Reading Well

Reading Well

I have been thinking about booknotes a lot. I am reading a couple books that I have to underline things all the time so I can remember what is important but there is so much I want to remember.

Here is my normal process, 1) Underline things I find interesting. (pen or pencil) 2) color the edge of the page so I can find important pages by looking at the side of the book. (highlighter or marker)

But this system still has the info locked in the book. In college I had a piece of paper that I would make notes on with page #s and that stays with the book. But I am not in college anymore. The paper was handy when I had the assignment of writting a paper on the book. The paper was just notes of things I found interesting. The notes would add up to the single goal of writing a paper. But without the assignment, what I find interesting in the book and the directions I might take it are so varied that writing notes is too big of a task. The lack of a goal engorges the possibilities beyond what seems manageable.

I have often considered using colors on the edge to distinguish types of notes but never found a categorization that fit for anything.

But with either of my processes, whether I only underline, or write notes and keep that with the book, the ideas are still locked in the book.

My brother is the opposite of me. I like a book that is marked, noted-up, and that looks used. My brother sees books as sacred and likes them pristine.

He made a comment recently that “writing is lonely work” There is much about writing that is lonely, but it is researching that we were discussing at that moment. So I started thinking about how true that is. And it is partly because what you find interesting is locked in the book. A collection of underlined passages and notes may form a picture to someone else but you are the best person to make sense of it.

So I’ve been wondering about how to free that information and I’ve got some ideas. We’ll see where they take me.

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