Commonplace Book: noun; a book into which notable extracts from other works are copied for personal use
I always thought a “commonplace book” was just the company that helped produce my favourite podcast series Welcome to Night Vale. Then I came across an article about someone’s experience making their own commonplace book, and I decided to do a little digging.
Did you know that some of the most famous people of history kept commonplace books? From Marcus Aurelius to Bill Freaking Gates had or has one. They’re even responsible for most of our understanding of the Civil War beyond facts and figures.
A quick Google search will bring up tons of articles on just what commonplace books are and how to use them, but basically they’re special notebooks for recording anything and everything that sticks out to you, whether it’s something you heard, read, or saw. Quotes, thoughts, marginalia, interesting passages…usually a piece of wisdom that you want to remember and come back to later. Of course, commonplace books are highly personal and can honestly be used for anything you might want. They can be actual physical notebooks, for those traditionalists, or electronic.
So with semester two of college starting up and a whole slew of books I have to read (and take notes for), I figured this was as good a way to not only take notes but share some of the cool stuff I’m learning with all of you. I’ll tag all my note-taking posts as commonplace book if you want to keep up with those posts. I’ll also be posting some of the writings I’m working on in class; those will be tagged scully goes to school.