Every New Year this big quest for a New Year’s Resolution begins. I hate the word ‘resolution.’ It sounds so…I don’t know….final? No room for growth or change or adaption. Ugh I hate the word so much that just writing this was difficult.Instead I like to look at the New Year in terms of goals or to-dos. Those can be altered at will in my opinion. And if you’re anything like me-they will be!
For 2008 one of my biggest goals is to read more books from my to-read list. Or, as I affectionately irritatingly call it: “Ginny’s Never-Ending List of Books She Really Really REALLY Wants to & Should Read!” As of 12/31/07 the lists stands at 79 titles! Adult, Young Adult, Non-Fiction, Juvenile, Award considerations, etc-there’s a little bit of everything mixed in there. If I can knock out at least 40 of those titles, I will be a happy little panda! But I also know the truth, by June, that list will have doubled and I will be lucky to ready 10 of them. lol… L
This brings us to…JOURNALS! (okay, just bear with me, it all makes sense in the end)
Keeping a journal can be nice; whether it is online (Livejournal, Xanga, a personal blog from WordPress, or Blogger, etc) or in an actual book. Yours truly keeps both-an electronic one for my friends to see and a written one just for me. But no matter what, I will always go back to the book journal. There is a different feeling involved when grabbing a pen and scribbling away in a book. I can actually spend hours picking one out. It has to have a certain vibe to it in order for me to buy and use it. (I know, sad right? lol) Journal writing can be a HUGE stress reliever! Write or type out what is bothering you, special events or memories, anything really. Journal or diary, male or female-give it a try! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy: a $1 blank book, handmade, composition notebook, or something much more expensive and fancy. Whatever suits your style and budget.
Aside from regular journals, there are many different kinds. Some people keep journals for quotations, random thoughts, wildlife, spiritual, artwork, clippings, travel, health/food, ideas for books or stories, poetry, etc. The list could go on and on.
One of my favorites is a book journal. Its simple-keep track of the books want to read or ones you read, notes on some of those books, your thoughts and feelings,* if you recommended it , things like that. Year end reviews can be handy to go back and see what you read and if you enjoyed it, see if it later became popular, if from one books you decided to read more from that author, see which titles you went back to reread, which became favorites, etc. The following webpage from About.com has a little section on “How to Keep a Reading Log or Book Journal” The site gives some ideas for journal entries as well. For example: “What are your favorite quotes/passages from the book? Copy them into the journal and explain why.” If you’ve never done it before, it would be something different to try this year.
Finally we come to books written in a diary/journal format. (See, I told you this was going somewhere! :P)
Instead of written in the classic first person point of view (‘I went to the library to see if they had any books on the haunting of Darrowshire.’) the book is written in a journal entry format, usually prefaced with the date and time like most journals:
Monday Jan. 3, 2008
Went to the library today.
Checked to see if there were any books on the Darrowshire hauntings.
Found some really cool infos about the ghosts and ghouls that inhabit the place. CREEEEPY!
This style is not for everyone. Personally? I love ‘em! It allows you to fall more into the character’s mind and actions, gain a little bit of insight that might be lost if the book was written in p.o.v. Not to mention, some authors will actually write it as if it were a real entry-abbreviations for names or words, slang, etc. Submitted for your approval…a brief sampling of Diary/Journal/Blog style books!
Alice, I Think – Susan Juby
Burn Journal – Brent Runyon
Confessions of a Backup Dancer – Tucker Shaw
Confessions of a Boyfriend Stealer – Robynn Clairday
Fever, 1793 – Laurie Halse Anderson
Go Ask Alice – Anonymous
Holding Up the Earth – Dianne E. Gray
Lily B – Elizabeth Kimmel
Monster – Walter Dean Myers
My Name is America
Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot
Prom – Laurie Halse Anderson
*In the book Peony in Love by Lisa See, the main character Peony, does this when reading the Peony Pavilion (Chinese play). Instead of writing in another journal, she keeps all her notes and thoughts in the margins of the book itself.Till next time, keep flipping those pages!