I've never made a secret of the fact that I love making lists. Just about everything I do involves making a list at some point. Part of it has to do with the fact that my memory, thanks to a non-functioning thyroid gland, is pretty pitiful so lists help me to function on a daily basis. The other part of it, though, is that I just love the tactile aspect of making a list -- the feel of the ink and paper, the sense of accomplishment that comes with marking something complete. (I also love the crinkle of notebook pages full of notes -- that is one of my favorite sounds. I'm aware that probably puts me fully in the nerd category, but I'm totally okay with that).
I've attempted a couple of times to keep a reading journal, but I've never found one that I really liked. (I quit long ago buying fancy notebooks to use for journals, because they just ended up blank and gathering dust on my bookshelves. Thank goodness for the Moleskine datebook I finally found -- it's worked as a better journal/diary than anything I've ever come across.) Then Goodreads came along, and essentially this problem became non-existent.
Except that there was still a little part of me that kept thinking, "Don't you want something a little more permanent, a little more physical? Something that you could pass on, along with your books, to your family members?" Reading is such a huge, integral part of who I am that I can't imagine not documenting it in a more tangible fashion. And that's how this project was born.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: "Portrait of a Reader" will be a simple mini-album project designed to do just what it says: create a portrait of you as a reader. It will be divided into sections with easily insertable pages so that you can add content year after year.
It is my plan to share the creation of this album with you over the course of several posts. Once a month, I'll share with you my progress on creating, maintaining, and updating each of the sections in my album.
MY ALBUM PLAN: I've selected a simple 2-up photo album from Target. It's a 3-ring binder style and it's similar in size to a hardcover novel, which is nice because I plan on storing it on my bookshelves alongside my favorite novels -- makes sense, right? Here's a look at the pattern (this sample is 12x12):
- list of books I read each year. This will be generated from Goodreads, so that means I'll have complete lists for 2008 and on, plus a partial list for 2007, which is when I joined GR. These books will be in order by star rating.
- characteristics of myself as a reader -- what I love to read, where I love to read, particular reading habits, etc.
- featured reviews for my most favorite books
- lists of books by favorite genres
I'm still trying to figure out if there are other sections that I want to include.
The plan is to create 4x6" cards in PSE with digital scrapbooking kits and then simply print them out and insert them into my album. Simple. As I develop each section, I'll share any templates or other guidelines that I create with any of you who plan to create an album along with me.
My intention is to use the Book of Firsts kit, a collaboration between Paislee Press and Three Paper Peonies at Oscraps. I love the stacked books doodle, and the patterns and colors work nicely with the album I've selected.
Here are some other great digital kits that you could use in your own album:
PageTurner by One Little Bird Designs
Bookmarked by The Tattered Pear
Between the Pages by Kaye Winiecki
Woodland Book Lovers by Danielle Thompson/Kitschy Digitals
Read It Again by Lauren Reid
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN CREATING AN ALBUM WITH ME? I'd love to hear from you, if so. Right now, the goal is just to work on a basic album outline and to gather your materials. We'll check back in on November 14, with a look at my first section.
In the meantime, please share with me any additional ideas you have for sections in your album or for scrapbooking products (digital AND paper) that will be a great fit for a project like this.