Monday Musings is a semi-weekly feature in which I ramble about things I’ve been wanting to talk about on the Internet. Astonishing concept, I know. Anyway, this week I want to talk about reviewing books, and writing by hand.
I almost never take notes while reading books. If I do take notes, I write them directly in the book (if I own it, and especially if I have an ARC) or on sticky notes that I put in the book. Sometimes I take very short notes or mark quotes along with my progress updates on Goodreads. This happens for maybe every 4th book I read.
The other day I took some notes in pen, on a piece of paper, for a review I am going to write for a library magazine. I have been reviewing books for this magazine for about a year, and I have tried all the methods I mentioned above to keep track of my thoughts about the book while reading. Finally, I just broke down and jotted some notes down on a piece of paper.
And it felt so, so good.
The swirly lines in black ink. The ideas permanently marked in a scrap of paper that I placed inside the front cover of the review copy. Those thoughts, so easy to return to when I sit down to type up the review. It was so easy, and fast, and worked much better to coalesce my thoughts on the book than any other method.
However, I can’t see myself doing this for every book I read, or even every 4th book. It would be just too time consuming. It didn’t take long for this book because
1) I didn’t read the whole thing.
2) I skimmed it.
3) I had negative things to say and those are always easier to say than nice things.