Interview/Giveaway: Journals for Booklovers

I am so excited to have Rachelle Rogers Knight here with me today. I found her site after she left a comment on one of my posts. I went over to her webpage, Bibliobabe, and discovered these amazing journals she has created. Being a bookbinder, by hobby, I love journals and I like to give them as gifts, and I love write in them, and, and, and, and, there is nothing I don't love more than a good book or a beautiful journal. I have even instilled journalling in my friends as well, so with these journals, I can combine my love for books with my love for journalling. IT'S LIKE CHRISTMAS!!!!

So immediately, to make a long story short, we chatted a bit and invited her over for an interview!

(BBB): Why Journals?

(RK): I felt that a journal was a perfect medium to keep track of all of my reading 'stuff'. I had several places I was previously using, but it was
all jumbled and messy. I also used ‘online’ journals which are great for certain settings but not as convenient as pulling a journal from my purse. One journal now keeps all my reading resources together and compliments my other activities (e.g. blogging, goodreads, etc)!

(BBB): Do you regularly journal?

(RK): Yes! I have two little boys and a busy schedule. My brain is always a little frazzled and if I didn't write it down enough, I would forget my name! So, book journaling for me is a must. I wouldn't be able to remember what I have read, let alone what I thought of a book (besides mundane "I liked it" comments) if I didn't journal. I love to look back at all the books I've read and the quotes I jot down. That is my favorite part of journaling - seeing where my adventures have taken me. It's nice to have my book handy to offer suggestions when someone asks and I am a great participant in my book club meetings now that I record my thoughts in my journal.

(BBB): How did you come up with mixing reading and journalling?

(RK): In the past I did not keep a journal. The disorganization of my reading life is what prompted the creation of the Read, Remember, Recommend journals (necessity is the mother of invention!). I am a passionate reader and my reading time is very valuable to me. Therefore, I am picky about what I read and am always on the hunt for great suggestions. In the past I kept these suggestions on anything close at hand; old receipts, magazine inserts, bills, etc and printouts of award and notable lists. When I made time to visit a bookstore I ended up searching a very messy purse for my long researched suggestions. Also, when I joined my book club, I noticed that when I was at the meetings, all of my opinions and thoughts were lost. While reading the current selection I had amazing (IMHO) observations and points to discuss with the group - but when the time came I couldn't remember what was so important. So, I set out to buy a journal that would house all of my reading needs. I quickly discovered there was nothing like it on the market and created my own - in Microsoft Word. It wasn't pretty, but fit the bill - and the members of my book club loved it.

(BBB): Do you use your own journals personally?

(RK): I do. My journal is always by my side, along with my current read. I don't travel without it and can't go to sleep without making sure I am caught up with my current book in the journaling section. It has helped keep my reading life organized, and now I am never without a great suggestion to give someone else and I always know what I am going to read next. I take my journal to my book club meetings to share my thoughts and opinions of our current selection.

(BBB): Whats your favorite genre to read?

(RK): I enjoy contemporary fiction and the classics. I dabble quite a bit in young adult and some mysteries, but my absolute favorite is general fiction.

(BBB): Fav authors?

(RK): Barbara Kingsolver
Margaret Atwood
Kaye Gibbons
Wilkie Collins
Stieg Larsson
Leo Tolstoy
Toni Morrison

(BBB): Do you have a fav book? or multiple fav books?

(RK): Lots of favorites! I'm not sure I could ever choose just one. Here is a list of my most loved:

(BBB): Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
Charms for the Easy Life, by Kaye Gibbons
My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
The Hearts of Horses, by Molly Gloss
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest, by Stieg Larsson.

(BBB): Are you working on other journals or books in the future?

(RK): I am working on Romance, Mystery and Nonfiction versions of the journals and am hoping to continue with Science Fiction/ Fantasy, Tween and a Children's version. I would love to complete the whole series and offer a journal for every kind of reader,

(BBB): Tell us a bit about your self-publishing adventure.

(RK): My journey from publishing my book myself to traditional publication with Sourcebooks has been an amazing, exciting experience. When I first created the journal, I didn't think to pursue a traditional publication route. I love projects and challenges and wanted to experience creating the journals from every angle. I started a small publishing company, Bibliopages, found a way to print in China (the format of the books made it too expensive to print domestically), set up a website and went to a few bookseller tradeshows. The sales of my journals was very grass-roots: I did all of the publicity, marketing and sales myself - and shipped boxes from my basement. After I created the teen journal, the volume of these tasks was too much. I wanted to continue on with journals for other genres, but wearing all of the hats of a business didn't allow time to do what I was best at - creating. So, I found a wonderful agent who in turn found me a wonderful publisher. Now, I can concentrate on the task I started and most enjoy; researching great books to read!

(BBB): Please share with us some of your favorite parts of both of the journals.

(RK): The lists! I am a very picky reader and rely almost exclusively on award and notable lists for recommendations. I find the lists to be the reliable and consistent source for picking great titles. My reading time is so important to me (and a little scarce) that I like to make the most of it by reading really quality literature. The organizations, publications and individuals who award books (and deem some of these classics) are charged with pouring through a huge expanse of literature to come up with what they think is the best. As a result, readers are left with the 'cream of the crop' to choose from each year. These organizations take the work out of searching for wonderful works of literature and introduce readers to great new works and authors. If readers don't take advantage of these lists, they are missing out on the best the world of literature has to offer.

(BBB): Thanks for joining us today!

I adore these journals, one is for teens, and one for adults, I have just started to use them and they are amazing. You must get one, I already ordered some and sent them to my sisters. Once I use them a bit more I will post an official review. You can go HERE for information about purchasing and definitely stop by Rachelle Knight's website. She has some great books and links to some awesome blogs and challenges!

Want to win a copy of Read, Remember, Recommend by Rachelle Rogers Knight, leave a comment for Rachelle about books, journalling, a question, whatever. Include an email address. Open to international, ends 25 Apr.

Copyright The Bibliophilic Book Blog 2009-2010


  1. Rachelle,

    I used to keep my thoughts on books in a journal, but I kind of got out of it since I started my book blog. I would like to get back into the book journaling again. I do have a journal (it's a leather-look bound Lord of the Rings journal) that I keep track of my 1700+ fiction books from my personal library. If I didn't take it with me every time I go to used book sales, I would probably keep buying the same books over and over again...LOL! I still haven't got around to cataloging my non-fiction and have bought a few titles twice. Someday I'll get around to it. I do keep lists of recommended books in my library catalog journal so I can watch for them at used book sales, etc. Your journal sounds really cool! I've had my eyes on it since it's been appearing around the blogosphere. Would love to win it! BTW...The Road and Life of Pi are also two of my faves!



  2. I'm not a big journal-person, but the idea of this one sounds perfect!

    celestia dot price at gmail dot com

  3. I keep a journal as well, but for me journaling is more on my blog than in a actual book journal. However I think its important to write things down; wherever possible.

  4. Rachelle,
    Do you have a favorite classic? (only one)

    derekannette at gmail dot com

  5. I read Life of Pi for school and really enjoyed it, too!

    What is your favorite modern classic?

    infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

  6. I really need to start journaling. I am 67, retired and can't remember where I am going or why. LOL. I realize I really need to write things down as I do forget on an regular basis. I hate to buy books I have already read. I have read so many books I started a list in 2006 of books I was reading and those I remembered reading yrs ago.
    Thanks for the giveaway and the opportunity to enter.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  7. I haven't tried journaling yet but sometimes think I should start.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  8. I have journelled for years since I was around 9 years old to about 16. I have sort of given it up for journal blogging, but I would really like to get back to writing. It's so more personal to look back and see my writing on pages, not on a computer screen.

    Thanks for the giveaway and interview!


  9. I don't use a journal for my thoughts, but I could sure use one for my book lists! I currently just use a notebook, I'd love to have something this pretty and nice to keep records in.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  10. Awesome interview, Rachelle and Monica!

    Rachelle: I was wondering if you are accepting book recommendations? If so I thought I'd recommend you to read The Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson. The book can be read by all from age 13 and up. I really loved it and believes it has the potential to become a classic.

    I think this journal sounds excellent and if I'm not the lucky winner than I need to buy a copy myself.

    By the way it was great fun to see a Scandinavian author on Rachelle's list of favorite authors. My better half devoured Larsson's novels.


  11. I have a journal where I vent. I love it, it helps a lot with the things that bother me. Yet, I'm terrified that someone might one day find it; mainly my family! I vent about them in it! LOL

  12. I've been a journal writer since I was 10, and it has now become a part of me. I couldn't imagine not writing in it, I even take my journal on vacation.

    Great post! Loved the introduction, and learning about Rachelle.


  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Wow, I wish I'd had something like this when I was a kid! So many books I wiiiish I could remember, lost to the sands of time and kiddish misunderstanding about how "books" worked (you mean they don't magically live at the library?!? Oh no!).

    And actually I'd like this now, since at the moment my booklist is "the spiral scrawlbook in my purse". Not very dignified, you know!


  15. I have heard a lot about journals lately and really should start one.I think I could really benifit from venting this way.cardshark42(at)hotmail(dot)com

  16. Thank you so much everyone for the wonderful questions. This is fun!

    Annette W: My favorite classic is "The Woman in White", by Wilkie Collins. It is a like a suspenseful Austen novel.

    Bianca: My favorite modern classic is "The Road", by Cormac McCarthy.

    Ladybug: I do take recommendations. Thanks for the book recommend. Also, I have an email: suggestions AT bibliobabe DOT com. Since the journals are about award lists, the book would have to be an award winner to be in that section.

    Dwayne: I think the only way to convince you would be for you to try to keep a journal for a little while and see if it sticks. The reward is in looking back after a few books and seeing your accomplishments and being reminded of how you felt about each book. Keeping a journal definitely takes time and has to become a habit, but given a little effort the reward is amazing.

  17. I was always hopeless as writing as a child but my mother always made me writing thank you letters - it was torture.
    Then one day I was writing to a great aunt - got really involved telling story and there were so many pages my mother had to pay extra postage!

    As I got older and traveled my long letter gained a certain renown.
    After having children and starting to use email I almost stopped letter writing and previous recipients of my letters are encouraging me to write a book..

    Although it is a pain copying I prefer writing longhand. Inspiration flow more easily and my writing is more eloquent.
    As a result I love journals.

  18. Bibliobabe: Oh, yes. Then I'll get back in touch with you once the book has won an award ;)

  19. Have you written any other books instead of book journals?

  20. Love the interview...I've never tried my hand at creating journals but I love keeping one. I'm excited to hear that there's a possibility of a tween version coming out...YA is a favorite of mine so I'd love to have a companion to go with my addiction, lol.

  21. Lovely interview. I have never tried keeping a journal...but it's never too late to start,right? I think keeping a journal is a very novel idea;it's something that can be one's constant companion in times of happiness and never opinionated and is always a great listener. Yes,I totally feel like a journal :)
    P.S:Life of Pi is a wonderful of my favs too!

  22. I've always tried to keep a journal, but on the long run grew to lazy to write each day and slowly abandoned it. My favourite part was always to keep a pretty notebook and start writing :-) It is so funny and sometimes embarassing to re-read what I thought and felt when I was a teenager! lol

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail DOT com


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