How to Make Notes Without Damaging a Book

I wanted to find a way to make notes in a book without marking it up. A book that has yellow highlighter marks, underlining, scribbling, and folded corners not only looks bad; it makes the book almost useless to the next owner.

It’s even worse if the book is not yours. Library books, books barrowed from friends, are books that should be kept clean.
My system is a sort of code for the location of passages in the book with room for any notes I want to make. I'll start with the simplest case.

1. Use an index card as a bookmark.

2. Write the pages you want to come back to separated by a dash.

3. To the right make notes if needed.

12 - 15 means pages twelve through fifteen.

Here’s how it works if you need more detail than only the page numbers:

1. In the left side of the card write the following sequence of numbers:

Page number followed by a period.

2. Then the paragraph number (1st paragraph = 1, 2nd = 2, etc.) followed again by a period.

Note: a paragraph started on the previous page and ending on this page = 0

3. To the right of the numbers make any comments or notes you want.

110.2 means page 110 the second paragraph.

112.0 means page 112 the paragraph started on the previous page. Use this if you don’t need the beginning of the paragraph.

For even more versatility and detail try:

1. A set of paragraphs in a row is shown with a dash between the start and end.

109.3 - 110.2 means from the third paragraph on page 109 to the second paragraph on page 110.

2. If only one sentence is needed add another period to indicate this.

105.2.3 means page 105, second paragraph, third sentence.

3. If you need only one word, say you don’t know its meaning and don’t have a chance to look it up; just write the word on the index card. (If you want to see again how it was used in the book write the word next to its location number.)

98.1.4 “mind-map” means page 98, first paragraph, fourth sentence, write the word you don’t understand.
In this case it’s “mind-map”.

The index card will be something like this:
1 - 3 author describes his first car (VERY FUNNY!)

12.3 name of his college & location

15.2.3 Not sure what this sentence means

26.3.2 halvareen -no idea what this is
And so on.

Just make sure you don’t loose the index card!


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