Questions from Readers

Jenny asks “Do you know of any companies that produce notebooks for keeping track of books read? I remember seeing one at some point, but I didn’t need one then :) As I am now working in a library and reading more, I would like to keep track of what I am reading and whether I liked it or not.

I can think of two: Moleskine Passions Book Journal, and the Knock Knock Life Log Leisure Notebook I received from Lost Crates, which has a section for logging books, in addition to other topics. And I’m sure there are others. But I’d caution you to think about what kinds of things you want to write about the books you’ve read– on Amazon, many of the customer reviews of the Moleskine journal mentioned finding the page layout too constraining, or not having enough pages in each alphabetical section. The best book journal may just be a blank book you customize for that purpose.


Sabrina writes “I want to do a fun little journal project with my sister who lives 10 hours away. I’m thinking something like ‘Wreck This Journal‘, but have been searching online for something that is uniquely designed for exchanging between two people with fun prompts for writing/silliness. Any suggestions?

This is an interesting idea. I have never seen anything designed specifically for this purpose, but I hope someone decides to make one! If you’re going to be mailing it back and forth, you’d probably want something sturdy but lightweight, and not too oversized, and without a spiral or wire-o binding, since that could get crushed or bent. The Moleskine Cahiers or Japanese Albums, FieldNotes, some of the Whitelines journals or Rhodia staple-bound pads– there are lots of possibilities. Then just add your own writing prompts from books like these.

One other thing that might or might not generate some ideas for how to set up a two-person journal: journals designed for couples to write in together, such as these:


Kathy asks “I’m taking biology classes next semester and I’m wondering if I should choose Moleskine XLarge Soft Cover Notebooks or Whitelines Saddlestitched. Which is a better fit? I need something that can withhold throught the whole semester, because I know I’ll be opening the notebook(s) 100000x to reread my notes…It doesn’t matter if it’s ruled or squared.

The softcover Moleskines have gotten a bad rap in the past for bindings that tear loose at the spine, but they might be worth a try again if you haven’t used one for a while, as they seem to be making more recent ones with a reinforced spine. I used one not long ago and had no problems whatsoever although previous ones had torn. The tape that reinforces the spine adds a slight thickness so you’ll see the edge of it under the cover material if it’s there. I haven’t fully tested a Whitelines notebook for durability, but perhaps other readers can chime in?

Thanks for your questions and answers, everyone! If you use Facebook, the Notebook Stories page there is also a great chance to interact with other notebook fans, since it takes me a forever to catch up on my emails!

2 thoughts on “Questions from Readers”

  1. I’ve always known the “back and forth” type of journals as “circle journals” and there was a post about a kit you can buy on Journaling Saves (another great blog for those who love writing!)

    Okay, so it looks like the kit she pictured is no longer made, but you can make your own. Google “circle journal” or “make a circle journal” and you will find lots of great ideas.

    Hope that helps!

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