If you have purchased a copy of my printable reading journal, The Book Lover’s Companion, here are some recommended resources for getting it set up and customized.
First, you need to decide which binding option(s) you would like to use. You can get the book coil-bound at an office supply store, but you won’t be able to add or remove pages with that method. For the most flexibility, I suggest putting your book in a ring binder or using the discbound system. Just be sure to check the page capacity of your chosen binder or discs before purchasing. Printed front and back, The Book Lover’s Companion will be up to 170 sheets. However, since you’ll also likely want to print on thicker-than-normal paper, and add accessories like sections dividers, you need to allow for more space.
Here’s a curated list of suggestions for binding and customizing your book. Affiliate links are present.
If you are using the discbinding method, you will need to buy a special punch. This is the one I used. It is extremely sturdy and highly rated, and can be adjusted to punch both letter-size pages and half-sized pages (and other sizes you may want for future projects!)
Tip: If you or your spouse works at a school/office/church, etc, they may have a discbound punch you can borrow!
There are a lot of discbound cover options out there, but I like this one because it’s sturdy and comes with a built-in pen holder and a couple of pockets. There are a couple of neutral color options for this cover, and you can get it in either letter-size or half-size (“Junior”). But you don’t have to get a separate cover for The Book Lover’s Companion if you don’t want to. You can always just print out one of the provided covers on cardstock and get that laminated, and then laminate another piece of cardstock for the back cover. A disc-bound hole punch will usually punch through cardstock just fine.
For a simple, slimmer cover option, try one of these poly covers. They come in half or full size, with tons of different colors–including clear, which is perfect if you are printing off your own cover from The Book Lover’s Companion and want it to show.
Many discbound covers come with discs, but the discs are small (3/4-inch or 1-inch) and they won’t fit as much paper as you may need for The Book Lover’s Companion. If you think you may print out extra pages from your reading journal, or you want to insert tab dividers or other accessories, get the 1.5-inch discs. These ones are made of aluminum, which many users say is more smooth for turning pages.
Ring Binder Materials
If you plan to compile The Book Lover’s Companion using a ring binder, here are some excellent options!
Mini 3-Hole Punch (for half-size binders)
If you plan to use the half-size version of The Book Lover’s Companion and don’t have a hole punch that adjusts to a smaller page size, you can try this mini punch. It punches 3 holes for a half-size, 3-ring binder.
This is an extremely durable binder–including the interior pockets, which you can pack with pens, extra bookmarks, etc! Because it’s a slant ring instead of a round ring binder, you can fit in more pages without getting a thicker binder.
Printing and Cutting Materials
Standard printer paper is 20lb bond. Since you’re printing double sided, you’ll want to use a thicker paper (24- to 32-lb bond) to ensure that your pens don’t bleed through. Personally, I have found that 28lb/105gsm paper provides sufficient thickness without bulking up the journal too much.
Add decoration to your journal with this book-themed washi tape. You can also buy various patterns and use along the outside margins to help you identify and flip to a section quickly. This set comes with two book strips, and here you can find a variety of lovely patterns in a range of colours.