On Note Taking

Last summer I started taking notes on the books I was reading. I kept this up for almost half a year, the longest I ever managed to keep note taking. Coincidentally, or not, at the same time I started note taking I started reading less. It might be a coincidence or not.

I had developed a good system, so that I didn’t have to take notes, and carry my notebook, constantly. My Kobo has the option to highlight text and even to add your own notes to it. I would highlight passages and once or twice a day, depending on how much I read. I would use those highlights to write down my notes. But even this did not keep it from starting to feel like a chore.

I stopped taking notes on all the books I read, planning to only do it for selected books. But I never did. I want to start again, but with a few additional changes. Instead of continuing with the notebook I used I got a new one. Instead of a thicker book I got a 96 page one. A bit easier to carry around. I also want to take notes on some books, not all I read. I noticed that during the half year I took notes that I found it hard to take lots of notes about books that are part of a series, except maybe the first in a series, when all the information you get is new.

I also want to add more of my own thoughts about the books in the notes. I mostly wrote down what happened, about the characters, but not really about what I thought about it, except when I felt really strongly about something.

At the start of the year I decided to start writing reviews again. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I have yet to write a proper review, besides what I write in these rambling posts. Which is a couple of sentences at most. So after taking notes on the story, and my own opinions I want to try and sketch out an outline for the review. I hope/plan to write a review about each book I take notes on. I just hope this doesn’t deter me from taking notes.

The first book I’m going to take notes on and review, I hope, is Grady Hendrix’s The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. Several years ago I read Hendrix’s Horrorstor. Having worked at an Ikea for two summer it was very recognisable, though I’ve never encountered a haunting at my Ikea. It was also a fun read. I read it as an ebook, but I ended up getting the paperback. Because it came with a map of the store and was designed to look like the Ikea catalogue. I thought I read more books by Hendrix, but after checking I found out I haven’t read any of his other books. Something that I will need to rectify soon, and something I’m looking forward to!

I’ll start the book tomorrow, and plan to highlight whilst reading and taking notes after a reading session or at the end of the day. Doing it that way seemed to work best for me. Hopefully this way I can keep up making notes (which I, in general, enjoy doing and I think it helps me think about the book more) and start writing reviews.

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