Saturday, November 17, 2018

Book Blogger Hop No. 151: Taking Notes While Reading

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

Do you take notes about the book
you are reading as you read?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth  @ 

My Answer

Thanks for the great question, Elizabeth! :)

It looks like, this time, I will indeed have to give a "short and sweet" And that answer is.... No. But then again.....

Okay, here's the thing. I would never in a zillion years take notes while reading fiction. That's because, of course, I want to be right there in the characters' heads, and in the middle of all the action. When I REALLY get into a book -- which means that the author has succeeded in making me suspend disbelief in their created world, people, and events -- I become totally unable to shift from my right hemisphere into my left. In other words, I can't shift into analytical, verbal mode, and start to notice such things as metaphors, similes, the author's prose style, how this character's personality and decisions have affected other characters, as well as the story itself, etc. I can't possibly stop all the stuff going on in the story to pause to take notes. Nope!

The only way I could EVER do this with fiction would be if I had previously read a novel or short story, and not long after, then decided to analyze it. But that time span would have to be VERY short. If at least six months have elapsed between my reading of the piece of fiction  -- whether a short story or novel -- and my note-taking, then I would get all caught up in the action again, and would not be able to take any notes. Lol.

Now, when it comes to nonfiction, it's a totally different story. If a nonfiction book REALLY resonates with me, I will definitely want to ponder certain passages that I consider important. However, instead of taking notes, I will highlight these passages. I have even been known to write in the margins! This does create a problem for me, though..... I HATE doing this to a book! This is why I don't do it that often. The last time I did both of these things -- highlight AND write in the margins, I was SO upset at myself, that I bought a brand new copy of the same book. I just HAD to own a pristine copy of it. Then I felt MUCH better about marking up the other one. Lol.

I don't want anyone to think that I have multiple copies of books, some that are all marked up, and others that are untouched. Lol. I've only done this type of thing with one or two books. Haha! So this means that I have actually not taken any notes on nonfiction books in quite some time. Doing this would be more useful for my second blog, though, as very few readers of this blog seem to be interested in nonfiction.

What I really should do is to keep a book journal for books I've read that have definitely had a great impact on me. This would be especially helpful with nonfiction books. As for fiction -- whether novels or short stories -- I think this would only be useful if said piece of fiction had some philosophical component to it, or if I wanted to see what plotting techniques I could garner from the author, so as to use them myself, if I ever do decide to buckle down and write a novel..... :)

This question has REALLY got me going! Now I'm going to buy some notebooks that I can use as book journals! 


What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment! 
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 


  1. This is such an interesting blog topic. Since I have been blogging I have been taking notes for both fiction and non fiction that I read. Sometimes my “notes” are just highlights though. Sometimes it is just some lines of text that I want to quote later for my blog post, but other times it is actual notes. I never mark books up though. I read a lot of ebooks where note taking and highlighting is easy. When I read traditional books I use stickies. When I listen to audiobooks I usually also have a copy of the ebook available and I have at times emailed myself to remember to go back and put in notes. All this helps with my blogging. With that, the vast majority of my notes never make it into my blog.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Yes, indeed! :)

      I have never been in the habit of taking notes when reading fiction. That changed to a certain extent, though, when we did our read-along of "Jane Eyre". I didn't mark up any of my copies of it, though (yes, I own several editions -- probably around 5 or 6). I read the amount for each week, according to the questions asked. Then, when I was ready to prepare my blog post, I took out the book (one of the aforementioned editions), and started writing while re-reading the relevant parts, in order to answer the questions. I do this when writing reviews, as well.

      In my case, I feel that note-taking is better suited to nonfiction. Alas, I did mark up a couple of books in the past....but, as I stated in this post, I immediately bought new copies of the books I marked up. So I do have pristine copies of these books! Of course, I can't go on doing that, as I can't afford it! Nor do I have the shelf space. Lol. So now I'm considering keeping a book journal.

      Your idea of having the ebook with you as you listen to its audiobook version is a really good one! I might consider doing that, if I ever do listen to an audiobook again. (My first audiobooks were from The Twilight Saga.) But I would read along using a printed book, of course! Lol.

      I also like the idea of sending yourself emails as reminders. Very inventive!! :)

      Thanks for sharing your very interesting thoughts on this very interesting topic!! <3 :)

  2. Having a book journal is a great idea!!

    1. Hi, Erica!

      Thanks! Glad you like the idea! I figure it's much better than marking up books and then buying brand new copies just to have pristine ones around! Lol.

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)

  3. I have been known to take notes when I’m reading before an interview with the author. And on one occasion, I took a note every time the book jarred me with something ridiculous! The author was a hugely popular bestseller and it was my first - and probably last - read of that author’s fiction. But I’d been asked by the publisher to do an interview on my blog and I had to be careful in my wording of the interview. My real questions were never asked or answered! I still have those notes, though, just for me. 😏

    1. Hi, Sue!

      Yes, that's certainly necessary if you're going to interview an author.

      How interesting that you took the time to note when something struck you as ridiculous! Sometimes that happens to me with nonfiction, although it's not that I find ridiculous things all the time. But there are books that have SO many fascinating statements, I just feel the urge to keep track of them in some way. I think I should get a book journal.

      Gee, it's too bad you were unable to ask the questions you really wanted answered.... When an author has a big reputation, I guess you do have to be careful. It's great that you kept your notes, though, and can refer to them whenever you want.

      Thanks for the insightful comment!! <3 :)

  4. I LOVE your short answer, Maria. LOL!! You are a hoot, dear friend.

    FAB reply and a great idea about notebooks.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Yeah, right? LOL. I guess I'm just unable to write short answers! I get carried away, and before you know it, I've written another long answer.... :)

      Yes, I do think I should get notebooks, instead of marking up books and then buying new copies just so I can own pristine ones! LOL.

      You're very welcome for the sharing! Thanks for the compliments and the nice comment back!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  5. Replies
    1. Hi, Billy!

      Well, I can see doing it for a nonfiction book. But a novel? No, because it would just be too distracting.

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)


THIS IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE, AND TAG-FREE BLOG. Thanks for the compliment, though! : )

As of today, 9/23/18, I have permanently enabled comment moderation, due to a sudden rash of SPAM comments. I appreciate your patience!

Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)