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10 Book Tracking Spread Ideas For Your Reading Journal

by Ambassador Team 16 Apr 2023 0 Comments

Hi there! It’s Emily from Planned and Planted here from the Ambassador Team with some ideas for tracking reading in your book journal or bullet journal. My love for reading was re-ignited a few years ago, and I love making spreads in my book journal to track some of my reading goals and statistics. Today I’ve rounded up 10 book and reading tracking spread ideas from my own journal and some of my other favorite content creators to share with you all.

Here's some of the basic supplies I used for most of these spreads: 



Why You Should Track Reading in Your Bullet Journal 

Reading trackers can be a great way to motivate yourself to read more. It can also be a great way to stay on top of reading goals such as number of books to read, reading more diversely, etc. The possibilities are literally endless on what you can track!

I find that tracking these things helps me better remember what books I read, and it's also just a cool way to visually see your reading habits. 


10 Reading Tracker Spread Ideas

1. New Book Releases Spread

A dot grid notebook is lying open on a dark surface. The notebook is open to a bullet journal spread to track new book releases. This spread has a section for each month of the year where I can jot down any upcoming new book releases for 2023 that I’m excited for. That way I can requested Advanced Readers Copies of the books in advance or pre-order them to support the author. I couldn’t quite fit all 12 months on the pages the way I wanted to, so I added a little dutch door (link to other blog post) in the middle for some extra space.

You could also use this layout and spread to track other new media releases, like upcoming TV shows, movies, albums, etc.


2. Books Read in 2023

A notebook with white pages is open, lying on a dark surface. The journal has a dutch door page and has boxes for small book cover photos titled 2023 Books Read.

For this tracking spread I print off tiny book covers of books I’ve finished onto some sticker paper, then I cut them out and paste them into the squares. I have these star-rating stickers from Alicia Marks It that I then color in with the appropriate rating. 

It’s a really cool way to see at a glance everything I’ve read so far from the year and which book number I am on for any reading goal I might have. This one also utilizes a dutch door method!

An Instagram photo from papayareads on Instagram of a similar 2023 Books Read bullet journal spread.

Here’s another version of this spread from @papayareads , who originally inspired me to do this book tracking spread.


3. Reading Challenge Tracker

One page of a dot grid notebook is open on a dark surface. The page is titled 'Reading Challenge' and has several squares in it with different reading challenge prompts.

One of my reading goals the last few years has been to diversify my reading - to read a wider variety of genres, more queer and/or BIPOC authors, authors from different countries or translated works. This challenge tracker, which you can fill in with whatever prompts you want, is a great way to keep track of your goals for reading diversely throughout the year. 

A photo of a Reading Bingo journal spread by @johsjournal on Instagram.

I really love @johsjournal spread for something like this, and that she called it reading bingo! She also has brilliantly added a month color key to the side so she knows which month she fulfilled which prompts. Brilliant!


4. Reading Goal Tracker

A notebook is lying open on a dark surface. There are several small, numbered squares on the page titled "Reading Goal Tracker." There is a color key tapes into the page.

This is also commonly called a Goodreads goal tracker, although you don’t have to have a Goodreads account to set a numerical reading goal for yourself! There’s something so satisfying about getting to color in a square once you’ve finished a book. It’s a great way of keeping track of your progress throughout the year.

I especially like color-coding this one by month so I can see at a glance how many books I read throughout each of the months. I created it with a little tip in for it since there wasn't a ton of space left on the page!

A photo of a Reading Challenge Tracker in a notebook with several squares colored in brown tones.  There is a legend for the colors and months.

@danicainpages inspired me to do this spread with the months coordinating with the colors. Just look at that gorgeous palette!


5. Bookshelf Tracking Spread

One white page of a notebook lies flat on a dark surface. The notebook page is titled Books By Genre and has the outline of a bookshelf, with a color key on the side for different genres.

Having a bookshelf reading tracker in your bullet journal where you color in the spine and write in a title when you finish a book isn’t super unique, but I especially love color-coding these spreads! I use mine to track the different genres I read throughout the year, but I’ve seen other people, like @whatsbethanyreading (pictured below) color it in based on the star-rating, which is also pretty cool. You could also color code for format, publication year… the possibilities are endless!

A doodled bookshelf in a notebook lying open. The book spines have titles written into them and are color-coded by star rating.

I love this spread so much that I wanted to share a version of it with you all. You can download a printable version of this spread below, and add in your own color key for whatever kind of tracking your heart desires.

Free downloadable print of a bookshelf book tracking spread.

6. Book Bracket

An instagram photo from @bookstaandbujo of a bracket doodled onto a notebook page. The page is titled 2022 Book Bracket and is used to decide on a favorite book for the year.

If you have trouble deciding on a favorite book of the year, creating a book bracket like this one from @bookstaandbujo could be great for you! The idea is that you list your favorite book from each month in the allotted space. Then you decide which one was better and it moves on into the next round. By the end of the year, you will have a winner crowned as the 2023 Favorite Book. Voila!


7. Yearly Reading Stats

A notebook is lying open on a dark surface. The notebook pages are titled Yearly Stats at a glance, and contain a chart to track reading statistics for each month of the year.

This spread is for my fellow enneagram 5s and other data nerds! Although I have a whole spreadsheet to track more in-depth reading data, I like having a spread like this where I can see at a glance some of the most important stats for me as the year goes by. Most of this information is located elsewhere in the journal, but having it all in one place makes it a lot easier to access.

A photo of a reading journal from @alltheradreads on Instagram. The spread is also a chart of yearly statistics for reading.

Rachel from @alltheradreads inspired this spread and I really love the way her spread has evolved in her reading journals every year. So cool to see.


8. Book Log

One page of a notebook with white paper lies open on a dark surface. The page is titled Book Log and includes a chart to track books read by title, author, dates, and star review.

This is a pretty generic chart that I use to log my books. While it may seem redundant after my Books Read spread with the photos of the cover, I use this log to track EVERY book I read, even if I don’t finish it. I’m trying to be better about not finishing books that really don’t pique my interest for whatever reason, and I like to keep track of all of those here.


9. To-be-read Tracker for Books You Own

A notebook with white pages lies open on a dark surface. The pages are titled "Read What You Own" and include 3 columns for print, e-book, and audiobooks owned.

The number of books I own but haven’t read yet is… a lot. Way more than I thought it was before I compiled a list (no, this photo isn’t even the whole list yet!) In the interest of my wallet, I want to do better about reading through some of the many wonderful books that I already own.

 I especially wanted to make this list for my Kindle e-books and audiobooks; since they’re not in front of me like my print books, it’s easy for me to forget that they exist. If you have an insanely large library, writing down all print books might note be feasible, and a digital document or spreadsheet might be a better idea. But I know we all love a good, hand-written list too.


10. To Be Read List by Genre

A notebook is lying open on a dark surface. On the pages are small square envelopes with different genre titles on them. Inside the envelopes is a list of books within that genre.

It’s sometimes SO overwhelming for me to see my whole to-be-read list at once and try to decide on a book. I’m absolutely a mood reader, so separating out my TBR list into genres is so helpful for me to whittle down my options. 

For this spread, I picked the top 4 genres/categories I know I’m interested in and will read, and I made these little square envelopes using A&O notepad paper. On the front of the envelopes, I lettered the category. Then I had a piece of paper folded up inside the envelope with the list. 

I got pretty creative with this spread, but you absolutely don’t have to make this one as complicated as I did. You could easily just divide the page into 4 sections and write the list that way. Whatever floats your boat!


Reading Tracking Spreads in Action

Here’s a few of these spreads in action, partially filled out in the video below. 

Hopefully this gives you all some inspiration for spread to make in your own book journal, or ideas you can incorporate into your bullet journals. If you decide to re-create any of these ideas on your own or want to show of your printable in action, be sure to tag us on Instagram at @archerandolive and @plannedandplanted.

Happy planning!

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