Reading Journal 2023: Set-up

I wanted to start this post by saying that I’m ridiculously late with this post, until I saw that I actuallly said the exact same thing in my 2022 set-up, which was posted even three days later in the Month of March compared to this post. So it seems that I’m actually early this year! 😝

That being said, come join me while I leaf through my yearly spreads in my 2023 reading journal!

Just like the two previous years, I opted for an A5-sized dotted bullet journal. Unlike the previous two years, I found this journal in Flying Tiger. I immediately fell in love with the fabric cover in this beautiful grayish blue. The cover did have a punched “bullet journal” text on the front, which I hid with this diy label.

The first page in my reading journal is always reserved for a kind of cover page.
I was heavily inspired by Journal Away and Mochi Bujo when making this.

The quote used is from Book Lovers by Emily Henry, which I found very apt for a reading journal and for someone obsessed with books.

This spread is also a tradition, since it summarises my rating system BALSPEL, which I adapted from @BookRoast‘s CAWPILE method.

Using the Art Deco style in my yearly spreads has also become some kind of tradition. I like the look of it, so I don’t feel the need to change.
Of course I always try to make things a little different than the previous year, depending on the inspiration.
For example, this title page for my read books of 2023 is a new design, for which I of course found inspiration online.

I really loved my spread for my anticipated 2022 books, so the one for 2023 is almost an exact copy.

The same for my spread for my hauled books.
Despite the fact that I ran out of space in my single 2022 spread, I decided to stick to a single spread for 2023 too. Kind of like an extra accountability measure, lol.

This next spread was also one I had in 2022, but the order and look of it was different.
I changed the order from 2022, because it seemed more logical for me to include this one after my hauls page, since it’s also a kind of haul.

So this is my spread for all the books I have bought through some kind of subscription service and the ones I’m still expecting to receive this year.

My series spreads is also a repeat from 2022, but different yet again.
During 2022 and at the beginning of this year, I made a big analysis of all the series I’m reading. Based on this, I identified still 44 active series I want to continue in, which I included in this spread based on their genre.

I used a dutch door design, so I did not have to redraw the title.
On the back of the dutch door, I included a series statistics table, but I’m not 100% convinced about this order. It feels a bit strange to visually first have the statistics and then a page with all the new series I started reading in in 2023.

In hindsight, I was also not happy about the fact that I omitted the 9 series for which I am not expecting new books in 2023 or I am not intending to continue before the final book is written, so I included it yet again through a Dutch door type of tip-in.

So yeah, not 100% happy, but everything I wanted to be listed is listed, so we’ll see in 2024 how I’ll do this differently πŸ˜‰

Next up are my reading goals for 2023:

  1. Read 100 books: Since 2020, I’ve been setting my Goodreads goal at 100 books, after stranding on 95 read in 2019. Since then, I have always passed the 100 mark, also thanks to the introduction of the Audiobook in my reading habits. So you can say that this reading goal has become a tradition.
  2. Read 30% books from my own physical bookcase, bought before 2023: This reading goal is also one that returns every year, but is always adjusted a bit. For example, in previous years I always increased the percentage, but this year I kept the same percentage, but added the condition that these physically read books cannot be new purchases, but books that have been waiting longer to be read.
  3. Complete or catch up with 10 backlog series: This is a new reading goal for 2023, after I made an entire analysis of all my open book series. Maybe I was still careful with the number 10, if you know that I currently have 44 open series, but we’ll see how this goes!
  4. Read 8 books of more than 550 pages: Again, I may have been a little too reserved. Last year I had a goal of 5 books over 550 pages, and I ended up reading 14, 8 of which were actually over 600 pages. So yes, I hesitated to leave the number at 5 and increase the pagecount to 600, but in the end I chickened out, lol. Again, we’ll see how it goes.

Previous years, I’ve always also included a goal about the language I read in.
My native language is Dutch/Flemish, but I predominantly read in English, so I kind of feel a bit ashamed about abandoning my own language like that. Which is why I had always included a goal about reading a certain percentage in my native tongue.
However, each month I had to say that I did not read anything in Dutch, which added to a sort of feeling of failure. It’s not that I actively denounce books written in Dutch, but it’s more that the books I like to read are often not written in my own language.

I actually have a very simple rule: if a book I want to read was originally written in a language I’m comfortable reading in, then I want to read it in the original language, because those are exactly the words the author intended. For all other books I prefer the Dutch translation, if there is one.
So for this year, I decided not to give myself the stress of an added reading goal, but simply keep to my simple rule.

My reading goals are traditionally followed by a spread with some basic reading trackers. I’ve been tracking the same things in my reading journal since the beginning, and also for 2023 this hasn’t changed. What has changed, however, is that I’ll now track them based on the month and not with tally marks.

This one is also a returnee from 2022, but in a different look. At the end of the year I should get a very basic, visual overview of my reading year 2023, with bar charts showing the books and pages read per month, and coloured in boxes for the days read.

Now I’m getting to the year-long readathon and reading challenges part of the journal (read more about those here), starting with Adventure in Aeldia.
The intention is that for each prompt I’ll glue in the cover of the book read, connecting it to the prompt it belongs to.

I combined all other year-long challenges together in one spread.
There’s the #firstlawalong and A year of Stormlight, together on one page, and the A-to-Z challenge, for which I used for the first time those alphabet stamps I’ve had laying around unused for so long, lol.

And finally the spread that combines my book of the month with the book battle to the book of the year, but again in a different guise.

And that’s it for the introductory spreads for my reading journal for 2023. Much has remained the same, but got a slightly different look. I think after all these years I know very well what I want in my reading journal.
My next posts on my reading journal will undoubtedly be the monthly overviews, again the same but in a different jacket compared to last year πŸ˜€

Do you keep a reading journal? Can I see it somewhere?