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Upside-Down Books: A Fun Way to Track Your Reading Journey

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Do you love keeping track of your reading progress in unique and creative ways? If you’re like me, you probably have multiple methods of tracking your books – and one of them might just be a bullet journal. Tracking your reading journey in a visual way can be incredibly fulfilling and adds a sense of accomplishment when you get to color in that final page of a book. So, let’s dive into the upside-down world of book tracking and explore some fun categories for your bujo!

Year in Books Overview

The first spread in my journal is the “Year in Books Overview.” This simple yet effective spread allows me to record the books I’ve read throughout the year, the order in which I read them, and the star rating I give them. It’s a design I’ve used for a couple of years because it’s visually appealing and easy to comprehend. Despite not yet finishing coloring all the decorative elements in this spread, it still serves its purpose well.

Genre Tracker

Next up is the “Genre Tracker.” I’ve been using this design for a while because it visually represents the genres I read the most. While I don’t like subdividing categories too much due to space constraints, I recently realized I needed a slot for classics. So, I combined “Literary” and “Classic” to display my preference accurately. Every year, fantasy takes the lead by a significant margin, and I expect it to do the same this year. However, I’m not worried if it doesn’t because, as they say, c’est la vie!

Favorites Tracker

Now let’s move on to my “Favorites Tracker.” This spread allows me to track my favorite books by month, culminating in the selection of the ultimate favorite book of the year. It’s an exciting journey of gradually uncovering the books that made the most impact on me. I recently changed the design from last year to give it more of a library/academia vibe, which I find particularly captivating.

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Dymocks 2022 Reading Challenge

Representing a specific external challenge, the “Dymocks 2022 Reading Challenge” is next on my list. Dymocks is a renowned bookshop chain in Australia, and they’ve set up an exciting challenge for this year. Given the sheer volume of books I read, I expect this challenge to be a breeze. The design is simple yet delightful, with a pinwheel of progress that I find great fun to color in.

300 TBR Challenge Tracker

Here’s a new addition to my bullet journal this year – the “300 TBR Challenge Tracker.” Initially, this tracker was meant to keep tabs on the books I read that helped diminish my TBR (To-Be-Read) pile. However, due to a temporary lift on my book-buying ban, I’ve had to adapt the design. Now, I draw book outlines for books I read that reduce my TBR and leave a grassy space at the bottom to draw a tree for every book I buy. It’s a conundrum whether to commit fully to the tree concept or not, but regardless, I enjoy having this tracker to monitor my progress.

Yearly Goals: Rereads

Moving on to my yearly challenges, let’s explore my “Yearly Goals: Rereads” spread. This spread represents my reread challenges, specifically focusing on the Throne of Glass series and Tiger’s Curse. With Throne of Glass, I’m catching up on the series from where I left off, and with Tiger’s Curse, I’m refreshing my memory before delving into the final book. Both of these challenges, along with others, are placed in my “challenges TBR jar.” Each month, I pick one of these challenges to tackle, coloring in the book outlines as I make progress.

Yearly Goals: NAIDOC Week and Classics Challenge

Continuing with my yearly challenges, I have the “Yearly Goals: NAIDOC Week and Classics Challenge” spread. The NAIDOC week challenge focuses on celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories in Australia. It’s my first year participating in this reading challenge, and I’m excited to immerse myself in a rich collection of First Nations literature. I’ll set a goal of books to read during that week, record the titles and authors, and color them in as I complete them. On the right-hand side of this spread, I have a classics challenge, which is a common goal for many readers. To ensure I make progress, I’ve picked out the classics I want to read and will color in the rectangles as I read each one.

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Yearly Goals: Snyder Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, and Book/Page Tracker

Now, let’s explore my “Yearly Goals: Snyder Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, and Book/Page Tracker.” The Snyder challenge involves reading all of Maria V. Snyder’s books that I own but haven’t read yet. As I dive into these books, I’ll color in the little books on the left to mark my progress. On the right-hand page, I have a small wheel to track my progress toward my Goodreads goal of reading 88 books this year. Additionally, I have a month-by-month tracker to record the number of books and pages I read. Connecting the dots on this tracker creates fun little graphs that I find highly satisfying to look back on.

Monthly TBR Tracker

Next on the list is the “Monthly TBR Tracker.” This spread is closely linked to my TBR jar system, which I share on my BookTube channel. It allows me to record the books I pick throughout the year, providing a reference for how many I actually read. It’s a simple grid-like list, and I’m still deciding whether I’ll cross off the books I read or leave it as is for reference.

Page Count Tracker

One of my favorite trackers is the “Page Count Tracker.” It’s incredibly satisfying to look back on and keep track of my page counts. Since most of the books I read are under 500 pages, I’ve capped this tracker at 500. Each bar represents a book, and I leave a square of space to record the exact page count. I alternate colors purely for aesthetic reasons, and I keep a running list with corresponding numbers on the side for easy reference.

Reading Time Tracker

Similar to the page count tracker, the “Reading Time Tracker” helps me monitor how long it takes me to finish a book. It also allows me to analyze trends in reading times based on different formats. The vertical graph design captures most of my books, and it’s interesting to observe the variations in reading times. Green represents physical books, blue stands for audiobooks, and purple symbolizes ebooks. The corresponding books and numbers are on the left-hand page, and I record the exact number of days at the bottom of each bar.

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Date Bought Compared to Date Read Tracker

One of my most fascinating trackers is the “Date Bought Compared to Date Read Tracker.” This graph represents when I purchased a book versus when I actually read it. It’s no surprise that many of my reads come from review copies, resulting in circles contained within the current year. However, my goal is to tackle more books from my backlist, as demonstrated by the example of a book I bought in 2016 but read in 2022. It’s a fun yet shaming tracker that motivates me to prioritize my long-standing unread books.

DNF (Did Not Finish) Tracker

Every reader encounters books they don’t finish, and that’s where my “DNF Tracker” comes in. This artistic tracker helps me keep count of the books I abandoned. For every book I mark as a DNF, I draw an orange leaf falling off the tree. On the other hand, the books I complete are represented by green leaves on the tree. This visually pleasing tracker serves as a reminder to put down books I’m not enjoying and move on to more captivating reads.

Diversity Tracker

A new addition this year is my “Diversity Tracker.” After trying various designs, I settled on a vine motif to represent diversity in the books I read. As I make my way through my reading list, I’ll color the leaves according to whether the books feature diversity or not. I’m pleased with this design, but I’m open to further improvements in the future to enhance its visual appeal.

Series Progress Tracker

Lastly, we have the “Series Progress Tracker.” I absolutely love this tracker because it allows me to visualize my progress in various series. Each series has a corresponding grid with the series title on the left and squares to represent the number of installments on the right. I color in the squares black as I read each installment. It’s fascinating to see how many series I’m currently in the middle of, and this is just one of two spreads dedicated to series progress.

So, which spread is your favorite? Do you have your own reading bullet journal? Share your thoughts and experiences, and don’t forget to visit Ratingperson for more exciting content related to book ratings and reviews. Happy reading!

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