Today I finished summarizing my notes on The Idea of the Brain: The Past and Future of Neuroscience by Matthew Cobb. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve written about it here, so I’ll need to remedy that with a note on the book.
I learned two things in taking reading notes on the Cobb book. Last fall I started a more formal practice of Bullet Journaling. Along with it came my reading note taking method of reading straight through the book and then going back and taking notes in the Bullet Journal. With this book, it got unwieldy as there ended up being 16 pages of notes scattered across 6 writing sessions. It seems to me that while putting the notes in the BuJo is convenient, it becomes hard to find and review the notes. So for the next book I’ll be taking notes on, I’ll use a dedicated reading notes notebook.
My second discovery was that the Cornell format of notes works well for reading notes. The most viewed page on this site has long been How Bill Gates Takes Notes, which is really about the value of using the Cornell system for meetings. I realized that by laying the reading note page similarly, I could clearly see the topics discussed at the left margin and at the bottom, my own thoughts and followup items occuring to me during the note taking session.
I’ve finished my read through of Luiz Pessoa’s The Entangled Brain. It’s a really nice book serving both as an introduction to modern neuroscience and the view that I’ve long held that only systems theory approaches will help us understand how brain activity underlies behavior and awareness.
I’ve been not only been writing brief notes as I finish books, but I’ve been keeping the Reading 2023 page updated as I finish books and move on to the next. So far, it’s 6 fiction and 4 non-fiction books read. Keeping the page updated and committing to writing at least brief notes on the books has turned into a nice discipline to keep me writing regularly here.