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How To Create Simple Book Review Journal Spreads

by Ambassador Team 26 May 2024 0 Comments

Hello friends! This is Sian or @perceivegrace, on both Instagram & Youtube! In this blog post, I’ll be sharing two minimal layouts you can use in your journals for book reviews! Whether you want to start a reading journal or simply log your reads at the end of every month in your bullet journal planner, I hope you can take inspiration from these examples. 

Supply List

As always, start with the Archer & Olive journal you wish to house your book review spreads. You can use my code SIAN10 to save 10% with Archer & Olive on the tools you need. Below are the materials I used:

  • Everyday Bookish Stamp Set + Permanent Ink
    • Use the black ink that comes with the set or if you have other colors pull those out too! In one of the examples I use brown Archival Ink
  • Dot Grid Planner Stencil
  • Any pens and brush pens you would like
  • Decorative tape (if you want to keep it minimal but add something to tie in the vibe of the book, matching decorative tape is a great way to add that flair)
  • Book covers - you’ll notice I printed out the covers of books that I wanted to review but if you do not have a printer at home you can always log your book reviews without including the book covers! 
Flat lay image showing a travelers size bullet journal, stencil, stamp set, pens, a pencil pouch, a washi tape set, and lit candle

Getting Started

Like all ideas for journal spreads, they can be customized and altered depending on the journal size you’re using or the desired look you have in mind. One of the first things to consider is do you prefer full page, half page, quarter page, or so on for each book review. The answer to that question may also affect or be affected by your journal size preference. I have found that for minimal book reviews, someone might use A6, B6, Travelers, or A5 sizes and for more intricate or in-depth book reviews someone might use A5, 8x8, or B5 sizes and so on. In the example below are two half page book review layouts, one before the pen and one after the pen. This is also a great example of matching decorative tape in my collection to the book covers. 

(Apologies for misspelling the title of the book on the left-hand side! I didn't realize until after the fact).

An open travelers size bullet journal showing two half page book review spread examples.

For these minimal examples I used a traveler's size but if you want to see A5 and B5 maximalist scrapbook style examples from me, be sure to check out the corresponding youtube video linked down below. I share those examples toward the end! 

What to Include

I have put together a list of things someone might want to document about a book within their book review for future reference:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Publisher (ex: Independent versus Traditional)
  4. Setting (ex: Places, Years, Time periods…)
  5. Genre (ex: Romance, Thriller, Historical…)
  6. Date that you started and finished the book
  7. Format (ex: paperback, hardcover, ebook, Advanced Reader Copy, audiobook)
  8. Page count 
  9. Tropes and themes
  10. Series (ex: series name, if the book is a stand-alone, or what place the book is within its series)
  11. Your star rating 
  12. What year the book was released or published
  13. Your thoughts! 
  14. Whether or not your would recommend the book to someone else

If you plan on sharing your book review spreads on social media but sure NOT to include spoilers! :)

Efficient Quarter-Page Example

The Book Review stamp in the Everyday Bookish Stamp Set is the perfect size for a quarter-page layout in a travelers size. I also think this amount of space would look great in an A6 if your goal is simply to log every book you read and your star rating for them. In my travelers quarter-page layout, I left the decorative tape bookish themed and kept my thoughts brief. (I clearly love regency romance).


Image of an open travelers size bullet journal showing a simple example of a quarter-page book review spread highlighting four book reviews and my ratings for them.

How to Print Book Covers for your Reviews

I anticipate questions on how to print book covers. I simply find the covers on Google Images and save them. I have a Cricut Maker, so I upload the book covers to Cricut Design Space where I reformat the size and use the print then cut feature to print them on matte sticker paper with my regular household inkjet printer and then load into my Cricut maker for cutting. If you do not have a cutting machine, but you have a printer, simply insert the book covers into any document processor like Google Docs or Word. You can resize the book covers there by height and then print on regular printer paper or even sticker paper if your printer is an inkjet or laserjet printer. Lastly, you can then cut the book covers by hand or using a cutter. 

An image of the upper left hand corner of bullet journal showing a simple and brief book review of Federica by Georgette Heyer


Image showing the corner of a bullet journal book review spread in quarters highlighting a simple book review for Love for the Spinster by Kasey Stockton


In Conclusion

I really want to remind everyone reading this, that just like your reading and journaling journeys are your own, so are the two if you join them together in your journal. Utilize the resources you have or explore new resources if you have the ability. With that being said, if you do not have the Everyday Bookish stamp set I used in my examples today, have fun with writing out your book review categories or utilize the free printable below where I put together simple book review entries you can customize once inserted to your journal. Happy journaling AND reading!

Digital image highlighting the free printable with this blog post which is simple book review entries to print out and insert into your journal


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