If you’ve read for research, you organize your notes so that you can use them for whatever project you’re working on. If it’s background research for a book, you no doubt have files set up into which these latest nuggets of knowledge can be assimilated. This is a process. All those hours of reading have given you knowledge and ideas you didn’t have before. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?
If you’ve read for the purpose of writing a review, I hope you really enjoyed that process–both the reading and the writing parts. I often find that when I review a book, it helps me to clarify in my mind why I liked the book and if the the writing itself impressed me. If I can identify elements of style I like, I can take that away with me as an example/lesson learned. I keep notes on dialogue, character development, elements and descriptions of place, and so on. Not exactly the same as research notes, but more like files of ideas that could work for me in my own writing. You know, don’t you, that successful writers are almost always prolific readers?
If you’ve read a book just for pleasure or relaxation, and you really did like it, perhaps you could think about reviewing it on your blog, or on Amazon or GoodReads. You never know when a good word from you could entice a reader to trying a new author. It works for me!
So, now you’re finished with your book. Does it go straight to your book shelves? If you’re like me, you don’t have unlimited space. (If you do, I’m very envious!) Are you going to keep it in your collection to re-read, give it away, share it with a friend, trade it for credit at a used bookstore, or donate it to a good cause? Do any of you belong to book exchanges/swaps, online or in your area? I’d be very interested in hearing about the fate of books you’ve read. Please let me know in a comment.
A good book should not be wasted!