Saturday, June 18, 2016

Alternatives to Writing in Your Books

So a while back I mentioned writing in books as a good method of reading with intention. Most of you about died or killed me in the comment section xD But that's good, because I want honest feedback. This post is a result of your reaction, and I hope you enjoy it :)


~Ask Yourself~

Maybe you don't have any problem underlining. Ask yourself these questions to know whether or not underlining is a good option for a particular book:
  • Will anyone else read this book after you? Some people really hate having to read what someone else enjoyed in a book.
  • Is underlining too vague for a reread? Sometimes underlining doesn't tell you what you were thinking when you underlined.
  • Is it a hardback or very nice copy? Collector's editions with fancy covers should not have neon yellow highlighter in them.
  • Are you going to resell the book? I don't know why you would do this unless you really hated it, but you wouldn't know that before you started marking . . .

If you all your answers were no, then you can underline. But you're going to have to go bright, because pencil is virtually useless when you're trying to find a quote! If your answer to any of those questions was yes, then you should not underline. Here are your alternatives.

~Alternative #1: Commonplace Notebook~

This is such a neat idea, if you ask me. It involves keeping a corresponding notebook for each book you would like to take notes on. Who doesn't want another notebook? Instead of making all your notations in the book itself, you put them in the notebook, with the page number. The nice thing about this is you have unlimited room and your book still looks nice and clean and new! Anything from quotes, thoughts, disagreements, lessons--all of that can go in your trusty notebook. You have the freedom to do it however you want to. And the notes will be really easy to turn into blog post ;)

~Alternative #2: Sticky Tabs~

So you're not much of a writer, or just don't want to take the time for the whole notebook idea. No problem. Use sticky tabs instead of having to write anything down. They mark your place and can even be color-coated if you have that sort of free time and coordination. If you get the kind that are pointed on the sticky end you can even point them right to the sentence that stood out to you. There you have it, mark free. The only disadvantage is that tabs are pretty easy to lose. I mean, the toddler decides to play with your book and all your notations are lost. That would not be fun. D:

~Alternative #3: Do Both!~

This is the best idea ever. You put tabs on the sentence or paragraph that was meaningful to you and then you take the corresponding notes in your adorable little notebook. This is the method I will be trying for a book club I'm leading this summer. My novels will remain sparkly clean and I will have a use for all the notebooks I got for graduation. Because, let's admit it: underlining is for those overachieving students (me). No one wants neon in their novels :)

~~~~~

What methods do you use to take notes when reading? Do you want to join my book club? We're going to be reading Listening for Lions until July 12 and An Old-Fashioned Girl until August 9. (Shoot me an e-mail if you do and we can make it a link-up or something :D). What do you think about the new blog design?

17 comments:

  1. Loving the new design, and I hate writing in my books
    If I make a note I usually toss it in a nearby notebook so I'm glad some more people do this :D

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    1. Thanks!

      I understand; it does devalue them. Notebooks will be my new endeavor :)

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  2. Alternatives -- YAY!!!!!!! (Because the thought of writing in my beautiful novels scares. me. to. bits. Okay, not exactly. XD) Yes, yes, these are great! :D I sometimes use a notebook, or I keep up with this type of thing on Goodreads. I also like to add things to a note, draft post, etc. if I'm going to be reviewing the book. :)

    I LOVE the blog design. That header... *drools*

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    1. I am realizing that REALLY not wanting to write in books is a much more common mindset :) I'm glad you like them! Ah, yes, Goodreads. It's my constant reading accountability partner now ^.^ It's great to see that you have an alternative system of your own!

      Aw, thank you! Yeah, that header took a while, hehe . . .

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  3. I personally don't write in my books unless my English teacher tells me to write in the novel. I just like to keep them very clean and neat. Using notebooks and spare pieces of paper is very helpful, too.

    I thought I mentioned this before but I really like the new design! Very sleek.

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    1. Makes perfect sense :) Yes, notebooks I think will be a good alternative for me. And if you don't want to take the time right then to scribble down your thoughts, that where sticky tabs come in handy :)

      Thank you so much, Grace! Sleek is exactly what I was going for :D

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  4. Great tips, I love using post its.

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    1. Why had I never thought of using them before? I was blown away when my friend said she used sticky tabs, haha. Very very smart. Post-it notes are even better, because you can write /on/ them :P

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  5. AN OLD FASHIONED GIRL LIKE YEEEEEEESSSSSSS! Best. Book. Ever. I can totally relate to Polly Milton lol
    cool post and I like your blog design :)

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    1. I KNOW RIGHT!!!! It's totally my favorite. I think this will be my fifth time to read it! I can relate to her a lot, too, and she's still an excellent role model ;)

      Thank you, Eliza :D

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  6. I usually hear a lot of hate towards marking in books but honestly I really enjoy writing in the margins and underlining little things I love. Only if I really, really love the book though. I usually don't underline/mark up a book unless I've read it before.

    AHHH I LOVE THE IDEA OF THE NOTEBOOK THOUGH BECAUSE NOTEBOOKS ARE LIFE AND HAVING ONE FOR EACH BOOK I MARK UP WOULD BE LOVELY.

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    1. Yeah, I really enjoy marking books up, too. It makes them more fully yours. But I understand people preferring them to look pretty. By brain could just use the extra help of all my notations :)

      Yes, isn't the notebook idea FANTASTIC?! I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before. Notebooks ARE life, aren't they? ^.^

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  7. Ahhh I've just started marking up my books and I'm really liking it. I'm too scared to mark up my books with pen, so I just do it with pencil. But it'll be fun to do rereads with my thoughts the first time through. :D

    // katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. YESYESYESYES! Welcome to the dark side. Mwahaha! Marking up books is so fun and freeing. Pencil is probably better than pen (I only do my Bible with pen). But colored pencils I think will be my new endeavor, because they'll stand out more. :)

      YES! Rereads. I always get different things out of a book the second time than I did the first. It's so amazing *happy sigh*

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  8. Hey, Abi! Thanks so much for dropping by my blog earlier. :) I've returned your Twitter follow!

    Alt. #1 is a great idea for any notebook collector. It gives you a reason to keep buying them! I've tried to reign in my urge to purchase every gorgeous notebook I encounter - especially since, even if I did this alternative idea and made use of them all, I have very limited shelf space - but this is very useful if you have spares around.

    Admittedly though, I can get so amazingly lazy. I'd probably just stick with the plain old sticky tabs lol.

    Excellent post! :D Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas!

    Eve
    Edge of Night

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  9. These are great tips! I always like using stick notes in my books but for some reason I don't mind writing in my school books!

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  10. I love the new design! And sooo happy for the follow-up post -- I was one of those commenters quietly shouting at you for encouraging people to write in books. ;) I started keeping a book journal, but I haven't been using it recently. I'd really like to pick it up again, though, because it's great for writing reviews!

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