Keeping a Reading Notebook

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One of the most useful things I own is a separate notebook for jotting down things that I find interesting, useful, funny, fascinating, inspiring and many other things that I read in books, novels, or even textbooks.

I can’t count how many times I used to finish reading a book, and after a while completely forget about the plot, the characters, good lines, great metaphors, or if it was non-fictional the good tips and motivational quotes. Perhaps it was the writing itself, but I would guess it has more to do with the fact that there is no way my fragile brain can remember all of the stuff I read (can you imagine if it could?!).

A reading notebook is like a journal of what I’ve learnt, and sometimes I write my thoughts or personal review of particular books in it. It’s not very well organised, really it’s just scraps of notes all over the place, with barely indication of organising (except it is in reading order). But the point is, that it usually lasts about a year, so by the end of it, I can flip through it and reread all of the things that I had explored this year in books.

It’s almost like a snapshot of my year. I tend to choose books that suit my moods, feelings and curiosities at the time, and looking back on it is an amazing experience. Sometimes it only takes one line for it to remind me where I was at that time, who the people around me were and how I felt about what was going on back then.

It also gives me something tangible, something to hold that represents all of the hours I had devoted to reading this  year. It’s proof that the time didn’t go to waste.

As the year draws to a close, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to start a reading notebook for the year ahead.

What do you think? Do you keep a reading journal too?

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  • http://www.simplewings.wordpress.com Rose

    Hey, thanks for your comment! I’m still getting started and struggling to move over the old stuff but i’ll get there =)
    I’ve a nice word document with quotes and notes jotted down in fancy colours and fonts I read through every now and again; it’s a great idea!

    ~Rose

  • http://frugalundergrad.wordpress.com/ Frugal Undergrad

    I also have a word document with a few inspirational quotes which I read every once in a while, but I have never kept an actual “reading journal” as you suggest. It seems like a good idea to me, particularly for textbooks! I can’t really see myself jotting down notes on books I read for leisure though; I actually enjoy forgetting about what I have read – it makes me want to reread and discover the books all over again!
    (By the way, you have a nice little blog here (unlike mine). I really like your ‘handbook’ concept!)

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