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Sometimes, I have a hard time getting through non-fiction works. I’ll get to something that I think is worth remembering, and I’ll want to write it down. So, I set the book aside thinking I’ll work on that later. Then, later never seems to come and the book eventually gets reshelved in one of my cleaning fits and sits languishing on the shelf wondering what it did wrong. While the book thinks it is sitting there forgotten, I often feel pangs of guilt that I have not finished it.

As a remedy to this problem, I’ve been going at my non-fiction reading from a new angle. I’ve solved my stalling problem with a pad of sticky notes, a pen and a moleskine journal. Now, when I’m reading along and see something I want to remember or check out later, I put a sticky note on the page. Sometimes I’ll make a short notation on it, but often I just center it near the info I want to revisit – things ranging from good quotes, to web site addresses, to book recommendations, to words to look up – then I just keep on reading. When I have finished the book, I start at the beginning and work my way through, copying down the bits I want to remember in my little journal. I often carry the journal with me (the benefits of a big handback are legion) so that I can refer back to the notes I took and write down any new thoughts that occur to me.

So far this has been working very well for me.

Oh. And I did finish Simply Christian this morning. I’m working on taking my notes so that I can get it back to the library. It’s only three days overdue.

Categories: Bookish Things
  1. Thursday, 29 June 2006 at 12:08 pm

    Good job on finishing…uh maybe you can give me the notes.

    I like the sticky not idea but to sit with it and my journal would I think even slow me down more. But then again all I have is time, even time to get lost and make a 1 hour bike ride 2 hours last night.

  2. Thursday, 29 June 2006 at 3:55 pm

    It really is a very interesting book, I did a lot better with grasping the meaning later sections than I did with the first bits. I still haven’t finished the notes yet, though. There was a lot in there I thought I’d want to revisit. I think I’m going to break down and buy a copy and try reading it again. I wish it was available as audio, I’d really like to listen to it.

    I know what you mean about the note-taking. I am actually a little bit afraid that the only reason I’m doing so well with getting it done is that they’ve all been library books that I’ve done so far. Time will tell, I suppose.

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