Loony’s Musings: Why I don’t take notes while I read

I know a lot of bloggers take notes while they read, and I can understand why: sometimes you forget a comment you wanted to make in a review, or there’s a particular quote you have to note down. Which makes perfect sense! But I don’t do that, and I probably never will except for English class.

It’s not just bloggers who do this, either. A lot of writers take notes while reading because it helps with learning more about the craft. Again, totally understandable, and this is one instance where I probably would think about taking notes – but only if it’s a very specific book for research.

But most of the time, I just read; usually quickly, and usually curled up in my bed, without anything else.

And here’s why.

1)      Reading is my only time to relax


Seriously. When I get home from school, I do piano practice, at least two hours of study that night, and chores. Reading is basically the only time I get to myself, and I cherish it greatly. I read because I love it, and if I’m taking notes, it’s not going to be a fun process.

2)      My reviews are based on overall pictures of books

This is the reason I don’t often include quotes in my reviews. I like looking at the overall book – how it made me feel, what impressions I was left with.

3)      I would probably get distracted…like penguins chasing a butterfly

Let’s face it, I’m an easily distracted person. I tell myself I’ll take a study break and then wind up checking out awesome blogs for an hour (let me just say you guys are totally worth it). That’s part of the reason I don’t let myself on the internet between 7 and 9pm on school nights. If I were to take notes while I read, I feel like it would pull me out of the story, and that’s the last thing I want.

4)      I don’t want to analyse books too much.

We already analyse books to death in English class. Every single word matters. And in some ways, I appreciate this. But when everything is analysis, it feels nice to have a bit of freedom to read however I want.

And those are the reasons I don’t take notes while I’m reading! Do you? Why or why not?

15 thoughts on “Loony’s Musings: Why I don’t take notes while I read

  1. That’s funny, I have never heard of people taking notes while they read! I don’t think I could do that, I get too absorbed in what I am reading.

  2. I sometimes take notes, but I’m with you…I don’t like to be pulled out of the story! If I’m on my kindle, I underline things which is super easy and handy. Buuut, if it’s a physical book? Sometimes I take pictures of the page number with my iPod. Seriously, I am the ultimate lazy note-taker. I like remembering funny quotes, though. 😉 They’re interesting to quote later on. But reading is my relax too! I don’t want to analyse.

    • I don’t have a Kindle, unfortunately, and it’s not something I really want to get. But yeah, I’m pretty lazy too. Sometimes I’ll think a quote’s great, but most of the time I either look it up afterwards or don’t bother including it. Analysing Shakespeare is enough for me 😉

  3. I do take notes when I’m reading, mainly because I tend to read numerous books at once, but also because I like to look back and see how I felt at different points. Sometimes I’ll think that a book was so almost perfect and remember that I the middle was extremely boring and nothing happened, and that’s when my review and rating change, because I like my review to be an overall opinion of the book, not just how amazing the end was really. I never take pages of notes, I just take them on my laptop of phone, but it’s easier for then when writing the review to have my older thoughts and feelings to hand 🙂

    • Reading multiple books at once would be a huge reason, yes. And I completely understand wanting to see what you thought at different points! It’s actually a really clever idea, and I’m sure my reviews would be much more thorough if I did that. Great reasons! 🙂

  4. I also don’t take notes on books I read haha, I’m too lazy. I do use an underline tool on my Kobo when I read anything particularly ridiculous or amazing that I just must put in my review. With actual books I don’t usually bother though. Alike you, I need some time to relax

    Great discussion! It’s interesting to read your views (:

  5. When I was still using my Kindle ereader, I always take notes when I’m reading. But if it’s a physical book, it’s a bit difficult to take down notes . I mean, you have to look for a notebook then you will write if you found something interesting. Unlike in ebooks, you can just highlight the text and add notes in a jiffy.

  6. Pingback: What Happened This Week: British relatives | The Loony Teen Writer

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever taken notes for anything o.o Maybe I should for school essays and such. But I don’t. I really just like letting the book carry me away. I know notes make you remember stuff more. But for me, the whole point is: is it memorable at all? I used to jot down quotes all the time in some old notebook, but never while I was actually reading the book. I’d finish it, remember this cool quote, and go back to find it. Which was always easy because I always remember where the good quotes are. And if the book isn’t memorable at all, well, I think that says a lot. Whereas with my favorite book of all time, I know exactly what side of the page certain scenes are on, if not the exact chapter. So nope. No notes for me (:

    • I do for school (otherwise I’ll forget everything!). The memorable thing is a huge deal for me – if I forget the main character’s name, it’s not going to get a very high rating from me. And if I read it a second time, that’s definitely an indicator that it’s great 🙂 thanks for commenting!

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