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Three of my oldest friends and I decided to do a little secret gift exchange this year and my gift-giver gave me one of the most unique presents I have received: a reading journal. Since this was a gift, I can’t tell you where to buy one in person, but the company is Mark’s Diary and they do have an online store that is full of so many cute stationary goodies. I am definitely going to keep this shop in mind for stationary purchases in the future. You might be asking yourself whether this is actually worth it, so now that I have been using the journal for a while, I thought I would share a few thoughts on this reading journal.

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The journal itself is very slim and sturdy; it’s hardbound, so it won’t get bent in your bags (which is the problem I always have with notebooks) and it looks very sleek. What I like about this journal is the layout. There are spots for basic information and also a bigger space for quotations and “impressions”, which I think are the big selling points of the journal. My one critique is that there is not as much space for quotations as you may need; my first entry is on Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism and this two-page spread is definitely not enough space to write down all of my thoughts. Thus, I’ll probably end up splitting up my notes across three entries for each section of her tome.

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Overall I have been absolutely loving this journal – there’s just something really fulfilling and fun about jotting down notes within this hardback journal. Obviously, there is already a lot of sentimental value since it was given to me by one of my oldest friends, but I think this is something I will continue to use (and buy more of) in the future. I like the idea of keeping reading notes all in one place, particularly when the cover lets you write in a date and a volume number – maybe the dream of having my own personal library, and cataloguing it, is really what is making me excited. For someone who reads a lot, particularly for school, I think that a reading diary will make it easier for me to flip through and quickly remind myself of what I’ve read.

Is it a necessity? No, you can always jot down your thoughts in any notebook you already have. But do I think this would be a great gift for anyone you know who loves books – or if you yourself are an avid reader.

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