I’ve been finding in the last year I’ve been reading more than ever and writing my book reviews, but when I took a step back I realized I was racing from book to book. I set reading goals for how many books I want to read per year (which I think I’ll always do since I’m visual and numerically motivated). However, my overarching goal of Read-Well Reviews was to better my mind and heart through reading while fostering community. When I reflected on my goals of this blog by journaling, it became clear I needed to combine my reading and journaling to become a more reflective reader.
Reflective reading moves reading from solely entertainment to a thoughtful and intentional practice. I always highlight and underline my favourite lines in books, so I brainstormed ways to expand this practice I already have place to make it more expansive.
1. Pick any sentence in a book you are reading. (I’ve picked the last line I highlighted in a book I loved for you to use if you don't have a book nearby.)
“Books had always been her solace; novels gave her the space to bold, brave, beautiful, if only in her own imagination.” [The Four Winds, Kristin Hannah]
Read the line you picked very slowly. What words jump off the page to you? What made you connect with this line? What emotions surface when you read this line (hope, fear, love, reflection)?
2. Instead of looking for the typical attributes of a review (setting, writing style, plot, rating, or genre) think about what you connected with the most and reflect as to why. Can you make any parallels of your connections and feelings to your life, interests and relationships?
3. Relating different books together. Once you have journaled a few books with this new structure you may start to see if any trends or themes appear across your readings.
Any time we reflect, we increase its meaning. Journaling encourages you to step back and think about your reading. If you want to get started with a simple journal template, subscribe to my blog and I’ll send you a FREE Reflective Reading Journal with prompts to help you put these new tools into action.