Why this blog? Why Me? Why now?

Recently, after a series of particularly stressful events, I had a day that was full of tiny moments that all seemed designed to push me towards God. As I've never been a regular churchgoer and certainly not a believer, this came as a bit of a shock. I have never felt that I was missing anything, but it was too strong of a feeling to ignore. It is possible that in a month or week or day that the compulsion will pass. It is also possible that it will not.

I started this blog to document the process. I am starting from scratch, more or less, so please forgive me if I get some fact about your church or your faith wrong. I'm a work in progress.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Taking notes on reading


I find it really hard to read about something I'm learning about, especially something as interesting and nuanced as religion, and not to want to make notes in the margin and dog ear pages. I just started reading Lewis's Mere Christianity (on the advice of most of you) and  while most of what I'm noting won't make it into my eventual review, there are a lot of things that I want to mark for when I flip through the book later.  The problem is that I end up marking a sentence here or there every few pages, and then can't find what I want to find later. I'm considering swapping from my light pencil to a darker pen, and even then making notes on a piece of paper or text file for reference. Is this crazy? Does anyone else do this? Despite belonging to the book blogging community for 5+ years, I don't know anyone who writes in books.

Rest assured, I will never be the person who highlights more than she leaves alone. When everything is highlighted/ underlined, how do you know which was the truly important stuff?

PS. Who knew that Sharpie had a blog??


  1. I don't ever write in books, but I'm always fascinated when I get one from a used book store that obviously once belonged to such an owner.

    Which is to say, I've got nothing useful here to offer. But on behalf of voyeuristic book readers everywhere, thank you!

    1. I don't write in MOST of my books. Never in fiction and rarely in non-fiction that I'm reading for pleasure. But when I'm reading to actually learn about something, or when I was in college, I tend to mark them up.

  2. It's so hard when I am reading a library book and can't underline anything! I think half the battle for me -- since i haven't read anything for a class in, oh, a billion years -- is just being able to move on from a jewel-like sentence, something so beautifully crafted that I want to read it over and over again. Sometimes I'll put those phrases on a Stickie. oh and ps, sharpie also has a twitter feed.

  3. On due consideration, the books I mark in fall into one of three categories (and it is a given that I own the book first!):

    1. Books I'm trying to learn from. Textbooks are far in my past nowadays, but spiritual reading seems to fall into this category fairly regularly. Sometimes I will copy a passage out on paper or in Evernote.

    2. Cookbooks. I usually enter the date when I first tried a recipe and at least a brief note as to how good or not good it was, plus suggestions for modification if indicated.

    3. Genealogy books. This is a major hobby, and if I find an error or have more recent information, in it goes without hesitation.

    None of them have been as extensive as the illustrations you posted--yet. One major book on the families of the area where I grew up is in danger of heading that way . . .

    1. My books aren't nearly that marked up either, but I liked the picture. I love the idea of a much loved book being all written in though.