Monday Musings: Taking Notes While Reading


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.

So what about you, elusive blog reader? Do you take notes when reading? Do you need to use notes to write your reviews? Do you hand-write notes or just take digital notes? Share, please!


3 thoughts on “Monday Musings: Taking Notes While Reading

  1. It’s easier to take notes if I’m using an e-reader, but when I’m reading in hardcopy, I usually just use sticky notes. That said, I don’t often take notes when I’m reading. I just usually write down quotes that I like, and try to review the book as soon as I’m done.

    P.S. I think you should change the title, because it’s kind of misleading.

    Liked by 1 person

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