What Is a Reading Log?

A reading log contains the details of a reading material that an individual just read. Its basic contents include book titles, author names, and other bibliographical information. It may also include book-related details such as the plot details, character names, main conflict, and etc. Other than that, it can also include a person’s journal entry that narrates his or her insights, impressions, and opinions regarding the book.

A reading log can be used for classroom and personal purposes. In school, a reading log is used to create a habit of reading among students, especially young children who just learned how to read. A reading log is often given as a reading assignment to students with the goal of motivating them to read. A reading log used for personal purposes tends to be freer since anything can be written in it such as favorite scenes, remarkable quotes, significant takeaways, and even a journal entry of the reader’s experience while being engulfed by the book.

50+ Reading Log Examples, Templates, Format in Excel, Word, PDF

Why Keep a Reading Log?

Keeping a reading log provides so many benefits that both children and adults can acquire. To expound on the reasons why you should consider keeping a reading log to track your reading adventures, read on below. If you need the motivation to fulfill your required reading in school, you should also read below to get inspired.

Enhances Your Reading Comprehension: Even if the act of keeping a reading log is generally about writing, it still has the capability to enhance your reading comprehension in the process. How? Since you are already aware that you are keeping a log of your readings, you will feel motivated to pay extra attention to what you are reading. The more books you read and the more logs you write, the more you can process and recall all other reading materials that you will read in the future. Outstanding reading comprehension skills are not only useful for you in your class if you are still a student but it is also helpful in your personal or professional life.Gives You the Will to Read: Even if you have an immense passion for reading, there will come a point when the reading materials that are required in your class will make you feel b Instead of loving what you are reading, you will eventually feel like it’s a burden especially if you are compelled to read it every single night. That is why, with a reading log, it sparks up your passion for reading since it encourages you to discuss your feelings and opinions after reading. Keeping a reading log allows you to recall some parts of the book that will make you realize that there’s so much more to your reading assignments than a homework you need to fulfill for grades.Allows You Discover What You Like Reading: There is nothing wrong about reading books with similar genres. In fact, this is also a good thing because you already discover what kind of books you love to read. This is especially important for children who are just starting to learn and love reading. By knowing what kind of books they prefer reading, it is easy for them to build and maintain their reading habits until they get comfortable to explore outside their comfort zones. Helps You Recall the Books You’ve Read: After reading stacks of books, it is possible that you will only remember some parts of it, or worse, you will completely forget about it altogether. That is when the role of a reading log comes in. In case you want to try to recall a book you’ve read sometime in the future, you can always look back to it with the help of a reading log. It can also be helpful in the event when someone asks for a book recommendation. For instance, your friend asks for a book with a certain genre and a specific plot. If your reading log contains such details, you can use and show it to your friend with ease and confidence.Determine the Number of Your ‘Read’ Pile: Do you know what feels good? Knowing the number of how many books from your TBR or to-be-read pile that transferred to the piles of books you’ve already read. Your reading log is like a tracker that keeps record the number of books you have read from the past days, weeks, months, or even years if you are diligent enough to keep a reading log for a year. Don’t you want to feel a wave of success and achievement when you realize you are actually capable of reading more than one book within the year?Allows You to Practice Your Writing Skills: You know what they say; a good writer is a good reader. If you are a budding writer, you need to be an active reader. While doing so, it is important that you keep a reading log with you so you can practice what you have learned from reading. When you read, your mind learns not only the moral of the story the key topic discussed but you also learn that grammar, style, syntax, sentence construction, and vocabulary. All these things build a solid foundation in your life as a writer. Your reading log will be the manifestation of all the things you learn.

What to Include in a Reading Log?

The contents of a student reading log depend on teachers and the grade level of the students they give reading assignments. If you are teaching younger students, the contents of your reading log will simply include the title of the book they read along with the date when they finished reading it. For older students, additional information is required from them. To be acquainted with all the possible contents that could make up a reading log template, read on below to know more.

Bibliographical Information: Do not miss out on the opportunity to record all the important biographical details of your readings. Ensure that you jot down the name of the book author, book title, date or year of publication, the name of the publisher or publishing company, and category or genre. These details are especially important if required in class.Start and End Dates: Reading logs are trackers and what’s a tracker without the start and end dates? By including the date, you can easily recall the time when you start reading the book you were assigned to read as well as when you finish reading it. Writing down the date of completion is also important as it can let you see your reading speed.Number of Hours Read: Another way for you to know how fast or slow you read is by indicating how many hours you have read especially if you are only assigned to read a single chapter per night. Incorporating the hours you have read in your log can inspire you to do better the next time around. And of course, without compromising your reading comprehension.Additional Book Details: Additional details of the book may be required for you to write in your reading log other than the bibliographical citation information. This may include the elements of the plot, names of the characters, the place where the events in the book take place, and the main or key argument that runs that kept the book’s pace.Miscellaneous Items: Logging your readings for personal pleasure can give you more freedom on what to write in your logs. That said, you can add a column where you can add miscellaneous reading log items such as notes, reactions, favorite quotes and lines, and even your frustrations regarding the book you just read. You can also add your personal rating and your verdict whether you can recommend it to others or not.

How to Keep a Reading Log

Keeping a reading log is easy if you know what to jot down. If this is still your first time to keep a reading journal, ensure that you know the steps on how to do so. That said, be sure to check out the following guidelines below so you would know how to keep a reading log successfully and efficiently.

Step 1: Get Yourself a Notebook or Download a Ready-Made Template

Opting for digital reading log alternatives is convenient but nothing can beat writing things down. That is why it is ideal that you get yourself a quality notebook or journal and use it for your reading log. By writing things down, it is easier for you to stay motivated to consistently fulfill your assigned readings. Another convenient option is to download a ready-made reading log template that already contains all of the elements you would need for in a reading log.

Step 2: Incorporate Required or Preferred Headers

As soon as you already complete all your assigned readings, you can already incorporate the required or your preferred reading log headers. Such details include the book title, book author, publication year or date, publishing company, book genre, start and end dates, and the total number of hours read. See to it that you incorporate the elements required by your teacher if you are keeping a reading log for a class requirement. There are other items you can incorporate in your reading log if you are only reading for fun and that includes memorable character dialogue, remarkable lines, your thoughts and opinions of a certain page, and you can even include your personal rating.

Step 3: Read What You Have to Read

What will you write in your reading log if you would not read? To successfully keep writing for your reading journal, you need to actually read something in order to do so. To read consistently often requires discipline especially if you are not a reader but if your class teacher assigned you to read a book or if you challenged yourself to read a certain number of books, then you have no choice but to read. If you are only reading as a personal pursuit, you may consider asking recommendations from people whom you know has a good taste in reading. While reading, you may consider taking down some notes as you go so you would know what you want to include in your reading log. You can also write down the questions running in your mind as you get deeper into your reading.

Step 4: Give Yourself Some Time to Ponder

If your reading log contains additional details other than the basic bibliographic citation information, consider giving yourself some time to ponder before you write the details down on your log. By doing so, you ensure that what you write in your reading log is something you would actually want to read sometime in the future and that it can actually provide wholesome and informative insights. However, don’t wait too soon until you already start to forget some details in the book.

Step 5: Ready, Set, and Write!

After giving things some thought, proceed and fill out the additional details that you want to include in your log. Fill out every single header you added. Be sure to write everything you want to write in your reading log and, of course, everything that was required for you to write in your class. Consider incorporating what you have taken notes while reading as well as answering some guide questions. Who was your favorite character? What is the moral lesson that you can get from the book? What part of the book struck you the most? If you were required to include a writing journal in your reading log, see to it that you write one that is an actual journal entry that contains sentences and paragraphs instead of bullet points.

Dos and Don’ts of Reading Logs

Is this your first time to keep a reading log? Be sure to take note of any of these dos and don’ts to be further guided in the process.

Dos

1. Do consider making a reading log for other reading materials.

Who says reading logs are exclusively for fiction alone? You can also keep a reading log for other reading materials such as academic books, poetry, play or drama, and prose. Although some categories won’t be necessary for other works of literature, you can easily make adjustments in your reading log.

2. Do read other’s reading log.

If you are keeping a reading log for the first time, you may consider referring to a reading log example. In fact, you can download reading log examples in this very article you’re reading. You may also consider reading other materials such as a reading journal or diaries of other people especially those that were penned by great writers themselves. If you are planning to become a great writer like them someday, you can take notes from them and see how their journey to greatness started and went for them.

Don’ts

1. Don’t overwhelm yourself.

Again, if you are just starting to keep a reading log, you might face challenges here and there such as deciding what to write and what not to write. That is why it is important that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself and feel too overwhelmed in your attempt to keep a reading log for the first time. Start with the basic headers first such as the bibliographical information before you add miscellaneous items in your log. However, if your teacher has specifically given you a reading log format, be sure to follow through it.

2. Don’t make it overwhelming to read.

Other than minding your feelings, another thing you should consider ae the feelings of the ones who will read your reading log. If it is an assigned task in school by your professor, it is important that you construct the sentences in your log properly and effectively. Be sure to only write what was required by your professor. If you are only keeping a log for personal purposes, you still need to ensure that it does not make you feel overwhelmed while reading it sometime in the future.

Reading logs are fairly easy to keep. Just be sure to follow the dos and don’ts mention in this article and know what its purpose is so you would not take it for granted once it is assigned for you to accomplish in school. Don’t be too hard on yourself and make one from scratch. Instead, download and make use of the reading log templates and examples uploaded to make things easier for you.