Are Reading Logs Effective

Are Reading Logs Effective? The Pros & Cons of Tracking Your Reading

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Whether you are a student trying to keep track of your reading assignments, or an avid reader simply looking to keep track of the books you’ve read, creating a reading log can be an effective way to do so.

But are reading logs really all that effective?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of keeping track of your reading habits.

Are Reading Logs Effective?

Reading logs can be a helpful way to track your reading progress, but they also have some drawbacks. On the plus side, keeping a reading log can help improve your understanding of what you’re reading and help you remember books that you’ve read in the past. However, reading logs can also be time-consuming and even stressful for some people. If you’re using a reading log as part of a school assignment, it can feel like a chore rather than a fun activity. Even if you’re trying to track your reading progress for personal reasons, it can be frustrating to see you’ve not read as many books as you’d have liked, or that you’ve started a lot of books but haven’t finished. The pressure of having to keep up with the log can also make it difficult to enjoy the act of reading itself.

Pros and Cons of Using Reading Logs

Pros of Using Reading LogsCons of Using Reading Logs
Can Improve Reading ComprehensionIt Can Be Tedious
Encourages Better Reading HabitsCan Be Stressful
Improves Writing AbilityCan Add Pressure to Read More
Can Increase Reading SpeedIt can be time consuming
Encourages Reading a Variety of GenresYou Have To Be Very Disciplined
Can Improve Focus And ConcentrationIt’s Easy To Get Behind
Fosters A Love Of ReadingIt Can Be Discouraging
Helps With Summarizing And Note TakingLimits Creativity and Immersion
Improve Novel Structure Understanding for WritersMay Lead to Self-criticism for Writers
The Pros and Cons of Tracking Your Reading

Ultimately, whether or not a reading log is right for you is a personal decision. If you think it will help improve your reading habits, give it a try. But if you find that it’s more trouble than it’s worth, don’t hesitate to give it up. Read on for a more in depth look at all the reasons for and against keeping a reading log.

Digital Reading Journal

Check out our digital reading journal if you prefer to plan digitally. It’s an interactive PDF that’s suitable for use in apps like Goodnotes and Notability.

Digital Reading Journal

The Pros Of Using Reading Logs

  1. Improved Comprehension – When you are trying to make sense of what you have read, writing a summary or short review in your reading log can help improve your comprehension.
  2. Better Reading Habits – If you are using a reading log as part of an assignment, it will likely force you to read more frequently. This can lead to better reading habits overall.
  3. Enhanced Vocabulary – As you read more, you will be exposed to new words. Keeping track of these words in a reading log can help enhance your vocabulary.
  4. Increased Reading Speed – The more you read, the faster you will likely read. This is due to the fact that your brain becomes more accustomed to processing the words on the page.
  5. Familiarity With Different Genres – If you are using a reading log to keep track of the books you are reading, you may be more likely to try different genres. This can help you become a well-rounded reader.
  6. Improved Focus And Concentration – The act of reading can be therapeutic. By keeping track of your reading in a log, you may find that you are able to focus and concentrate better overall.
  7. Fosters A Love Of Reading – Reading should be enjoyable. If you are using a reading log to keep track of your reading, it can help foster a love of reading in general.
  8. Helps With Summarizing And Note Taking – If you are taking notes or writing a summary of what you have read in your reading log, it can help improve your summarizing and note-taking skills.

The Cons Of Using Reading Logs

  1. It Can Be Tedious – Some people find the act of filling out a reading log to be tedious and time-consuming. If this is the case, it’s probably not worth your while to force yourself to do it.It
  2. Can Be Stressful – For some people, keeping track of their reading progress can be stressful. If you’re constantly worrying about how many books you’ve read or how fast you’re reading, it’s probably not going to be a very enjoyable experience.
  3. It Can Take Away From The Reading Experience – One of the best things about reading is that it can be a completely immersive experience. If you’re constantly pausing to record your progress in a reading log, it can take away from that experience.
  4. It Takes Up A Lot Of Time – Some people feel like they don’t have enough time to read as it is, and taking the time to fill out a reading log can seem like an unnecessary burden.
  5. You Have To Be Very Disciplined – In order for a reading log to be effective, you have to be very disciplined about filling it out. If you often forget to do things like this, it might not be worth your while.
  6. It’s Easy To Get Behind – If you miss a day (or week, or month) of reading, or writing in your log, it can be difficult to catch up. This can make it stressful and less enjoyable if you feel you’re always behind.
  7. It Can Be Discouraging – If you feel you’re not reading or completing as many books as you should, it can be discouraging. This is especially true if you’re using it as part of a school assignment and feel like you’re not meeting the expectations set for you.

How to make sure that tracking your reading habits is beneficial for you personally and academically?

Are Reading Logs Effective

There’s no one answer to this question – what works for one person might not work for another. Personally, I find that tracking my reading habits helps me to stay motivated and on track with my goals. But if you find that tracking your reading makes you feel pressured or stressed, then it’s probably not the right approach for you.

Ultimately, it’s important to do what feels right for you and what works best for your own reading habits. For some people, that means keeping a reading journal where they track their progress and thoughts on each book. Others might just want to keep a list of the books they’ve read. And still others might not track their reading at all.

Don’t force yourself to do something that doesn’t feel natural – it’s not worth the stress or the pressure. Just enjoy reading and don’t worry about how much or how little you’re doing.

Reading Journals

Reading Journals

If you’re struggling to finish a book, writing about it in a reading journal can help you get to the root cause of your dislike and better understand your reading preferences in the process.


So, should you track your reading habits? Well, that’s up to you. There are definitely pros and cons to doing so, but at the end of the day it’s a personal decision. If keeping track of your progress causes more stress than enjoyment, then it might not be worth it. However, if you find tracking helpful and beneficial, go for it! The important thing is that you enjoy reading and are making progress towards your goals.

Check out our post on reading journal prompts for ideas on how to get started. Or if you want to start your own journal check out our reading journals or read more about the importance of keeping a reading journal. Happy reading!

Reading Journals

Check out our reading journals available in a range of formats to suit your preferences. Tracking your reading and journalling about books read is a great way to get more from your reading and remember the plot of books read.

Pink and Green Reading Journal

Reading Journal Book

Printable Reading tracker template

Printable Book Log

Digital Reading Journal

Digital Reading Log

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