Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Using a Commonplace Book

Let's TalkHello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my reading notebook and I would love to hear your thoughts! So, a few months ago I came across the idea of a commonplace book while researching different note taking methods on youtube. I came across Amy Landino’s video, which I will link to below and went from there. As someone who loves note taking, notebooks, and the link I am honestly surprised that I have not heard about this sooner. A commonplace book is defined as…

Commonplace Book  – source: Lexico powered by Oxford

NOUN

  • A book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use.


What is a Commonplace Book and What Method I am Using?

Now, there are many ways to organized a commonplace book, some people use notecards and a series of boxes or dividers, digitally create one, or use an old fashioned notebook. I feel like the method you use really comes down to your personality and why you are using it. From the light research I have done, I see a lot of authors using the notecard system, if you want to check that version out, I suggest starting out with Amy Landino video called My Box of Inspiration! How to Create a Commonplace Book. I have not watched any other videos by her or anything, but I felt like she did a wonderful job explaining her version of a commonplace book. Now, as for myself personally, I went for using an actual notebook.

There are a few reasons why I went with an actual notebook. The first being it is the most historically accurate and pays a bit of homage to the history of a commonplace book. This is not to say the other methods are less, I am just a huge history nerd. See, commonplace notebooks have actually be around for a very long time, they were very prominent during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods (source, source) and a lot of them were almost like scrap books of information.  Just like actual scrap books, they really varied from person to person depending on their lives and interests. It is even featured in some literary works ranging by Virginia Woolf and can even apparently be found in A Series of Unfortunate Events.  (source). As someone who like historical stuff, I am used this in historical context of everything including the kitchen sink. A lot of people who use them now organize them based upon theme and honestly me organizing my months and such is more effective for me. I do not want to create sections in a notebook. Although if I ever do I feel like a travelers notebook would work wonders for that.

Now, that I rambled about the first reason, to be fair the biggest reason for me personally, here are the other two. I have a ton of notebooks. I love stationary so I have it laying around, but it brings me true joy when I actually use them. On top of that I feel like I absorb more when I physically write and then put things into my own words. I feel like this is something I personally can only accomplish with the notebook style. While a notecard system would have me writing, I wouldn’t really have room to reflect or put it into my own words. So, that is how I decided what method I was going to use and now onto the notebook itself and my experience.


My  Commonplace Notebook

Dark brown notebook with tan inserts, one is labeled common place book. Notebook is placed open on a color striped blanket.

So above is a picture of the notebook I will be using as my commonplace notebook. It is a A5 side travelers notebook with a beautiful brown fake leather cover. Inside I have a few dot grid inserts so I am free to format as I please. As some of you might know I am someone who loves bullet journaling and I have fallen in love with dot grid paper.


My Thoughts and Outcome

So, I have really enjoyed using a commonplace notebook. It has been great to keep all the random things such as quotes, ideas, and little tidbits. I have been using it on and off for about a month and half and I feel like it is really beneficial to have an outlet. While I have a bullet journal, I am more worried about keeping it neat and tidy. The coommonplace notebook I am free and happy to doodle, write, and more without having to worry.


Bonus: a bit ago another blogger I follow posted on the topic as well WHAT IS A COMMONPLACE BOOK & HOW TO USE IT

Do you have a way to organize your notes?

Do you use a commonplace book, maybe even without knowing it?

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To Be Read

My Owned TBR | June 2020

Owned TBRHello and welcome to my little post about my owned TBR. Last June I shared a post called My Owned TBR | June 2019, I figured it would be fun to look back and see how my list has changed over the last year. I am also going to be doing something a little new, so please let me know if you like it!


2019 Owned TBR

Here is my Owned TBR from last year. At this point in time I only had 44 books on my my shelf that needed to be read. Looking back at this list I can see that I read or unhauled every single one of these books and that kind of blows my mind.


My Current Owned TBR

  • Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman – A wonderful gift from Ariel!
  • The Night Country by Melissa Albert – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas – suggested reading
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon – Wow, I have quite a few series I want to finish for someone who doesn’t favor series anymore

I hope you liked this type of writing and comment on my book stacks. I figured I have Procreate, I might as well use it now and again for my blog. Anyway, that is my owned TBR list. I have a total of 33 books, less than I had this time last year I feel like that is a win for two reasons. The first being my TBR is going down and second I want to get my TBR to around 5 by the end of the year. I decided to give To Be Read Time by Read it Forward to see how long it would actually take me to get my TBR to 0. According to this and if I keep up my reading pace of finishing a book every 3-4 days I will finish my TBR by October of this year. I am tempted to give this a shot so I might be posting more about owned TBR list.

What books are on your TBR?

Are any of these books on your TBR?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | Updated Annotating Kit

Let's Talk

Hello everyone! A few / a lot of *months* ago (sorry) I posted a poll on twitter to see if anyone was interested in an update on my current essentials for reading, reviewing, and annotating my books. I will say I was not really anticipating a yes, but it seems like it is something that at least a few people wanted to see. So, without more rambling, let’s get to business!


For a reference moving forward, in my previous post, my essentials were: bookmark, mini notebook, 2 mechanical pencils and post-it tabs. If you want some more detail, you can find that here: Writing | My Reading/Review Kit. I didn’t really have specific pencils or anything, but just whatever was available and I already had.

Over the course of nearly a year and a half I feel like a lot has changed when it has come to my review essentials. I feel like I whittled what I carry around and use because I carry so much around for my work. Since I am always carrying around a ton of things, I really tried to not add more, mainly to ensure I don’t break my back. While obviously a few pens and a mini notebook aren’t heavy, but every little thing adds up. Anyway, here are the things I carry around with me now.

My go to writing implement is no longer a pencil, but a pen. I came into the problem where things were getting smudged and I getting graphite everywhere! I now use a Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pen in the color Salmon. It is a light pink in color, which is a perfect combination of grabbing my attention when I go back to look at my notes, but not enough to be to distracting if I was to reread.

A few of the other things to go are my mini notebook, bookmark, and post it tabs. I realized that the mini notebook was not essential and with the lighter color pen I was able to write my notes in the margin or use a notecard, which I was inspired by Waving Fiction’s post, Why I Use Notecards in My Books. But, I only use a notecard in some books, where I realize I am writing a bit too much to fit on a margin. I do note the page number for my notes if I do use a notecard so I can refer back to a quite if my note doesn’t make sense when I look over them.

The last thing I want to mention is a little addition to my essentials and this would be a mini ruler. I was driving myself crazy with lines that went crooked or I accidentally wrote in the middle of a line, so I picked up a ruler. Now, the one I got is metal, but has cork on the underside so I don’t feel like it could hurt my book any, which is great. The best part is I carry it around anyway because I use one in my bujo too! If you want to check my bujo out, you can look at my spreads and such here: Projects: Bullet Journal.

Thanks so much for reading about my annotating supplies, I know it isn’t as much as it used to be, but this is what works for me! I also hope that this little explanation helps you find what works for you on your reviewing and annotating journey!


Do you have any annotation go to supplies?

Do you write in your books or on something else?

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Lists & Recommendations

Annotating My Bookshelf | May 2019

BOOKSHELVES

Hello everyone, I am here to share the books on the two bookshelves I own. This time around I am going to do them all in one post instead of once a week. Like last time I am going to share a picture and comment on it. The only difference is I will have dividers between sections. Without more rambling, onto the shelves!

This is my most loved classics, I have The Hobbit, 3 editions of Little Women, it is my all time favorite novel/series if you didn’t know that already. I also have The Complete Sherlock Holmes and A Little Princess.


This is a continuation of classics, but these are more modern classics. I have a total of 7 Shirley Jackson novels/short stories. I have The Missing Girl, The Haunting of Hill House, Hangsaman, We Have Always Lived in the Castle,  The Lottery and Other Stories, The Sundial, and The Bird’s Nest. Following that I have quite a few Christopher Isherwood books as well. I have A Single Man, Prater Violet, Meeting by the River, Christopher and His Kind, Down There on a Visit, and Kathleen and Frank. The last book on this shelf is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. The last one didn’t quite fit on the classic shelf.


This is where my shelf kinda looses it’s organization. I have book one in the Lord of the Ring series, The Fellowship of the Ring. Following that is The Butchering Art, Washington Black, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Catapult, Peter Green and the Unliving Academy, which I received from the publisher. That is followed by Every Heart a Doorway and Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. Then I have Elevation, An Unkindness of Magicians, and lastly The Good People.


Next I have a few non-fiction novels, Bringing Down the Colonel and Stalin’s Daughter. Then I have a few historical fiction novels, The Sielnce of the Girls, The Clockmakers Daughter. Then a few general fiction novels and thrillers, The 71/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcase, The Overstory, and The Mars Room.


This is my Harry Potter shelf, I have my original copies of the books. On top, which is hard to see, I have a copy of the guide from the British Library’s Exhibit. Not pictured, because they are not on my bookshelves, I have the first two books of the series in the hardcover Hufflepuff editions.


This is my mostly Book of the Month shelf. I have Daisy Jones and the Six, The Dar Field, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances, Circe, The Wicked King (Not BOTM), The Stranger in the Woods, Death in the Air (Not BOTM), and lastly Miracle Creek.


This shelf is my favorite horror novels. 11/22/63, Bag of Bones, and The Outsiders by Stephen King. Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King, and Strange Weather by Joe Hill.


Here is a mixture of a shelf! I have the first 3 illustrated editions of the Harry Potter Series. Then I have a few cloth bound classics which include, Jane Eyre, Little Women again ( I know I have many copies, but it is my favorite!), Pride and Prejudice, and The Women in White.


Here is another mix of a shelf. I have a few non-fictions, Irena’s Children and Romanovs. Then I have The Glass Castle, The Thing Around Your Neck, His Perfect Wife ( A gift from the publisher), The UK edition of Skin Deep, and it is kind of hard to make out, but the last book is a reading guide to Lord of the Rings where there are reflection questions and such.  I plan on using it during my reread this year.


Moving onto my second shelf, here you can see most of my white books. I have 3 of the Doctor Strange bind ups, and well as 3 of Loki: Agent of Asgard. Following those I have The Year of Cozy, Broken Monsters,  The Book Thief, The Cruel Prince, Joyland, Gwendy’s Button Box, The Wolf Wilder, Peace and Turmoil, It, The Grownup A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Matilda, The Night Trilogy, The Snow Child, Eleanor and Park, and The Alienist.


Moving onto the second half of this shelf I have Finding Jake, In the Days of Rain, See What I Have Done, Cycle of the Werewolf, Salem’s Witch. House, Lincoln in the Bardo, The Witches, The Shining, Theordor Rex, Colonial Roosevelt, ‘Salems Lot, Doctor Sleep, Bruja Born, The Hazel Wood, Christine, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, If We Were Villains, Lying in Wait, A Delusion of Satan, A. Gentleman in Moscow, Son of Hitler (Which is really weird and I still don’t think I like it), House of Leaves, The Ordinary Spaceman, The. Darkest Part of the Forest, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, and lastly The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.


Next I have graphic novel retellings in Shivers, Wishes, and Wolves, I also have Doctor Who retellings of fairytale boxset, I have a bind-up of Death Note, then I have Your Soul is a River, Carry On, Enchanted Islands, Save the Date, A Merry Christmas, Murder on the Orient Express, The Rosie Project, The Dire King, The Nazi Doctors, The Escape Artist,  A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Shining Girls, and The Underground Railroad.


The next section of this shelf I have Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Fangirl, The Things I Would Tell You, an old nook, Pet Semetary, Ignite the Stars from Bookcon 2018, Vol. 2 Eleanor Roosevelt, an ARC of The Song Rising, Vol. 1 Eleanor Roosevelt, a finished edition of The Song Rising, Early Riser, Vol. 3 Eleanor Roosevelt, Great Expectations, The Way I See It, The First Tycoon, 50 Children, and lastly The Sun is Also a Star.


Next ending the yellow section with Carry On, Wonder Women, Mr. Penumbrun’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Then starting the green section with an ARC of the Unexpected Everything, Robert Graves, A Clockwork Orange, The Life Changing Manga of Tiding Up, Mythago Woodm The Secret Life of Bees, the finished copy of The Unexpected Everything, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and The Girl on the Train.


Right away on the left I have a very old edition of A Study in Scarlet I found in a antique store when on vacation with my mom. Then I have From Here to Eternity, The Wellness Mama Cookbook, Joyous Health, and Joyous Detox. Then vertically from the top I have The. Count. of Monte Cristo, World Without End, Born on a Blue Day, Not f I See You First, The Rosie Effect, Jackaby, Finding Audrey, All THe. Light. We Cannot See, The Women in Cabin 20 and Uncommon Type.


The last section of my bookshelf I have a copy of Caleb’s Window I was given by the author, Almost Midnight, A Court of Mist and Fury, Ghostly Echos, Labyrinth Lost, an old Kindle, The House of the Seven Gables, An Enchantment of Ravens, Searching for the Amazons, and lastly The Lying Game.


Thanks for looking and reading!

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Lists & Recommendations

Annotating My Bookshelf | III

BOOKSHELVES

Hello and welcome to the third installment of  Annotating my bookshelf! This time we are taking a look at my somewhat color coded shelf. I am not sure how must some of my shelves are color coded and the others aren’t, but this one ended up being a shelf of black and gray books. I hope you enjoy!

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The Books

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

DividerHave you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR?

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Lists & Recommendations

Annotating My Bookshelf | II

BOOKSHELVES   

Since I enjoyed annotating my shelves so much I decided to share a little more. So this shelf is a little more aimed towards classics and modern classics, but not strictly. After the image I will link all of the book titles to their goodreads accounts so you can learn more about them. Also, on this shelf I read a total of 6 books out of the 9. Not to bad if you ask me.

Oddly, I forgot to annotate for Isherwood’s A Single Man, it was heart breaking, but beautiful. Divider

The Books

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Prater Violet by Christopher Isherwood

Down There on a Visit by Christopher Isherwood

A Meeting by the River by Christopher Isherwood

A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

Christopher and His Kind by Christopher Isherwood

 

*All links go to their goodreads pages.

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Do you have any thoughts on these books?

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Lists & Recommendations

Annotating My Bookshelf | I

BOOKSHELVES

Have you ever gotten into a blogging slump, where you have a hard time coming up with ideas? I felt like I had writers block, the dreaded thing no writer wants. So of course being me I went to good and searched blogging ideas to look for inspiration. I came across broke by books where she had some ideas listed. One of the ideas she had on her list was annotating your books/bookshelf. I was not sure what she meant by this exactly, but I though more about it the more I liked it.

So I decided to take a picture of one of the cubes of one of my two bookshelves and annotate them with the first thought that pops into my head. If you like this please let me know and I will continue. This was actually a lot of fun to make.

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The Books

Eating Mindfully by Susan Albers

The Old Farmers Almanac 2018

Irena’s Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

*All links go to their goodreads pages.

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Do you have any thoughts on these books?

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