Taking Notes While Reading (with Post-Its!)

Taking Notes OTMBC

When I was a kid, I had trouble with reading comprehension. I could read fine, but if you tried to test me on it I would fail. It shattered my confidence and made me hate reading. For years, I didn’t pick up a book unless I was required to for class. There was no “enjoyment” in reading for me. I hated it.

When I got to highschool, I had to read a lot. The summer before freshman year I had a reading list a mile long. I panicked and thought, “How am I possibly going to remember all of this?” I emailed my English teacher and asked her for advice and she shared with me a few things that I felt were so helpful. I still use these to this day.

1. Read actively. The key to reading is to read actively. You need to digest the material, with your mind engaged and processing what you are reading. Not only do you need to stay awake while you read, but you need to be ready to learn.This might mean uncurling from under your covers and sitting at the dining room table. I don’t know about you, but I cannot read in the bed. I will fall asleep so fast!

2. Write as you read. The most important part of reading actively is writing. This is the only way I can read. Taking notes while reading increases memorization and information retention. This is where Post-It’s come in handy, especially for books that you will have to return to a library or a friend. When you’re using this technique, there’s no need to write down full passages. Think BIG PICTURE. Focus on key concepts, definitions, outlines, major plot changes, etc.

3. Keep a running list of questions. While you are reading, keep a list of questions you need answered. You may want to keep one list of questions to ask your teacher/bookclub members/friends and another for questions you want to research on your own.

Whether you’re studying for class, reading alone for fun, or are in a book club like this one, these tips apply to make sure you get the best out of your book!

Happy reading!





Where to find books

Where to find books

So you’ve thought about joining a book club, but you’re worried you don’t have the money to buy all the books that are associated with joining. I understand the hole in the budget for entertainment or personal happiness, so I’ve created a list of ideas to show you a few budget-friendly options for purchasing books and even donating them when you’re finished!

How to find inexpensive books:2nd-Charles-Summer-Camp

  1. In Birmingham, there is a second-hand book store called 2nd and Charles. Our’s is located across from the Galleria in the shopping center with JoAnn’s and Plato’s Closet. The books are in very excellent used condition and are half the price of brand new. They also accept them back and will pay you for your books, as long as they are in good shape. Check out 2nd and Charles for more info.
  2. If you’re a blogger like me, you can register for Blogging For Books and request FREE copies of books for review. When you’re finished with the book, all you have to do is write a review on your blog and you’re set. Head over to Blogging For Books to sign up and request your free copy today!
  3. The library is the best place to get books for free, both tangible and audible (my favorite!). See if there’s a library around you by contact the Jefferson County Library Cooperative. Birmingham is full of them!
  4. As always, you can purchase the book brand new. I love the smell of a new book and the feeling of cracking it open for the first time. Websites such as Amazon and AbeBooks have discounted books both brand new and used. You’ll get the best price rather than buying it in the bookstore or from the publisher’s website. Always check here first. If you’re fortunate to own a e-reader, you can purchase the books from there. You can purchase them cheaper through Amazon and Audible.

Where to donate used books: When you are finished with your book and do not mind donating it, most schools would gladly take them for the students. You can even write this off on your taxes! Check out the Alabama Library Association for more info. There are also tons of charities/organizations that love donations. Check out a few of them below:

Check with your local Children’s Hospital, VA Hospital, and nursing homes to see if they want used books. Another great way to help and feel good about it! If you have any other ideas for buying/donating books, comment using the link at the beginning of this post. All the best, Natalie

Follow Me On Pinterest!

pinning-boardsThere’s nothing better than sitting down on the weekends and organizing your Pinterest boards. Am I right? Okay, maybe that’s just me!

All jokes aside, I think it’s a great tool to use to express your creativity and share that creativity with others. I use it often when I’m working with clients on their homes or hotels that I work on (I’m an interior designer, if you didn’t already know!). I thought it would be a great idea to create a board just for this group. I have already pinned books that are on my radar and wish list. If you see a book that interests you, favorite it so that I can keep tally. Who knows, we might read some of these next! To get to it, click the big read button above.

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BTB: Discussion #1


Hi all! If you haven’t joined the group yet, please head over the JOIN page to get that moving. I’ve had a lot of interest, and I’m so excited to be doing this with you all. Please join!

Also, I have changed the meet-ups to only one time a month. I think this will be better for everyone. We will have these discussions regularly to keep everyone together.

You may not have the book yet, but I wanted to go ahead and start the discussion. In a discussion, you comment below with your thoughts and answers concerning the questions that I post. I’ll try to keep these going until our first meet-up on June 17th.

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Book #1: Better Than Before – Exciting!!

Welcome to Over The Mountain Book Club, a community of readers in the Mountain Brook area. If this is your first time, click here to see what we’re all about. If you’re ready to join OTMBC, click here.

The first book in the OTMBC is…

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin


If you are a blogger, sign up for Blogging for Books and receive a FREE copy of Better Than Before within the week. All you have to do is write a review when you’re finished.
*Limited copies available.

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