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The most commercial form of the Commonplace Book is the collection of book summaries with different degrees of depth and reflection.

Other Commonplace Books may collect quotations, art snippets or even sound bites.

What’s the right title for people who write commonplace books? Authors? Editors? Curators? or Collectors? Or simply, writers?

That’s also the beauty in this difference. Because from this title, the writer reveals and reflects different aspects of the books they read. And share it in a personal way. And with different genres and disciplines, different styles of sharing will hold up better.

As I think of putting together my own commonplace book, one very real question is that, while this book is for me and what I’ve learned, who else can rapidly read and benefit from it?

Ambitiously, I’d have these headings:

  • Summary and essence
  • Target reader
  • Mindset
  • Key takeaways
  • Actions and directives
  • Quotes
  • Concepts
  • Gaps
  • Review
  • Re-reads

My next question will be how do I continue my reading style of 3-5 books at a time and stay sane (and disciplined) to take notes and review them?

No, I probably won’t answer this so soon.

I’m strongly influenced by Samuel T. Davies and his book summaries. And you can buy his Commonplace Book (which compiles it all and more) too.