I don’t take notes when I read. The reason I don’t is that I don’t like to break the spell (Go ahead, make fun but sometimes I get really sucked into a book!) to stop and write down passages, thoughts, or quotes. I wish I did that but I don’t. It’s my reading style. It’s how I’ve always read, and for the foreseeable future, this is how it will probably be.
Even though I don’t take notes, I do write down my thoughts after finishing a book and I do use those notes for my reviews. Sometimes the notes are helpful and sometimes they aren’t. It’s the way it is. Sometimes I can’t read my writing and sometimes I throw away all the little notes I make on Post Its because I have no idea what they refer to.
I have a Nook (We needed to stem the tide of physical books coming into the house; limited space and all.) and sometimes, though infrequently, I do take advantage of the notes feature and type up a few things as I’m reading. Most of the things I type though have to do with aspects of the story that annoy me and I’ve noticed that these notes aren’t that helpful. Apparently, I don’t have the hang of it yet, but I will keep on with this experiment in the hopes that it might yield something, eventually.
My husband is currently reading Cloud Atlas and mentioned to me yesterday that he had to go back and re-read a chapter because the author referred to something from the first chapter and he needed that bit of info to understand what was going on later in the book. In a situation like this, where the book is really one big puzzle, I can see notes being useful. When I get around to finally reading this, I probably won’t take notes and will just constantly ask my husband what’s going on, and after I annoy him and he stops talking to me about it, I’ll google. Would taking notes be easier? Hell yes. Will I do it? Hell no. Some days being me is a pain but I persist.
So, some questions. Do you take notes? Are they helpful? What do you do with all the notes after you finish with them? Any tips, let me know. I’ll admit I’m jealous when I hear people talk about their notebooks filled with quotes and passages they loved but I’m not that sort of reader. Then again, I have this blog, and for me, it’s sort of my way of taking notes on my reading.
10 thoughts on “Do you take notes?”
For short story collections and nonfiction, I make notes. Sometimes I just use a draft email to do so because I can access it at home or at work, whenever I think of something I want jotted down for the future review. I also have a little notebook I keep notes in when a book really intrigues me – like Mary Roach’s nonfiction investigative science books.
But for novel fiction, I simply let myself read and enjoy.
There’s a definite value in taking notes on short stories. After reading several, they tend to run together and I don’t keep them straight which is probably the reason I don’t review many.
I have to pick up another of Mary Roach’s books. She’s so good!
>>>Most of the things I type though have to do with aspects of the story that annoy me and I’ve noticed that these notes aren’t that helpful.
Me too! This is exactly what I do also! This is the only thing I use the “Notes” feature on my Nook for. I am hoping I’ll figure out the notes feature and become better at it. If you figure it out please let me know.
I’ll let you know. So far, my notes consist mainly of things like, this character is acting like a jerk. Why I even need to write things like that down baffle me.
When I’m home I might enter notes in my book database, especially like nrlymrtl said, when I’m reading short stories. I crazily think I’m going to remember each and every one of them when I go to write a review and then I never do!
I also use a Nook when I commute to and from work and I find the highlighting feature helpful to remember parts I like and parts I don’t. I would never write in an physical book, so now I get frustrated when I’m reading one and have to stop to enter notes somewhere!! :^D
Maybe I need to try the highlighting feature instead of the notes feature. It might work better then just typing up something random that won’t make sense later anyway. Good tip.
Write in a book…never! 🙂
I occasionally take notes (usually on a scrap of paper used for a bookmark). It’s usually words or things of note that i want to look up later. Very seldom do I jot down things I want to mention when I write up a book, as I try to do that immediately while it’s fresh in mind.
I’m trying to get better about reviewing a book when I finish instead of waiting but I haven’t been that successful at that endeavor yet. There’s still hope!
I am a happy book defiler. I’ll underline, apply chicken scratch, circle, dog-ear, paperclip, leave candy trails of little slips of paper…. unless it’s a library book. then I have a slip of notepaper in the book, but of course then I can never find a pen…
Usually what I note is passages that strike me while I read, those ones where “HEY! THAT WAS REALLY COOL” pops up on the internal “Heads-Up-Display” while I read.
And also words that I need to look up in the dictionary. I’ll note the word and the sentence it’s used in.
For really long complicated books, my notes will be the names of the characters and who they are in the book. I learned to make a crib sheet for myself the *first* time I find myself asking “who’s this person again?” I have about four pages for Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.
NOOOO! 🙂 Think of the books. 🙂
I will sometimes write down words I don’t know to look up later but most times I’ll muddle through. As for names, I tried taking notes when I first started writing reviews but soon gave it up because I kept losing the papers. Now I just flip through for spellings. Although, books like Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, where there’s a list of characters eons long, notes do make me happy.