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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Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk |Fall Book Recommendation Test & Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs Review

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So, I don’t know about you, but I always see quizzes where they ask you to answer a bunch of questions and then will recommend you a book. I don’t do many of them, but I decided to do the following one that was created by bookish.com. This one asked a bunch of questions and then in theory would recommend me a book I would love to read this fall.

So I answered a bunch of questions, some you can see how they would relate to a book recommendation, others not so much. There was a question about the type of Halloween candy I liked most and I still cannot understand what the connection between a book and a candy. Not to mention they didn’t even have the candy I liked the most.

That is one thing that has made me skeptical in the past about these quizzes, sometimes the answers don’t really apply to myself. I wish there was a Other option for some of them, but I can see how they would not be an option so I just pick the closest thing. When I was done with the quiz I was given Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Now I was curious to see if they actually recommended me a book I would enjoy reading or not.

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What Happened

So I started reading this book in the middle of November, it was a perfect book to read during non-fiction November. So, at this point the quiz is in the positive.

This was a very honest book, which I was not sure if I was going to get. I thought it would not be as deep and show so much of the negative aspects of her relationship with her father. The main reason I thought this was because he has passed and people tend to get rose colored glasses when someone has passed. People focus on the good things, which I think is a great thing to do, don’t get me wrong. But, I really liked that she was honest about the downs as much as the ups in her relationship with her father.

Another thing I liked about this book is that it was really well laid out and the story of her life slows very well. I have read memoirs that read choppy and seemed to be disjointed at times. This one is quite the opposite. Also, I really enjoyed that she didn’t just talk about her father even though he is a very well known individual. I really enjoyed learning about her and her story. I liked hearing about her experience in college and as a child even though I had no idea who she was before reading this book, to me that says a lot.

I would say the only reason why I did not give this story a full five stars is because I didn’t really get anything that affected how I saw things in my own life. I know that can sound bad, but when I read a memoir about a person the only way I would give it a five is if it impacted how I lived my life or influenced how I saw a particular event or idea. I hope that make sense. I do highly suggest this book if you are looking to read a good memoir.

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Have you read a book that was recommended to you by a quiz?

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Lets Talk

Let’s Talk | TBR Jar Experiment

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So I know a lot of us book lovers have a huge owned TBR or TBR list and some of us in this community use a TBR jar. In the past I have made one or two of them, but I never really stuck with them for one reason of another. It might have been because I had so many incoming books I didn’t keep up with adding them, I am not really sure. Either way I always failed even though I have even posted a DIY for one a year or maybe even longer. You can see that DIY here: DIY | TBR JAR.

So for the month of October I decided that I would try the famious TBR jar once again and really commit myself to the process. So I went to the thrift store and picked up a small TBR jar and wrote down every book I owned that I still needed to read.

As you can see from the picture above my little jar was VERY full. I might have needed to get a larger one or I need to hurry up and get reading. Now, once I wrote down all the titles It was time to pick my next book.

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So this was the first book I picked out of the jar I picked a very recent addition to my TBR, Salem’s Witch House. I read it pretty quickly and I am glad I picked it up sooner rather than later. If you want to see what I thought in detail about this book you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 1st -October 6th. I will say I did not like it as much as I thought I would, but it was just not what I thought it was. It really stinks when a description was a bit misleading.

The next book I picked was a book my aunt lent to me and wanted to hear my opinion on. I was very happy to picked this book because I did not want to put it off since she is interested in hearing my opinion. I will say that this book was a wild ride and it was truly all over the place. If you want to know what I thought in a lot of detail you can read my post: A Week in Review | October 7th -October 13th.

When I picked this from the jar I was so happy and excited to pick this book. Mainly because I needed to read it for the BN book club and I did not think about that when I started this experiment. Sadly, I ended up loosing this book and needing to pick up another book.

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Reflection

So, upon having used this method for a few weeks. I can say it has its pros and cons. The first thing I liked about this was how easy it was to just pick a book and read. There was no staring at the bookshelf and being overwhelmed by choices. This happens to be from time to time and I can see that it really did cut down on that. The second pro is the fact that it really does show you how many unread books you own. Even though I have 2 book shelves that are pact with books, I mainly just see that I am lucky enough to have those books. I don’t see how many I truly have left unread because they are all spread out. This really forces you to see a visual representation that cannot be ignored and is more meaningful, at least to me, than just seeing a number.

Now, while there are some pretty serious pros to having and using a TBR jar, there are some cons as well. The first you can mainly see in my last pick. I was planning on taking part in the book club, but if I did not pick it there was no way I could have. So having books with a deadline would not work well with this format. Another con would be not really being able to pick what you are in the mood for. While this kind of helps in some situation when you are not in a specific mood, if you want to read a thriller and you picked a nonfiction or a general fiction book you would not be very thrilled. Being a mood reader, this was something I was really afraid of.

Overall I really think a TBR jar has its place in a bookworms life, especially for a mood reader like me. Sometimes I have no idea what I want to read and this could help me. Moving forward I plan on only using my TBR jar for when I am stuck on what to read next. I also think it would be fun to pick a book from the jar once a month just to get me to read some of the books I have been putting off.

I made the decision to kind of mix Books and Lala’s Closet unhaul series and My Reading is Odd TBR jar. Both of these youtubers are amazing and you should check them out ASAP! Anyway, I think I will be pulling a book per month, My Reading is Odd normally pulls more than this, but I don’t want to overwhelmed myself too much.  Now, if I do not read that book in that month off it goes from my shelves, kinda like Lala did in her series.

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What do you think about TBR Jars? Do you use one? How come?

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