latest Colleen Hoover book that you HAVE to read, just get out your iPad or iPhone and put it on your reading list immediately. So easy and convenient.
Have a System for Tracking Books You’ve Already Read
Once you have a reading list, you should try keeping a list of books you read. In a way, your bookshelf of what you’ve read is a reflection of you, of what your interests are at a particular time, and also what you’re learning about. It can be nice to have a set place as a book log to track everything you’ve read, along with what you thought of each book.
Another feature of the Reading Planner is a template called, “My Bookshelf” where you can include the cover image of the book, your star rating from 1-5, and the name and author of the book. As a side note, if you think you’re not “techy” enough to get the image, no worries! You can just go to Goodreads and get the image cover by doing a screenshot. You can even click here to see how it’s done.
Write Your Own Mini Book Review
If you never seem to remember the details of what you’ve read, consider doing a little book review after each one. Of course, with the Reading Planner, you’ll automatically have an easy-to-use template for this. I don’t know about you, but I find that I’m much more likely to remember what I’ve read when I force myself to do a little review and get my thoughts down. Plus, if you ever want to revisit one of your books in the future, you can just get out your review to jog your memory for a little refresh.
Document Your Favorite Quotes
We can’t talk about having a book reading tracker and not mention quotes! In your Reading Planner, you’ll find a quotes template for those perfect quotes that you want to remember forever. Whether it’s a novel or a non-fiction read, books are just bursting with so many life lessons and wisdom. Do your future self a favor and make sure that you’re keeping track of those special quotes that you know you’ll enjoy looking back on.
A Few Final Thoughts
Finally, if you’re really an overachiever, which I’m sure you are, you can also make a vision board of books you want to read, comfy couches, steaming coffee, or anything else that puts you in the reading mood!
Another tip is to try to find a consistent time for reading either each week or a few times a week. Maybe it’s 15 minutes right before bed or for an hour on Sunday morning. Find what works for you and try to make it part of your routine. Once it’s a habit, you won’t even have to think about it, reading will just become automatic. And if you want help with tracking books you read digitally, you can check out the Flourish Reading Planner here. Happy Reading!