Thursday, February 13, 2014

Talk About It Thursday (#2): Writing or Taking Notes In Books

Every other Thursday I will make a post that's meant to bring about some conversation, discussion, and perhaps even a debate. This can be about a book, movie, artist/album, or anything!

Today's topic is about writing and/or taking notes in books. This has been something I've been struggling to figure out myself.

The thing is, I'm sometimes a little OCD, especially when it comes to books. It makes me sad when the corner of a book is bent a little bit or when it's in any way slightly not in top condition. That being said, I used to be so ardently against writing in books. It makes me sad. It makes me feel weird. 

But now that I'm blogging and writing reviews, I realize that I forget a lot about books fairly quickly. I'll forget how I felt about certain parts, or it won't cross my mind as I'm writing a review. So I've thought about writing in books. I've wanted to at least go back to some of my favorite books and underline favorite quotes, namely from Harry Potter. But I still feel weird doing it. 

So I've started doing a variety of things. For ebooks, it's been harder to figure out how I want to take notes, so generally, I try to jot down a few thoughts and immediate reactions as soon as I finish reading. Then, as always, I look through other reviews to see what other insight people had. 

For regular books, I do a mix. With certain ARCs, I'll just write in them. What sets certain ARCs apart? I have no idea. Maybe it's the format, maybe it's the mood I'm in, maybe it's just the book itself. For example, I recently finished reading Fire & Flood and Solving for Ex, both of which I highly recommend. I couldn't get myself to write in Fire & Flood. Maybe it's because I knew I'd have set thoughts on the book. Even now, I can generally remember what I did and did not like (I already wrote the review, so don't worry about that). But when I read Solving for Ex, I did write directly in the book. I even jotted down a few key notes at the back of the book. Maybe it was the format of the books, maybe it was the content of the books. I don't really know. It's a mental thing, really. (Okay, with Solving for Ex, it was really because I wasn't home, so I didn't have large post its to write on.) Speaking of large post its, when I was reading Cinder, which I still haven't finished, I decided that at certain intervals of the book, I would put post its down. I don't like putting down post its every time I have a thought. That's too school-ish for me. So I jot down big thoughts, questions, ideas, etc as I read on a large post it (like it's longer than a regular post it). I don't know how effective this is for me, but I think this is the way I'm going to take notes on finished books. It's not that I like or respect finished books more. It just doesn't feel right for me to write in them. 

All in all, I'm still trying to figure out the best way to take notes for myself. I know I'm very forgetful after a few days, whether it's relating to books, movies, or TV shows (actually, movies and really impactful books are usually okay, but still). If you look at some of my older reviews, they're not as detailed or I use much more vague language. It's probably because of the fact that I was foggy on the book. It's even worse when it comes to TV shows (probably except for the first few seasons of Doctor Who (New Who), although maybe I've gotten forgetful recently. But I used to know almost every episode from S1-4 by plot if given the title or by title if given the plot. I don't know if this makes sense, but it does for me.). Ask me about a recent episode of a TV show, and chances are, I won't really remember it, especially if it's a crime show. I might remember aspects of it, especially if it involves me fangirling, but otherwise, I likely won't be too clear on it. Yeah, that bad. And this happens after even a day. Ugh. But it's harder to take notes on TV shows and movies. So I'm not sure what to do about this. The good thing is that there are usually episode recaps online, but it's annoying to read through them sometimes!

So, do you take notes when reading or watching TV shows/movies? If so, what's your method? Why do you write down notes? Does it help you?


  1. I keep a large piece of paper at the side of me with a pair of scissors and a pen. as I'm reading if I find I want to make a not I scribble it down, cut it out and leave it in the book like a bookmark. Then I just remove them when I do the review.

    For eBooks, I read them all on my Kindle app and you can write notes as you go along and read them all later, which is useful.

    ★ Under The Mountain ★

    1. Oh, nice! I keep changing it up as I read, depending on my mood, the speed I want/need to read/finish a book, and/or the format of the book.

      It annoys me to do that, but maybe I should start doing that. :P


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