Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Keeping Track of Quotations.

Hello fellow bloggers!

I come to you today with a couple questions about how you log and keep track of book quotations. I'm mainly asking because my own method is a little all over the place and I was looking into some new ideas.

Now, writing them down when I come across them is not an option. I'm in the flow of reading and already have a method for marking them (those little post-it flags are my best friend for this). I mark A LOT of passages as I am reading and usually only feature a select few when I am writing about my experience with my book. I am looking for a way to store these favorite quotes permanently so that I can refer back to them at a later date.

I've seen some bloggers with different storage methods. I saw that someone keeps a completely separate blog to log in quotes for each book they read, while another keeps a journal.

So, here are my questions for you:

Do you mark quotations as you read? If so, what do you do to mark them?

Do you store your favorite passages and quotations? If so, tell me how!

Do you think I am crazy for wanting to store my favorite pieces of each novel? ;)

Thanks! Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.


  1. I tend to highlight them as I go (if it's my book and I'm going to keep it). I like being able to flip through my favorites and see what stood out to me.
    If it's a library book or something I tend to write them on post-its and I use my voice memo recorder on my iPhone if it's an audiobook.
    The I take all those quotes and keep them in a word document, noting the book, author and character who said it, so I can reference them later.

  2. Your question really got me thinking that I should start logging my quotes in a more effective manner. Right now I'll underline and annotate passages I like right in the book, and refer back to them when I am writing my review. But other than that I don't have a database of all my favorite passages. I'm thinking I should probably start a word doc, like the Avid Reader.

  3. I keep them all in a seperate tumblr, makes it easy to refer back because I tag them and it's a lot faster to type than write by hand, especially if i want to later include them in reviews.

  4. I rarely track quotes. If I come across something I know I'll want to include in the review, I'll flag it in my book with a little post-it flag, then get rid of it after writing the review. I don't really keep it otherwise...

  5. Yes, I love noting favorite passages! Even just cool words I come across.

    My typical method is to put a sticky note on the front of the book and note just the page numbers. On the page itself I put a small pencil X in the margin. (I erase it later.)

    Then later I go and type the quotes into my blog post draft so they're ready when I write up my review. I always liked the thought of a commonplace blog but don't have the energy to start another blog.

  6. Now I think I also need to come up with a way to save the quotes, thank you for bring this up! I'm thinking I might make another page on my blog for quotes and make it visible to others. I like the idea of another blog too.

    As for noting them while reading, I have a Kindle that will save things for me, very handy, but when I'm reading a "paper" book I just try to jot it down then, which is tiresome. I really like your post-it flag idea, then I can come back to it later.

  7. As I'm reading I usually dog-ear the page with the quote and maybe make a small mark in the margin, if it's my book. If I have tiny sticky notes handy, I'll use them.

    I've recently joined Goodreads, and I do use their quotes feature to share quotes I think others will appreciate.

    I also have a leather commonplace book in which I collect quotes that I found particularly moving, amusing, or thought-provoking.

  8. Okay I love this post and can't wait to read more input from your readers. I want to maintain a paper journal of quotes because I think it's gorgeous and I am always envious of people who show pictures of theirs. I started to keep one and maybe kept up for ten books. But then, you know, life happens. I read four books at a time; I finish a book but my journal isn't with me; I'm just too damn lazy to write.

    *le sigh* One of these days, I'll figure out something. :D

  9. I fold down the bottom corner of the page on which the quote is that I want to remember. I can usually go back at the end and skim that page and find the exact quote that I liked.

    Then I write them down when I have finished the book. It works for library books and books that I own.

    The other thing I do sometimes depending on how keen I am, is pull out my iphone (which is with me at all times) and type the quite into the notes app. Works if you have an iphone, but it does interupt the flow of the story

  10. Funny,this is something I've been thinking about lately. I've typically used the post-it flag method in the past while reading and then transferred them to a word document or, if something really special, I might write them down on in a notebook or on a note card (which I usually then lose). I've been thinking I'd like to create a 'commonplace book,' though, for my absolute favorites. I just need to find the right bound blank book...

  11. Long ago I used to keep them in my "Rainman notebook" (well, that's what my friends called it); I mean actually handwriting them out. I also have always been an underliner/highlighter (many fellow readers recoil in horror when I admit to this, but hey, they're MY books :-)) & when I pick up a book I've previously read, I'll often skim through it to review the passages I've marked.

    Now I'm doing a lot of my reading via my iPad and - let me tell you - it makes for a great "highlighting experience." it's quick and easy to highlight, then to review them, they're all listed under the same " go to" option used to find a chapter, etc. I really love this, as I can find a specific quotation that I "almost remember" so much faster.

    Great question & comments!

  12. I like that Tumbler idea...

    I dog-ear the page while reading, then transcribe it later to my blog. One quote to highlight my favorte character somehow, and one for my favorite passage.

    But I'm liking that Tumbler idea...

    (Also, I use Goodreads quotes.)

  13. I like to mark my favorite quotes, if they are my books sometimes I use post-its, other times I underline them with pencil and the less of the times I use a highlighter. If not, I write them down on a notebook with the author and book.

    I have most of my favorite passages and quotations written down on a notebook, I like to go through it when I want to read something interesting and don't know what to read.

    I think it is awesome you want to store your favorite pieces of each novel, because, for me, it is part of being a good reader.

  14. This is a really interesting post. I need help with this as well as my method is so inefficient!! As I read I dog ear the bottom corner of the page with the quote on it and then when I've finished the book go back and write them down in a) a word document and b) a notebook. This is problematic because most books I read come from the library and I return it before writing the quotes down, and because often when I go back I can't remember what it was on that page that appealed. Frustrating!! Great to hear what others do as well :)

  15. You are all very organised! My highly ineffective technique is as follows 1) read with train ticket in hand 2) find amazing quote 3) tear off bit of train ticket and stuff it in book 4) accidentally drop most of them 5) return to look at them later and not be able to remember which bit it is. I would NOT recommend this approach :)

  16. My approach is pretty haphazard, also. If I am reading in a paperback, I have no qualms about underlining, highlighting, writing notes, dogearing etc. For most of my cherished novels, I have multiple copies: a paperback to be thrown around, a hardcover for a more substantial feel, and a fancy edition to just look at and sigh ;). I would never dog-ear a hard cover, but I will write notes if it's not a cherished edition. I just recently purchased this little post-it kit of pretty papers and tabs, so now I have a way to mark those fancy books in some way. I have in the past written quotes in a journal, but lately this has become way too time-consuming for my hectic life. When I am looking for a quote, I usually start with Goodreads, then I just google it, which sometimes works. Magazines have become a huge problem for me. I just save the whole issue and wonder later why I did! Wish I had a method...

  17. This is a really interested topic as some bloggers are really passionate about NOT marking in books. but aren't books supposed to be poured over and devoured? My grad school books are completely marked up and doing so helps me remember the books better. Now I usually only underline quotes in classics that I'm reading (can't help myself) but try not to with regular books. Not sure why I don't allow myself to mark the passages! Instead I normally dogear the page but then going back I sometimes can't remember which passage I liked!!

    Wish I had time to stop and transcribe the quotes, but like you it would break up my reading flow...

  18. I keep a little notebook for when I read and then transfer them into another bigger notebook. I love keeping track of quotes!

  19. You've sparked a remarkable series of useful comments here!

    I do basically what Marieke does: make little pencil marks in the margins and a list of page numbers either on a sticky at the front of the book or on my bookmark. I don't erase my marks unless it is a library book. I do underline a few very special lines in my own books. For those special quotes, I sometimes jot them up on cards and stick them on my bulletin board, or stick them in a computer file, or email them to my father.... A little leather book would be so much more attractive, wouldn't it?!

  20. I do a sort of quotation triage. First I underline in pencil (or use a sticky flag for library books) as I read. If I'm studying a book seriously, I'll write a summary of each chapter in my notebook, and then go back & see if anything I underline still seems relevant. If it does I'll note it down, and if something is really special I'll blog it. I don't do much for casual reading, though, except mark passages to blog, so I guess my blog is my every day commonplace (redundant) book.

  21. I read a lot of library books, so writing in them isn't an option. I use an index card for a bookmark. When I come across a quote I want to mark, I write down the page number and the first couple of words. Then, when I finish the book, one of the steps I take (in addition to reviewing it) is to copy the quotes I want to remember into a journal I keep solely for that purpose.

    I love keeping a journal of quotations. I find they often help me remember how I felt about a book even better than a review does.

    Great topic! We're clearly all having fun with it!