None right now

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Discussion: Taking Notes While Reading

I have a confession: I hate taking notes while I read.

This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I've had to take notes for a few books because I had specific posts planned for them, and doing so just made me realize the significant difference taking notes makes in my reading experience. And I don't like the difference one bit.

Firstly, taking notes kind of prevents me from completely immersing myself in the story. Like, I have to stop reading to write a comment, tear off the sticky note, then stick it on the page. No, I just want to fall into the action of the story, be swept away. I noticed in the books I'd taken notes in, there were almost no sticky tabs at the climax and resolution of the story because I was too absorbed to break away from it.

Also (and this one is more major) when I take notes while reading, I turn into a much more critical reader. I start picking the novel apart as I read it, paying more attention to the pieces than the work as a whole. I find all the flaws.

If you prefer to read this way, I'm not trying to criticize you! I think it is very important to have that perspective in this community, and I think critical reading is an extremely valuable skill to have. I'm an English major, so obviously I have to use and develop this skill all the time, but for me personally, there is a time and place for such intensive reading. And I don't want that time or place to be in my YA books.

If I'm reading outside of the academic sphere, it means I'm looking to escape into someone else's mind, world, & life. It means I'm looking to be entertained, to get out of my own head for a bit. When I'm reading, I like to sit back and enjoy the ride, not analyze the crap out of it. I want to respond without working too hard, and then when I'm finished, I might analyze why I responded that way.

For example, I was reading Patrick Ness's A Monster Calls last night, and it got me ALL UP IN MY FEELINGS, but I just let it happen. I allowed myself to succumb to the tidal wave of emotions without question. When I finished reading, I realized it affected me so much because it provoked some of my deepest fears to come out of hiding. I allowed myself to simply react first, and then I let myself think about what the book was doing to make me react that way.

That's just not something I can do when I am taking notes and being a critical reader. It's like I analyze first and understand what my reaction is supposed to be, rather than just letting myself feel.

Was this post a bit all over the place? It feels that way to me, but I guess the main idea I'm trying to relay here is that when I take notes, I end up looking at a novel in terms of syntax and word choice and individual lines of dialogues, rather than an entire work to enjoy in its entirety.

Do you take notes while you read? If so, do you find yourself facing any of the problems I mentioned? I'd love to know where you stand when it comes to critical reading. Also, what are some ways taking notes has enhanced your reading experience?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.