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bethany725

Do you take notes as you read?

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Hi everyone :lol:

 

I'm trying something new with the novel I just started reading.. I've started taking notes as I go along. Mainly first impressions and details of the characters, details about the setting and the time period, etc. I often find that as I read a book and my perspective changes or shifts based on the knowledge of the characters/plot/etc, I get to the end and forget how I felt in the beginning of the book. I sort of do a more 'inactive' reading thing and don't really take notice of some of the details about the characters and situations that could lend me insight as I travel further into the story.

So this time, in an effort to be a more 'active' reader, I'm taking these notes so it hopefully builds my understanding better. I'll see if it works!

Does anyone else do this or any form of note-taking while reading? Would love to hear what does and doesn't work for others. :D

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Wow, I wish I was more of an active reader like you are! I could try to make notes but I know myself well enough to know that it wouldn't last long. I don't think I'd have the patience, and I'd probably get too caught up in the story.

 

The only notes I make are of interesting quotes, or of something I might want to look up later. Once I was reading a book with a lot of characters so I made a note of their names and ages so I could keep track of them. Turned out not to be fairly useless doing that because the characters aged very quickly (as in, 10 years in the next paragraph), and then the story only focused on a few of the characters). :lol:

 

Good luck to you though and let us know how you get on with keeping notes! You might yet inspire me to try. :D

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I don't even like taking notes when I read for school! I like my mind to sort of go with the flow of the book. I guess I prefer to just experience the book instead of analyzing it. :lol:

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When reading for pleasure I don't make notes but when I'm studying I make notes - probably too many notes! I have even been known to make notes in the book but shh! :lol:

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No I don't - and I don't think I would unless I was studying . Worth a shot for you though if you think it'll add to your reading experience, and it's no loss if it doesn't work out for you.:lol:

Edited by BrainFreeze

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I think note taking is something I'm going to start doing - not detailed notes, just the odd little thing here and there so that when it comes to writing a review I can use them as pointers.

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I think note taking is something I'm going to start doing - not detailed notes, just the odd little thing here and there so that when it comes to writing a review I can use them as pointers.

 

Ah now if I was writing reviews, then yes I would do and I think it would definitely help.

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I've never made notes while reading a book for pleasure. I agree with anisia, it would probably just distract me from the pleasure of reading - make it seem too much like I was back in school. :lol: Good luck with that though & I'm definately curious to hear how it works out for you!

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I don't take notes, but I have a pad of small post-it notes with me, so that if there's something I want to look up, or come back to, or reference in a review, then I can mark the page with a post-it (with a comment on if necessary) and come back to it later.

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Absolutely not. It sounds like too much work and that would just put me off. If it was to study and learn something then yes, but when I read I want to enjoy it, not have to work at it! :lol:

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I have started taking notes as I read just to remind myself of particually good/bad moments in the book for when I write my review.

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Reviews are sort of what I had in mind when I thought of taking notes.. Sometimes I just read inactively and I finish a book and I know if I liked it or not.. but it's hard for me to really pin down WHAT I liked about it, or why. It makes it really hard for me to sort of review a book in whole, since I only take away my final impressions and can't remember my first impressions and the development as much (especially with long books).

 

I've been reading some today and trying this out, and I think the notes have been really helpful for me so far. Especially with things like perspective changes and shifts from one time period to another, it's been helping me sort those things out and keep them straight. I notice for sure that I tend to make more notes as the characters are being developed early on, and I jot down things as I draw conclusions about them. I've also kept a running list of some questions that I have along the way, and a couple of them I've already been able to answer just from reading further and stringing parts together.

 

Overall, I'm hoping it actually enhances my reading experience, rather than detracts from it. I (and this is only me!) tend to just read mindlessly sometimes, and I feel like I might be able to take away more if I can look back at the end and see the true "big picture" and understand the developments that took the story from beginning to end. Hopefully it will help make my own little reviews, critiques, and ramblings about books stronger and more developed.

 

We'll see.. could be something I try once, hate, and never do again. But I figure it's worth a shot! :lol:

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Sometimes I just read inactively and I finish a book and I know if I liked it or not.. but it's hard for me to really pin down WHAT I liked about it, or why. It makes it really hard for me to sort of review a book in whole, since I only take away my final impressions and can't remember my first impressions and the development as much (especially with long books).

 

I couldn't have said it better :lol:

I always take notes on my laptop as I read - usually I'll do my reading for the day, and once its done write down my thought, impressions, and where I think the story might be going. I add to that until the book is completed. I don't 'analyze' the book as such - writing style is the only thing i'm critical of, but thats a huge part of a book. Other than that, its merely whatever jumps out most at me. I never used to do this, but regardless of reviews I got sick of not remembering why I liked books.

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Absolutely not. It sounds like too much work and that would just put me off. If it was to study and learn something then yes, but when I read I want to enjoy it, not have to work at it! :lol:

I agree Charm. I usually have to take notes if it's for my uni work. But not if it's just a book I'm reading.

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I always take notes if I'm reading for a book group, quite early on I realised I had a problem with remembering plots with any reliability (same with films - must be something to do with how the brain works 'cos I'm fairly good with facts). And I take notes if I'm reading something factual that I want to just 'remember' and will at a later time probably look up said interesting fact & find out a bit more.

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I very rarely take notes, even when I'm reading for uni. Although for my latest assignment I wrote quotes and ideas on a huge piece of paper I stuck on my wall - it's easy for me to see whilst I'm writing it up. I should have started this when I first started :lol:.

Saying that, if I've been reading a book with various people I make a sort of family tree thing on the inside cover which helps me see how they are related etc - particularly in Jodi Picoult novels.

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It very much depends on the book. Like Bellatrix, I do if it's for my Bookworms group (and I definitely needed to for the one we're discussing next as hardly any of the characters had names! :lol: ).

 

Sometimes I might make a light pencil note of a page number on the back inside cover if there is something I want to look up but I don't want to interrupt the flow of my reading, so that I can look it up later.

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I take notes when reading a 'heavy' book. It's a habit I picked up at uni, and keeps

my thoughts together.

 

Easy reads I tend to just get on with it.

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Absolutely not. It sounds like too much work and that would just put me off.

 

Same here, note taking is just too distracting for me... Even when reading for classes I could never take notes because as Katie I ended up taking far too much and then I had to stop all the time. :lol:

 

 

Ah now if I was writing reviews, then yes I would do and I think it would definitely help.

 

For reviews I sometimes take notes just after reading: first impressions and feelings about the book. Otherwise they disapear too quickly.

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I never take notes when reading a book, although if I was supposed to write a really important review then I'd probably take it very seriously and maybe make some notes as I went along.

 

If I was just doing a casual review like I have in the past, I've never felt the need to take notes though because the general thoughts stay with me when I write the review after.

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I annotate heavily when I'm reading for school, but it's nice not doing that when I read for pleasure. Even then, though, I passagse that I find especially moving or interesting. It is my intention (although it doesn't always happen!) that I will later come back to these passages and copy them into a Commonplace Book of sorts. (It's actually just a computer file, but I got the idea after learning about commonplace books in the early modern period, so that's how I think of it. :lol:)

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I hadn't heard of commonplaces before so I just looked it up. Very interesting! I've realised that that is essentially what my notebook is that I carry around. Now I have a nifty name for it :lol: Thanks! You learn something new every day!

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Hm, I only right down interesting quotes, or characters down when I'm just generally reading. If I'm reading something as an assignment, or part of a group-read, then I'll just have a notepad ready next to me to take notes. :lol: Don't like doing it unless I need to though.

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I've only just started writing brief notes down with The Host. That's because I've decided to keep track of everything I read and to write a review on each. I find it doesn't distract from my reading pleasure at all. If anything, it's enhanced it.

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