GIVEAWAY: Mark’s EDiT Reading Notebook

In the last few weeks I’ve sort of become obsessed with journaling. So I’m at a crossroads in my life. In many ways I’ve adapted to the digital life. I use Goodreads and Storygraph to track what I’m reading. I have used Ravelry to track my knitting projects. I’ve tried and failed at a variety of ways to record daily events in an electronic format (i.e. blogging on various sites). Ultimately what I’ve decided is that there IS benefit to digitally recording what’s going on, but sometimes I also want to record it in an analog fashion. Here are two use cases.

A few years ago I decided to limit my use of Ravelry. I used to track each and every knitting and spinning project I do there, as it has a rich database that links to patterns, yarns, techniques and more. I could add pictures and it was a highly efficient way to track what I was making (and refer back to it in case I wanted to see what I did, how I did, when I did it, etc.) For the last few years, I’ve tried and failed to set up many systems (both digital and analog) and the problem is that none of them do it as well as Ravelry did. But then I saw this Instagram reel:

And I thought, hey I have a MILLION notebooks (have you seen how many notebooks I’ve reviewed), I HAVE to be able to come up with something good. I bought a mini printer (Polaroid Hi Print – reviews forthcoming) and I’m running with it. I hope to share the journal soon.

Next up to tackle was reading. While I do use a few sites to digitally track what I’m reading, what I’m missing is a way to write about what I’ve read, to process what I think. Less of a public review for prospective readers and more of a way to record how the book made me feel, what it made me think about, etc. I don’t necessarily envision this as a complete tracking of what I’ve read (let’s face it – beach reads often need no further thought), but more a memory of the books I loved or hated. Again, I have a million notebooks and ideas on how to start this – I just need to take the plunge.

Now let’s get to the point of this post: the Giveaway. In mulling over the options, I went out and looked at journals specifically designed for tracking your reads. And I really liked what I saw of the Mark’s Edit Reading Notebook ($28.50 from Jetpens). This notebook seems like the perfect mix of structured information (the data points), and free form sections for you to write down whatever you’re thinking. It has room for:

  • 71 book journal entries
  • 16 dot grid pages for whatever you want!
  • A Favorite Books section
  • A Book Stores section
  • Expenses section with room to record 100 book purchases – you may not want to know (I’d skip this section)
  • An Aphorisms section for remembering 10 favorite quotes.
  • A Fold-out book log for charting out your reading accomplishments over a 12-month period.

This is a slim, hardback volume with a fabric cover, measuring roughly 5.2″ x 7.6″ (13.3 cm x 19.2 cm). The end pages are a plain black and the inside title page allows you to add the dates it covers. The pages themselves are white, featuring a variety of lined and dot grid sections. The whole book is 88 sheets and the paper is advertised as fountain pen friendly. (Note – I did not test the paper since this is a giveaway!)

Are you a reader? Would you like to win this Reading Journal to kick off your 2024 year in books? If so, keep going to find out how to enter!

You are entering the giveaway to win:

TO ENTER: Leave a comment below and tell me, what is the best book you read last year? Play along and type in something. It makes reading through entries more interesting for me, okay? One entry per person.

If you have never entered a giveaway or commented on the site before, your comment must be manually approved by our highly-trained staff of monkeys before it will appear on the site. Our monkeys are underpaid and under-caffeinated so don’t stress if your comment does not appear right away. Give the monkeys some time.

FINE PRINT: All entries must be submitted by 10pm CST on Friday, January 12, 2024. All entries must be submitted at, not Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook, okay? Winner will be announced on Monday. Winner will be selected by random number generator from entries that played by the rules (see above). Please include your actual email address in the comment form so that I can contact you if you win. I will not save email addresses or sell them to anyone — pinky swear. If winner does not respond within 5 days, I will draw a new giveaway winner. Shipping via USPS first class is covered. Additional shipping options or insurance will have to be paid by the winner. We are generous but we’re not made of money. US and APO/AFO only, sorry.

DISCLAIMER: The items included in this giveaway were provided to us free of charge by Jetpens. Please see the About page for more details.

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57 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Oh, wow — I just started looking at reading journals today, so your post is super helpful! It’s a tough choice for the best book I read last year, but I’d say “Yellowface”, by R. F. Kuang would be right up there.

  2. I read a lot last year. I think I would have to say one of my favorites, if not the most favorite, is “The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie” by Alan Bradley. The Flavia de Luce character is just such an interesting character. Then there is “The Magpie Murders” …. I could go on.
    Thanks for doing the giveaway.
    Have a great new year!

  3. I have read a lot of books this last year. But one sticks out as I found it most intriguing. The Thing in the Snow by Sean Adams is a book I can’t forget.

  4. It’s hard to pick just one, so I will have to defer to the ONE that is my all time favorite, every year – the Bible! Thank you for the giveaway!

  5. The best (my favorite) book I read in last 12 months was an autobiography called Planetwalker, by a guy who stopped talking, stopped riding in cars, and got a phD along his journey.

  6. Hard to pick just one, but The Thursday Murder Club Mysteries has introduced me to wonderful characters whom my husband and I enjoy discussing. Or perhaps I should say I Capture the Cadtle which I reread for the umpteenth time. Might be my all time favorite book—inspired me to want to write and to keeping a journal.

  7. I read and reread All The Time.

    The best book I read last year was The Goblin Emperor ( drawing a blank on the author)

    Very detailed and rich in story telling and world building

    1. The author is Katherine Addison – that’s one of my favorite books. The audiobook is excellent; I listen to it over and over for sleepless nights.

  8. I read quite a few books in 2023, but none of them particularly resonated with me. Two titles from previous years, still make me marvel at their structure and content and writing. The first is ” Apeirogon” by Colum McCann and the second is “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders. Saunders’ “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain” is also a favorite. This post makes me realize that I have figure out a way to organize by book journal in a new way to make it easier to check back for things. Which do you prefer : Goodreads or Storygraph?

  9. I read so many good books last year. The one I would most recommend is Lone Women by Victor Lavalle. It’s part horror story, part historical novel (a lone African American woman making her way on a homestead in the 1880s), part family story and family building story, part independence story. Just so many layers to discuss in this book. I think this is my favorite of Lavalle’s books, though I also loved The Changeling and The Ballad of Black Tom as well.

  10. My favorite book was Lone Women by Victor Lavalle. It’s a very layered book: part horror story, part independence story, part family history, part African-American history, part historical novel. I’ve liked this other books, too, but this is my favorite (so far).

  11. I’d love this! I lose track of older series I’ve read and their chronological order. I like going back and rereading favorites!

  12. I’m going to say it was The Book Club Hotel by Sarah Morgan. I was reading it in December, and it’s set near Christmas, so that was a nice coincidence. I thought about buying the book, so that’s why I chose it to post here. Thank you for the giveaway.

  13. Do I have to pick just one? Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke. But I read a ton of good fiction, including The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama.

  14. I’m currently waiting for my Goodreads (ugh) export to populate on my StoryGraph (oof) it’s been 4 days. I’d not need to wait for a paper journal!
    I wasn’t able to read a LOT last year, went in for a few really long ones. My top two (can’t limit it) were Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (the whole series, really) & Monica by Daniel Clowes. Oh and Life Ceremony by Sayaka Murata (whose stories always twist my brain around and make me sit, gaping for awhile once finished).

  15. Blargh! I can’t remember, Laura! This would help with that. I read a lot and last year was pretty much devoted to Maisie Dobbs. I’m on the tenth book in the series now and just picked up TRUST at the independent bookseller. Yes. I am reading a dead tree edition! Something like this would also come in handy because I am typically reading a fiction and non-fiction book or books at the same time.

    That reel makes me feel all kinds of guilty, but with a smidge of hope. Maybe. Someday. (Almost all of the LYSes closest to me that I loyally patronized have closed, so zero community/help makes it hard to tackle complex knitting projects. Perhaps a lame excuse, but it is mine. I am trying other things although my stash and five-inch thick binder of free patterns mocks me on the daily.)

  16. Ooh, probably the best book I read last year was The Memory Police! Just a fascinating thought experiment and quite a vibe as well.

  17. Oh, I definitely hit my Goodreads goal of 60 but it was a lot of fluff and nonsense (delightful nonsense is Legends & Lattes – loved it for my commute audible book). But two that I loved and will read any book written by them was ‘Arkhangelsk’ by Elizabeth Bonesteel and ‘A Song for a New Day’ by Sarah Pinsker. Both are brilliant but will admit that I regretted passing up a paper copy of ‘The Sparrow’ by Mary Doria Russell (owned on Kindle) but a book I think about frequently along with its sequel ‘Children of God’ which was heartbreaking.

  18. What a great way to keep track of those books that contain content I want to remember. It’s especially helpful with my widely varying genres. History, astronomy, biographies, fiction, etc. I am current finishing a very unusual but quite inteesting book titled Understanding Urban Warfare..and it includes some very intriguing info. So my off-the-beaten-path selection is that one.

  19. The best book I read last year had to be Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky A. Bailey. If you are a parent, it is a must read. It’s one I expect to read at least once or twice a year until my kids are out of the house.

  20. This is great! My favorite read from last year though? That’s tough. For fiction, A World of Curiosities. For nonfiction there is a lot of variety, but Redeeming Productivity and DSM: A History of Psychiatry’s Bible are two that stand out. Thanks for the thoughtful giveaway!

  21. My favorite fiction read was A Gentleman In Moscow. It was so delightful that I immediately went back and read it again. For non fiction, David McCullough’s The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s an amazing history and David McCullough is a great writer.

  22. Oh gosh – I read a lot of books last year, but my absolute favorite were Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook and Blitz (I read the middle book Stiletto, too, but didn’t love it as much as 1 & 3). Highly, HIGHLY recommend to anyone who likes alternate history type speculative fiction – or spy novels with added supernatural stuff.

  23. The most memorable book I read last year was The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton. It’s a book about climate change in the (relatively) near future. It really stuck in my head.

  24. The Marriage Portrait was amazing—a detailed look into the life and inner world of a young Florentine princess who is married off to a duke who may or may not have killed her around a year into their marriage (based on a true story). Beautiful writing, a look at royal life in 1500s Italy, and suspenseful to the last!

  25. I really enjoyed The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Hadn’t read a good fantasy epic in a long while and found it really enthralling!

  26. I already use Goodreads and just got Storygraph to try out, but I’ve also been researching analog reading journals lately because, like you, I want somewhere to keep track of my thoughts, but don’t necessarily want to do a “review”. I just bought a Leuchtturm journal to make my own, but I’d be curious to test this one out too.

    Best book in 2023? I can’t pick just one so I’m going to cheat and say all the books by Abby Jimenez, Emily Henry, and Ali Hazelsood that I read. lol

  27. I didn’t even know they made notebooks like this! Tough question: I think I’d go with This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub.

  28. Now THAT’S a useful journal! I didn’t have the concentration to read for a few years, but about halfway through 2023, I was introduced to several Sarah J Maas series, and I was off and running! Regarding keeping a journal, I’m not much of a daily writer, but when I discovered a love for bookbinding, that changed. Using a journal I created from an idea in my head has been just the thing I needed to keep one at hand. Whether it’s a simple quote or pasting things into it, when it’s chonky and full, the joy I feel is indescribable.

  29. My favorite book last year was Damascus Station by David McCloskey, a great spy novel. It would make a great first entry in the Reading Notebook!

  30. Some new Nathan Lowell books prompted me to re-read a lot of his books. I think my favorite is Double Share, but you really have to start at the beginning: Quarter Share.

  31. I love the idea of this notebook, I will have to hunt one down as I’m international so unfortunately can’t enter the giveaway, but here are a few of my fav book suggestions:
    The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
    Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
    Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

  32. Favorite book last year?
    I reread David Copperfield every year, so maybe that.
    Or The Doomed City by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.

  33. I loved reading “Heaven Official’s Blessing: Tian Guan Ci Fu” by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. It is a very long fantasy novel with very interesting characters.

  34. Just to show how much of a nerd and obsessive person I can be, I read and loved “Fountain Pens: The Collector’s Guide to Selecting, Buying, and Enjoying New and Vintage Fountain Pens”.

    Reason is, while I have been using and collecting fountain pens for a few years now, I recently ‘discovered’ the joy and history of vintage pens.

    Having bought a couple already – honestly, for the looks and age – I thought it would be better to become better educated on the topic.

  35. The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley – this is the best book I read in 2023. I plan to read it again this year and I suspect it will also be the best book for 2024.

  36. I read many books last year, but my favorite was “The Dictionary of Lost Words” by Pip Williams. I hand layout pages in my reading journal, and it looks like this one matches what I do manually!

  37. The best book I read last year was Emma by Jane Austen. I was a bit skeptical at first, since it she supposed to be a soap-opera chick novel type author, and I usually don’t like that kind of content, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I read the whole thing over the course of just two weeks, which is pretty fast for me.

  38. I read 45 books last year according to Goodreads, but I know it was more! I keep a book journal of my To Read list, so that when I go to the bookstore or library, I know what I’m looking for. The best book I read last year was not a new release–it was the Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I bought it for a plane ride and could not stop reading it. I have since picked up the sequel and can’t wait to read it.

  39. The book I enjoyed the most last year was a Louise Penny book. I read a couple of hers. But if you’re going to try her work (mystery, but I read it for the characters and character development) you really should read them in order. Still Life is the first in her series. She writes so well, and her characters have depth. The series mostly centers around a small Quebec village near the border of Vermont called Three Pines. One mostly finds it by accident as it’s somehow neglected to be placed on a Quebec map. The characters in this village are memorable and endearing. The main character is Armand Gamache, Quebec homicide inspector, and those who work under him. Louise Penny does a nice job of character development, and even apart from that her books are a pleasure to read.

  40. I read 69 books last year, so this journal would’ve been just enough!

    My favorite book was “Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir. The ending is hit or miss depending on the reader, but I think the friendship built between the main characters is fantastic.

    A surprise favorite (in a completely different direction) was “A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside” by Susan Branch. It’s like reading someone’s memory-keeping/scrapbooky journal, beautifully complete with photos and watercolor spot illustrations. I think the author actually handwrote each page!

  41. I like to use those tiny, cute notebooks that are impossible to resist and impractical to use for my reading trackers – although the cryptic little notes aren’t always best for triggering my memory of a particular book.

    Who can pick just ONE book recommendation? I’m not strong enough for that:

    Premee Mohamed, And What Can We Offer You Tonight? – a noir murder mystery that takes place on a Saturn colony with a really wonderful voice (I usually hate first person, but this drew me in)
    Adrian Tchaikovsky, City of Last Chances – a humongous book with a humongous cast, a plot with so many moving pieces, and I cared about all of it because it felt so fully realized
    Durian Sukegawa, Sweet Bean Paste – a very slow, thoughtful, quiet novel about kindness a wonderful antidote to waves all this

  42. My favorite new book last year was Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Necromancers! Snarky banter! Murder mysteries! Surprisingly sci-fi?

    My all-time favorite book is The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. Sci-fi, first contact, and she studied as an anthropologist so her world-building and alien culture is outstanding. I love all the characters, despite their flaws, and it breaks my heart over and over again. But it’s so good!!

  43. I’d say probably my favorite book I’ve read in the past year was The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra… it would be great to have a place to keep track of recent reads and favorite quotations in a notebook like this- many thanks for the opportunity!

  44. My best book for the year was As a Man Thinketh and Out From the Heart by James Allen because I am working on changing some patterns in my life.
    Happy New Year!

  45. As far as stand-alone books go, it’s a toss-up between Louis L’Amour’s “Flint” (I’m a big fan of the old west; I sometimes feel like I was born a century too late) and Steinbeck’s “The Short Reign of Pippin IV”. But I also thoroughly enjoyed a collection of short stories and a couple of novellas in “The Mammoth Book of Werewolves”, being also a big fan of werewolves.

  46. Lovely notebook! Hands down my favorite book: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmin. Highly recommend! There is also a mini series based on the book on Apple TV. Spoiler alert: the dog steals the show!

  47. One of my goals is to read more, and that’s a fancy looking book to keep track of it!

    My favorite of last year was Kate Atkinson’s latest book, “Normal Rules Don’t Apply”. Her absurd situations and wordplay always make me smile.

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