Books I Have Read (free printable for kids)

I’m still blogging in my mind, but no one has invented the Telepathic Blog App yet, so I can’t prove it.  I did, however, attend a fun and refreshing little blog conference here in San Antonio last weekend, and I am really, truly, planning to start blogging again.  Soon.  Maybe.

In the meantime, here’s a quick little project I did this morning for my kiddos, and I thought I’d take a moment to share it with you.  This is the first printable I’ve ever shared, so be kind.  🙂

Books I Have Read - free printable

Books I Have Read – Title, Date finished, Author, and 2 line Summary for 5 books (free printable in PDF format)

Every time one of my younger children finishes a school book, I take him or her out for an inexpensive treat – a dollar burger, a trip to The Dollar Tree, or something similar.  If they want, I let them wait and use 2 outings at once for a trip to the dollar theater (which actually costs $2 for each of us).  They always ask if reading a “regular” book can count, but I would be taking someone out every day of the week if I were that generous!

But here is a compromise: With this printout, they can earn an outing every for 5 books they have read – and they’ll have a good start on writing a mini book report!  As they gain practice, I’ll add a few more lines for the summary and switch to a 2-page format.  It will be easy since my printer does 2-sided printing painlessly.

Of course you can make up your rules, but I did put just a few requirements for my own children as to which books are acceptable:

  1. It must be a new book that you have never read before.
  2. You must read it – audio books are great, but they don’t count toward this goal.
  3. It must be at an appropriate level for you.

In the future, I might require that a minimum number of books on the list be non-fiction.

My kids are already enthusiastic readers, but I think this will encourage them to read with more purpose, seek out new titles, and retain more of they read since they will be summarizing each book as they finish it.

Do you use something like this? Would you like to?  If you download and use this, I’d love to hear what you and your children think!


  1. So, I was cleaning out my fridge and that made me think of you… Because you posted about your French-door fridge with no water in the door and it made so much sense that it’s why we got when our old one died 5 years ago. You stopped blogging, and then Google Reader disappeared (effectively killing my blog reading), so I had no idea if you’d returned to the blogging world or not. Hope you and your family are well!

  2. Hey Kim, you are missed! Hope all is OK.

  3. Where did you go Kim? I miss your blog! How’s your pregnancy going?

  4. PLLLLEEEAAASSSSEEEE come back! you are missed! 🙂 Hope all is well with your family.

  5. Sheila Mom to Seven says:

    Hey, Kim. Just wondering when you’re going to give a pregnancy update. 🙂 I trust all is going well.

  6. That’s a really cool idea, and I will definitely print them! I didn’t need any rewards either to get reading when I was yound, but it seems that times clearly changed 🙂

  7. Melanie E. says:

    This is great. But whoa! Your children get a reward after every book they read? I had to read 100 books before I got my first ice cream cone at age 8 (I started reading at 3 :))! The next 75 got me a slightly better prize: a whole pie to myself. As a I stood in the frozen deserts section of the store deliberating for probably a half hour :). Gotta love books and the rewards with which good moms motivate their children to read.

    • Melanie, they currently get a reward after each school text they finish, but now I’m going to try giving rewards after every five books they read as well. We’ll see how that goes, and if I find I’m spending all my time at the ice cream shop I may have to raise the bar a little. 🙂 Of course, they also have to provide a written title, author, date of finish, and summary – and not the lose the page during the time it takes them to read 5 appropriately challenging books. That should slow them down a little…

  8. So I’m not the only one who blogs inside my head, eh? I do my best “writing” in the shower, but by the time I’m done, I’ve forgotten what I just “wrote!” So if you can invent that telepathic-blogging tool, I’ll buy one! (Maybe two, my kids will break the first one.) 😀

    Thanks for the printable, that’s a splendid idea. Do you allow kids who don’t yet read to do it too? (Say, by reading to them?)

    • Michelle,
      I didn’t print these for my wee ones, but I will if they ask. I do need to do one for my almost-6yo. She is reading now on her own and is a high-needs girlie, so she would really enjoy earning outings this way. I don’t know why I didn’t include her, and I’m shocked she hasn’t heard about it and begged for her own!

  9. Emily C says:

    Perfect! I am getting ready to homeschool for the first time starting next week (we’re moving) and my son’s teacher has said he needs to read plenty and write about what he reads. Thank you for this!

  10. I had a friend that made BINGO cards with different kinds of books for each letter….biographies,science and nature, etc. She did it over the summer and was trying to get rhem to branch out a little from their favorite series books. 🙂

  11. I have each of my children keep a portfolio in a composition book. It’s where they write down the title of every book they’ve read, every poem they’ve memorized, every concert they’ve gone to, every level of typing or Spanish they have finished, every bread baking class they have taught, etc. Basically anything they are proud of and want to remember or want to show off when they are applying for college or for a job when they’re older. They love looking back at their portfolios and I check them once a week just to make sure they are keeping them up. The portfolios help them to not read their favorite books over and over and to push themselves to study and to learn new things.

    • Jane, your kids’ portfolios sound like they will be very special to look back on. I wish we had started something like that long ago. It’s funny you mention it, because my almost-6yo just asked about that very thing: For her birthday, one thing she wants is “a special kind of notebook that I can keep for a long, long time and just write very special important things in it, like my favorite books that I read.”

  12. I have been trying all year to get my kids to log their reading. I think like you I need to give them an incentive to log it. They don’t need an incentive to read, as they are constantly in trouble for having their noses in books rather than doing chores, or being sociable, (when your friend are over you can put your book down).

  13. This is a great idea! We do something similar just by keeping track of titles in our own individual notebooks. With mine I also like to put a rating and where I got the book (individual? library? online? etc) so I can reference it later. When I log the title, I put the date finished. Finishing something is very affirming for me!!

    I think the list is also a great idea because it’s a great visualization tool for what diet of reading you have. My kids are old enough to govern themselves on that, so they know when they need to balance out one genre with another. They also enjoy the light competition amongst themselves as to who has read the most books so far in the year, etc.

    • Moleskine makes a great little Book Journal if you’re ever looking for a more “official” method for keeping track of your books.

  14. I don’t usually have to reward for books because mine never stop reading, but I would love a nice way to keep track of them.

  15. I’m glad the blog is back. 🙂

    I use It’s restricted to people 13 and older and has caveats for 13-18 year-olds. Thank you for the printable. I’m going to add printed forms to my tools for keeping track of reading.

    • I use goodreads too, and I LOVE it. It could be a good idea to encourage your older children to sign up. My favourite part of goodreads is that it recommends more books to read based on books that I have already rated highly. I find this so useful, as I hate reading trash! My second favourite part is that it has sparked so many conversations with my friends and acquaintances (who are also on goodreads) about books…I didn’t even know that some of these people were readers, and now I get to swap books and talk about books with them. Sorry if this sounds like one giant promo…I just love goodreads and get really excited!

      • Kieran, I’ve heard people mention goodreads but never looked into it. Maybe we should take a look since we have more and more active readers in our house all the time – and quite a few Kindle users. Thanks for the recommendation.

  16. MotherLydia says:

    I think I want to try this out (though… as fast as my son reads I’m a bit nervous. He read over 100 books last summer! Though maybe having to write a summary would slow him down a bit. And yes, many of those books were appropriate level. I do want to encourage him to read more chapter books and try new series, etc.

Don't just think it: say it!

%d bloggers like this: