Why You Should Take Notes from Every Book You Read

Learning is never over, especially after College. You need to train for your job. If you want to advance in your career, you also need new skills and new set of knowledge to pound into your brain.

They say that experience is the best teacher. Most of the time, they assume that it should be your OWN experience. But that’s not true. A lifetime isn’t enough to experience every lesson there is to learn.

To make the most of one lifetime, you better talk to people, ask about their experiences and the lessons they learned. While face-to-face conversion is great, there is another way, which can sometimes be more efficient and just as effective: Reading books.


Just an aside, here’s my previous post on how I choose books; and another one on WHY I read books in the first place.

A lot of us read books for different reasons–to be entertained, to learn new things, to kill boredom. But throughout history, lives changed, wars erupted, and the world was never the same, thanks to books and the ideas behind them.

If you are into reading books, you should take your book-reading experience to the next level. TAKE NOTES! Here’s why.

Show off.

You could quote famous authors while conversing with your crush, or somebody you want to impress. There’s that scene in “That Thing Called Tadhana” where the male character quote the novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald: “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” Awesome, right? Who would have thought that you could quote nice lines in the real world?


Some of these quotes could also come in handy when you are engaged in a debate and you need to bolster your argument. While you’re at it, you can even make use of your book notes when you are writing blog posts or you’re just showing off how widely read you are.

I try to do that with my wife every now and then, but she just shrugs and tells me “Whatever.” This should also come with a fair warning. If your point is to just show off, people might be turned off and write you off as one more bookish person who knows more about books than good social interaction.

Learn something new and connect it with other pieces of lessons you’ve learned over the years.

Here’s the first big reason why you should take notes. Learn something new. Then connect it with other lessons you’ve learned. The world of ideas is inter-connected. Ideas usually lead to other ideas, and as you think more deeply about an idea, you will also come to think of other ideas.

In a world where ideas are a dime dozen and accessible within a few clicks, what matters is how you bring ideas together to come up with something new; not necessarily original, but a new incarnation and amalgam of older ideas.

Get new quotes that are not yet too popular.

If you have a Tumblr account, then you’d know that there are perhaps tens of millions of nice, feel-good, touchy-feely quotes lying around. A lot of them had been rehashed and attributed to the wrong person a million times, too. But we tend to forgive those atrocious picture-quotes because the picture is good or the quote is so applicable to us at the moment.

But if you read and take notes, you can introduce quotes that may not have been abused to the ground, yet. You just might put some collection of words that will make the Internet a little better.

Remember wise words from authors and writers.

While you’re reading a book, you may nod and agree with the lessons and ideas presented to you. But as soon as you close that book, you might not remember it at all. Sayang. To help you remember those wise words, copy them. Keep them. Tweet them. So that at some point in the future, you could go back and apply the lessons to your own life.

Change your life.

Lastly, ideas are pretty useless unless acted upon. The best reason why you should take notes, is to look for ways to improve and change your life. Ideas keep changing us. They inform our beliefs–about ourselves, the world we live in, and our role in the world. Ideas could change all that. Ideas are dangerous things because once they take root in your heart and your mind, it can set the direction of your life.


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