One of my older sisters first introduced me to the idea of a commonplace book. I thought it was a wonderful idea so the next week I began my own. Now I have had it for a couple years and really enjoyed it, so I thought I would give a short little step-by-step guide to starting your own. (:
First of all, what is a commonplace book?
Well, it’s simply a notebook purposed for the filling of quotes.
How to keep your own:
Step 1: Pick out a notebook.
That is one of the special things about the commonplace book. Instead of writing quotes here and there depending on the closest resource, they are all kept together, in one spot, for easy use.
Technically, you use any kind of journal, but I would encourage to use something more beautiful than a 90 cent spiral-bound notebook. This is something you will be able to use throughout your life, so you will want something that can last. (:
Step 2: Begin to fill it.
Write down quotes from books or movies or speeches, lines of poetry, bible verses, and prayers. Basically, any beautiful, funny, or touching handful of words that you really like and wish to treasure away. I’ve even written down one or two things a friend has told me, because it impacted me so much.
You can doodle around the quotes, illustrate them, or just write them down. There are many possibilities, so be creative if you want. (:
Step 3: Revisit it.
The point of the commonplace book is not to store away quotes and just forget about them. Every once and while, pick your book up again and read through it! Sometimes you can find fresh inspiration, or suddenly appreciate one of the quotes even more than before.
Step 4: Share it!
Feel free to just show friends and family your book. Or maybe included a quote at the end of a letter you write. Maybe you write one out on a piece of paper for a friend you’ve been thinking about. You could even start exchanging one quote every month with someone you know who also keep up a commonplace journal.
And that’s it! Pretty simple, right?
But before I go, I’d like to share a couple of my favorite selections from my commonplace book. Feel free to add them to yours. (:
- “It’s better to live life as you will want to have lived, rather than spend your time worrying about the end.” – Ember Falls by S.D. Smith
- “I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I’ve made them right.” – The Book Thief
- “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.” – Mark Twain
- “Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.” – E.B. White
- “Pain is God’s megaphone.” – C.S. Lewis
- “True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written and writing what deserves to be read.” – Pliny the Elder
And finally a quote from Dr. Seuss that I doodled:
What about you? Have you ever kept a commonplace book? What are your favorite quotes? Do you have one for me to add to my commonplace book?