I’ve blathered on and on about how this blog is the online version of my reading journal. And so, well, here’s my reading journal.
(Above picture is a portion of my notes on The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields [thoughts on that coming soon], as well as the next two photos. Hadn’t finished reading the book yet when these were taken. [Clickie ze photos for larger view.])
I take notes while I read. And, before-and-after thoughts too. As well as a lot of other book-related thoughts like wishlists and recommendations and new books that make their way into my shelves. The notes I write on books are pretty much the foundation and first drafts for my Marginalia posts. With some books though, I just type what I’ve written and let that serve as navel-gazing. (Haha, that makes me lazy?)
I don’t know why I take notes. The most probable theory: it’s a habit that bled over from several years of reading for school. Taking Literature and Creative Writing classes—not to mention being in writers workshops—had me exercising margin fury, one that has evolved into a well-honed (er, rather tedious?) ability to annotate reading material in a companion notebook. And, well, I just really like taking notes. Satisfies the dork in me.
Heh, I have fun. Cripes, I cannot articulate how much fun I have with this itty-bitty notebook. I have a lot of fun. The companion notebook, Little Red Moley (LRM), is a pocket red Moleskine [that’s about 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″]. LRM has become constant whenever I read–almost instinctual how I turn to it whenever something strikes me while I’m reading. The notebook is tiny, but my handwriting is tinier [hah!], and I admit to intense Dork Pleasure whenever I write on it. I like it neat, okay? See:
I also admit that I am mildly OCD-stricken. And I feel smug whenever someone—usually my boyfriend—shrieks, “Why is your handwriting so goddamned tiny?” Two lines to a line-space [what do you call that?]. It looks neater this way–and it’s fun being neat, ahahaha. Plus I’ve got a system. One that, most probably, is understood only by me. Obsessed, Sasha is. [I know I have a problem, don’t worry.]
Here’s some pages from LRM:
Fig.04 – Notes on The Postmistress by Sarah Blake; And Falling, Fly by Skyler White; The Highlander’s Sword, by Amanda Forester. The number beside the book title corresponds to the number of books I’ve read in 2010. So, Blake’s book is #48 for 2010.
Fig. 06 – A [small] part of my ongoing notes on my still currently reading The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers . The quotes, as you may have figured out by now, are in red ink.
Fig.07 – A portion of my notes on Follies—love this short story (“The Rabbit Hole as Likely Explanation“) love this quote.
I made the decision to separate my reading journal from my usual Sasha Rants journal—a large unlined Moleskine, that one. For organization’s sake. Although I did enjoy tacking in Post-its on previous journals to indicate pages dedicated to book thoughts, it was around the time a friend gave me this wee notebook that I thought, Hey, let’s just indulge the OCD, okay? [A note on the Moleskine: I’ve been using Moleskines for about four years now. It’s not that it’s an image thing, there’s nothing ooh-hipster about it. I just really like how pens feel against the page; I love the creamy color, the texture. It doesn’t give me magical powers, although sometimes, I wish it did, haha.]
I like records. I like having this small notebook, and knowing that the books I’ve read are in them, as well as my responses and skirmishes with the author. In many ways, I think this little ‘un’s more personal than my “normal” journal. Hm.
Anyway. That is all. Share. Haha.
* This post took a nudge from Ash’s Moleskine-Love post! I obviously don’t use a Moleskine Passions Journal–at the moment, I can’t afford it (and as things look right now, I don’t think I ever will), so heh. Still, though: YayNotes. :)