Note-taking and You

image via infinitedreamer @ we❤it

This morning I was out and about running errands and had an urge to buy some of those little stickers that mark pages in books (that’s the technical term, right?) At the time I was right next door to a convenience store and took a look inside. …$5 for a tiny packet?! No, thank you. However, that got me thinking and I’m curious as to how other people take notes or mark passages. I feel that note-taking is an important skill for a book blogger and I’d like to know how you do it.


When I was younger I had stacks of notebooks full of quotes and passages from novels. This was well before my blogging days, but whenever I saw a line or paragraph that stuck out, sounded beautiful, or was hysterically funny, I would jot it down.

These days I no longer use this method although a notebook is never far from my desk and I always keep one in my purse.

This is a method I’d like to start using. Before, whenever I’d read a physical copy of a book, I’d use the notepad app on my phone to keep a list of the page numbers and then go back through them during my review. To be honest, this is a royal pain. Admittedly, my phone is always by my side, but to keep going back and forth takes time – especially when I’m just getting to a good part!

I know people use those stickers/tabs an awful lot while studying and they just seem far easier. I’m not sure how I’d feel about seeing a ton of multi-colored tabs sticking out of the pages – particularly when I’m trying to read – but I’d definitely like to give it a shot.

Dog-earred pages. The cardinal sin of the book world. I never do this – even with galleys/ARCs – and when I’m buying used books it’s a deal-breaker for me. I know plenty of people swear by this method, but I just can’t do it. Not only does it look sloppy and careless, but it also ruins the page and could potentially tear.

Highlighting/underlining is where I’m split. On my e-reader I swear by the highlight function. LOVE it. With physical books though.. unless it was for a class I can’t see myself ever writing in a book. That said, I adore coming across books other people have written in.

Do you use any of these methods? All? Maybe none? I’ve been known to stick things in books, whatever happens to be near – gum wrappers, receipts, etc. What to you do to denote passages and key points?

6 thoughts on “Note-taking and You

  1. I am an underliner and margin writer. My books are scribbled all over. I used to not dog-ear my books—I would just put a skinny post-it on the page I wanted to remember—but I stopped because usually the post-it has to cover some of the words, so I gave in to dog-earing.

  2. I definitely don’t dog ear. Depending on the book, and where I am, I use the narrow post-its to flag passages I like, although more often than not, I do the email-myself-the-page-number thing on my phone. I ought to keep a notebook like you, or something like that — once my review is done I delete those emails and I ‘lose’ the quotes I liked…

  3. I never dog ear either! Hate it when my dad does it or anyone else. I can’t seem to bring myself to write or highlight in anything but textbooks either – but I’m the same way, I LOVE it when I stumble on a book that has highlighting and writing, there’s just something fascinating about seeing someone else’s thoughts (isn’t that such an odd thing, to love to find it but hate to do it?)
    Those post-it flags are uber expensive, when I was in college I made my own by getting some cheap post-it notepads that were different colors and cut them into strips myself. So the glue is always on one side and can be placed in the book as a placeholder.

    I love to highlight stuff in my Kindle and Nook app – and I love the feature that shows me what other people have highlighted in the Kindle app.

    Great topic! :D

  4. I use post it notes and notebooks. I was in the bad habit of grabbing any piece of paper and writing down quotes and passages. I had loose papers everywhere! Now I have been jotting things on the post its when I’m reading on the go and then adding them to my notebook later. When I’m home reading, I use the notebook method. I think it’s the safest!! By the way, I am reading The Art Forger because of your review and love it! I also bought a few other books that you reviewed….haven’t read them yet but looking forward to doing so. I’m really enjoying your blog.
    Denise Vular

  5. Great discussion post! I take notes in a little notebook, basic character/setting info, pages numbers for longer stuff I want to come back to or for quotes/funny lines. I have filled one and started another. But, I have considered getting mini post it notes to park pages so that I don’t have to refer back to my notebook.

    I do not fold the corner of pages, ever! And I too love the highlight function on e-readers but I don’t think I could do it to my books!

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