I have a good friend, someone who gave me feedback during the creation of the Soul Reading Journal and received an advanced copy back in September of 2016, recently confess to me that she hadn’t yet gotten up the courage to use the journal. She thought the journal was too pretty and that the 12-book drama/adventure series in which she was currently immersed was maybe not worthy of the journal.
I wondered if other journal owners might also be hesitating and questioning whether or not their books are journal worthy?
My Own Use of the Journal
I can relate to the hesitation myself. Once the journal was designed, but before it was printed, I had the Soul Reading Records pages printed out on plain printer paper and I did not hesitate to use them. I even used them occasionally for news stories. But I noticed that my attitude changed when I finally had a bound copy of the journal. I hesitated to use it.
At the time, I was reading Renee Knight’s Disclaimer, a tight, fun, thriller that I worried might not be literary enough to “waste” the pages in my Soul Reading Journal. But I took a deep breath, cracked the spine on my journal and dug in anyway. And I discovered interesting insights!
This book uncovered very interesting questions about how we choose (or don’t) the stories that we tell ourselves about our lives? How we cope when we have secrets? How easy it can be to betray people we love? And what does it mean to trust? (Curious for more about this book? Check out this reading list.)
Since that first record was written in my journal, I have made using my Soul Reading Journal into a discipline, a practice. When I finish a book I wait a few days, then set aside about 20 minutes and I record my thoughts in the journal. If I really want to be a more mindful and intentional reader, then I need to commit to this practice. And I believe I have been amply rewarded for this practice. The entries in my journal are growing and when I read back through them I am always happily reminded of all I gain from reading.
The Pressure to Read More Serious Books
I think it’s important to continue to dispel an assumption you might have. You do not always have to read “SERIOUS” books in order to be a mindful and intentional reader. You just have to employ a method (like Soul Reading) that helps you use your reading in order to see and experience beyond yourself. This truly can be done with a fun murder mystery or a literary novel. I promise that both can yield useful insights.
Since talking to my friend, I have looked back over my journal entries to date and I have discovered great insights from a couple of books that I considered to be “lighter” reading. Combined together, actually, they make a very compelling Reading List that you can find here.
Special Problems: Book Series
I’ll end with just a quick note about my approach to book series. Right now I am completing a trilogy that really feels like one story told across three volumes and so I am planning to use just one Soul Reading Record for that trilogy. There are other trilogies I have read in the past, though, in which each book might get its own treatment. At the other end of this spectrum, in considering my love for the Gamache series, I plan to start a new journal that will be dedicated to those books only as they are at 12 and counting.
It is Journal Worthy!
If you are struggling with journal worthiness, I hope you will get past it. There is much to gain and little at stake in creating a mindful reading/journaling practice. If it helps, you might want to revisit this post about the value of the Soul Reading Journal.
Happy reading (and journaling) everyone!