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In some of my upcoming posts, I am going to start reviewing some books I read.  I’m a slow reader so they won’t be frequent, but will hopefully be a good in depth recap.  One of my reasons for doing this is selfish.  I think that when reading non-fiction books, I may find them ‘too easy to relate to’ or say to myself ‘oh I already do that’ and breeze through certain points.  Or I may think a book is great at the time, and forget about it once I move onto the next one.   By recapping the book as I read it, I think it’ll help me retain some of the important points found within the book.

I was thinking of maybe using Google Notebook or Microsoft OneNote to track my recaps, but then I realized if I blog about it they may be beneficial for others if they’re considering reading the book.  

I’m still debating the format of the reviews though.  The two options I’m considering are separate posts for chapters or parts of the book, or recapping the book in one long post.  Here are my pros and cons of both approaches:

Separate Posts for each Chapter or Section of Book

  • Pro:  Each post is shorter in length.  Some people (myself included) look at long posts and skim through them.  If the post is shorter, I usually read the entire thing.  Recaps can be posted as I read the book.
  • Con:  Posts might get ‘lost in the shuffle’ and become disorganized.  Users who don’t mind reading ‘longer’ posts will have to click through the posts to get the overall picture.

Each Review Contained in Single Post

  • Pro:  Each review is cleanly organized in one post.  They’re easier to find and read.
  • Con:  People may see the long post and skim through it, catching only certain points.   I will have to finish the book before a review is posted.

I’m leaning more towards putting the reviews in one single post.  That way they’ll be more cleanly organized.  If people don’t want want to read the entire review, that’s their choice.

Process for Remembering Good Points While Reading

I keep every book I read.  I envision living in this large house someday that has a room dedicated to just books.  The library will have shelves surrounding the walls with all my books organized by genre, author, etc (having quite figured that part out yet, but since I’m OCD about organizing media I’m sure there will be some sort of system).  I also like to keep my books is good condition, so I don’t like bending or marking them up.  So, I’ve thought of a good solution that will allow me to keep track of good points as I read.

As I’m reading the book, I have these mini post-it notes by my side, similar to the slimmer ones found here.    

Staples Post-It

Staples Post-It

If I think a brief section of the book is a point I want to reference in my post, I stick the post-it length-wise across the page and keep reading.  If think an entire paragraph is a good point, I stick the post-it vertically so it covers the point I want to reference and keep reading.  That way, I don’t lose my train of thought, and won’t forget to reference something I thought was important later on.

When I’m done with the chapter, I then start organizing my thoughts of what I thought overall, and go to my first post-it.  After I make sure I document it properly, I put the post-it aside.  I’ll re-use the post-its until they lose their ‘sticky’ factor.  I think this is a good method for keeping track of points you want to make while keeping you engaged with what the chapter so you don’t lose your train of thought.  

So that’s that.  Expect my first review in a few weeks.

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