Sep 132013


Inspired by Effortlessly Reading’s Note Taking post yesterday, I thought I’d discuss my note taking.

I do take notes on the books I read. Mainly because it helps me remember what I want to say in my reviews, because I rarely write them right away. I can take up to 2-3 weeks to write a review, and by that time, unless the book really made an impact, I lose a lot of details.

I don’t usually take notes while I’m reading though. I usually take notes after I’m done a book (or when I call it quits). My notes can be anywhere from 3-4 pointform thoughts, as well as a few key words that the book makes me think of, all the way up to 2 full pages of thoughts. The more notes I take, the more the book affected me, and made me think of things I want to say.

When I go to write my review, my notes are what jog my memory about the book, and usually form the main points of my review.

There has been times where I forget to write notes, and when that happens, I tend to feel a bit panicked and then I forget what the book was about, and what I thought of it. In those cases, I will check out other reviews to jog my memory about the book.

I have been looking at book specific notebooks for a while as a way to boost my notes. You know the ones where there is a page for every book and there are usually questions or titles for each section? I think they would help make my reviews more robust, and maybe cover more of the story. But I’m not convinced I want to think that hard about every read, so for now I’m sticking with my basic notebook. It’s almost full, so it’s time to consider whether I buy another simple notebook or a book review book.

Do you take notes on the books you read? Do you use a regular notebook or a special review-geared book?

  3 Responses to “Discussion: Taking Notes While Reading”

  1. That is really cool that you take notes. I just do highlights in ebooks or sticky tabs in print books to remember certain areas I can go back to and reference if something important happened. Taking notes seems more organized.

  2. I don’t normally take notes. I find it distracting and it takes away some of the joys of reading. It becomes homework, almost. I do write down memorable quotes though. πŸ™‚

  3. I used to be a fastidious note-taker when I first started really reviewing the books I read. Now, though, I tend to just use sticky notes or the highlight feature on my Kindle. I’m pretty good at remembering what prompted me to mark that specific passage to begin with. I’ve never seen a book review specific notebook…I’m guessing it uses the kind of writing prompts we had in class? That might come in handy. πŸ™‚ I have a copy of How to Read Like an English Professor sitting unread on my bookshelf, and I’ve always thought it could be useful in writing more cohesive reviews. But seeing as how I already don’t have time to read all the books on my TBR, I doubt that one will get a read anytime soon. πŸ˜›

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