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Making Proper Marks in Books


imageMaking Proper Marks in Books

The Zettelkasten note-taking method has made book writing and writing scientific papers easy for hundreds of years already.

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Comments

  • edited June 2019

    Many books by Umberto Eco are available for free downloadds at [REDACTED BY MODS]

    Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Of course, there was no Internet in 1977, but Eco's index card research system offers important lessons about critical thinking and information curating for students of today who may be burdened by Big Data.

    Post edited by ctietze on
  • Umberto Eco's book is available in an English translation:
    https://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Thesis-MIT-Press/dp/0262527138/

  • Quick comment though its an older article:

    Why markup a physical book at all? Wouldn't it be easier & more modular to simply keep a sheet of paper located in the book itself? The sheet doubles as a bookmark as well.

    Simply write the page number, paragraph number, & a quick blurb. Now one has a custom index...

    Book Title

    p82/p3: topic x

    p103/p1: topic y

  • edited September 12

    Painting pages indeed doesn't pay off.

    But the low fidelity • marks in the margin can help find the roundabout place, "here's something to look at".

    An ideas index or other list of interesting pages is a feasible tool, too, but could be more cumbersome when going through the whole book multiple times (See Barbell Method of Reading: https://zettelkasten.de/posts/barbell-method-reading/).

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @Mike_Sanders

    • I developed the habit when I was riding bus and train often. It gets ugly to write in such an unstable environment.
    • A dot is way faster to make than to write. (less intrusive to the reading experience)
    • It is more precise since you can mark the exact line and not just the page.
    • There is no added risk to lose the paper.
    • The later processing is much more pleasant if you just have to open the book and are good to go.

    I am a Zettler

  • @Mike_Sanders said:
    Why markup a physical book at all? Wouldn't it be easier & more modular to simply keep a sheet of paper located in the book itself? The sheet doubles as a bookmark as well.

    About 40 years ago, I had a friend who was confined in an isolation unit in a hospital for a month, with little to do. Without thinking too much about it, I grabbed a couple of non-fiction books that I liked (one of them being "7 Habits of Highly Successful People" by Steven R. Covey) and gave them to him as "light" reading. At the time, my note taking was done almost exclusively in the margins of books I owned. When he finally got out and returned the books to me, he said he enjoyed them very much and almost found more interest in the marginal notes than in the main material.

    I know that method isn't ideal for finding and retrieving information, but in my friend's case, it was a boon.

  • Thanks everyone lots of food for thought.

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