Do you take notes while you read?

I just read this post on Should Be Reading where MizB says she takes notes while reading. Me, I don’t understand that at all. At least not while reading fiction and most non-fiction. I only ever took notes when I read books for class. Once, I was even inspired to highlight when reading a historical/economy/business book for the book-club. (But the book was on my kindle, so nothing was damaged.)

You see this book? I could never markup a book like this. Never.

I’ve never written in a book itself, not even for school. I took notes in my notebook and stuck them in between the books’ pages. It feels a bit sacrilegious to actually make notes in the book itself. I rarely even highlight anything and when I do, it’s only as a last resort.

It’s different with books on the kindle. There, I don’t mind if I highlight passages – doing so makes finding certain paragraphs easier. Faster than using the search function. Truthfully, I feel freer to highlight books in the kindle.  I feel like it damages the book less.

Which may be a silly reaction. Maybe not. Definitely not when it comes to library books and textbooks I intended to sell after the semester. But otherwise? Maybe being unwilling to mark up my books is silly.

The other thing I only took notes on books for school. It’s not something that comes naturally to me for pleasure reading. Never, for fiction books. Only occasionally for non-fiction. I suppose I associate all note-taking with school, which casts an unpleasant pallor over books I mean to read for fun.


13 thoughts on “Do you take notes while you read?

  1. The surefire way to tell if one of my books is well-loved is to flip through it. If it has tons of underlining, notes in the margins, and exclaimed epiphanies, then it’s a book I loved. When I think a book is okay or if I’m just doing some light popcorn reading, there usually won’t be any sign of ink on the pages besides the words that were originally printed on them. For books I really love, I often want to go back and just read a certain passage or return to and flesh out an idea I had while reading it. Writing in my books makes that easier for me.

  2. Hmmm. I definitely have never taken notes in books before. Not even when I was in school. (I took notes in notebooks…because you know…that’s what they’re for!) But actually INSIDE a book? Nope. I think the closest I’ve gotten is putting sticky tabs in books I needed to do reports on. But I don’t count that as marking up a book.

    I’ve never used the highlight feature in Kindle either. One of these days…

    1. LOL I took notes that way, too. I dogear pages, sometimes, to keep track of pages I might need. Or just write down page numbers among the research notes, too.

  3. I’ve always had the same feel as you, notes are for school, and how dare you write things in a book! xD

    Especially since, knowing me, if I were to write something on there, when I come back to read it later, I will be mad at myself, either just for doing that, or because I disagree with what I said before.

      1. I tend to change my views/ideas/learn things so often that if I ever find something I did from 6 months or earlier, I hate it. xD Sure is annoying sometimes.

  4. By the time I went to college and was buying my text books, I wrote in them freely. I dog-ear, highlight good lines, and even argue against stupid points in the margins. I couldn’t have made it through Chaucer in the original English if I hadn’t charted pronunciations in the margins!

    1. I dogear sometimes, but I never did the other stuff. So amazing to me. And I took notes in my notebook for Chauncer. But my teacher made us read bits of it in the original English.

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