Just today, while browsing in a bookstore, I came across a lovely pale-blue little book journal. And just earlier this week, Amy, my book-loving friend, gave me a peek at the book journal she keeps on her computer. In it, she keeps a running record of books she’s read, creates summaries of them, and also jots down thoughts and insights about what she’s read. What a wonderful way to remember and take note of your reading experience.
I guess this is the idea behind the site, Goodreads — it’s a kind of massive on-line book journal where people can keep lists of books and share reviews of them. Somehow, though I’m reading all the time, the idea of keeping a record of my literary foragings, wanderings and musings never really occurred to me. I’ve always been content to just absorb the experience of a book and hope that it works its way into my bones. I’ve generally been more focused on the emotional impact it has on me.
But over time, I’ve become more and more interested in the craft involved — how a writer creates the effect that he or she creates in me. While I explored this in some of my posts, I haven’t really made it a practice to analyze writing technique in a more organized and disciplined way. But thinking about book journals has made me ponder the value of starting a craft journal — one that’s specifically devoted to getting down on paper some of the things I notice about how writers do what they do.
The more I think about this, the more useful it sounds. It would really force me to be more attentive and aware of craft as I read. What about you — does keeping a book journal in some form have any appeal? Write on.