Commonplace Books

I Need My Commonplace

Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I love to read. But not just anything. I love to read classic literature. Deep, thought provoking tales of long ago, works that make my head spin…I love the challenges within them, I love the words and the passion you can feel from a truly good book. Fiction, I can take it. Non-fiction – I will love it and live in it if I can.



The problem is I often wind up coming across so many fabulous thoughts and quotes (things we ought to live by realy) but I cannot remember them, or find them, when in need. And how is that any good? After all, as a momma, home educator and a keeper of the home – Is it not even my responsibility to continue to seek and feed my own soul? To determine those things that are good and true and noble and right?  Or as Seneca says so eloquently:

“We should hunt out the helpful pieces of teaching and the spirited and noble-minded sayings which are capable of immediate practical application–not far far-fetched or archaic expressions or extravagant metaphors and figures of speech–and learn them so well that words become works.”


This matters to all of us. For our life. For our very soul. We must grow. We must be wise, gentle, discerning and thoughtful in all things. And its about wisdom, not just facts. As I develop my commonplace book, over a lifetime (or even the years to come years), I can only imagine how I can accumulate a mass of true wisdom–that can be turned to in times of need. That I can go to when requiring a bit more inspiration or a bit more direction even. After all, a commonplace book is a way to keep our learning priorities in order and it should motivate us to look for and keep only the things we can use. Precious gems.


As Raymond Chandler put it, “when you have to use your energy to put those words down, you are more apt to make them count.”



As said so well too on this very topic, by Ryan Holiday:

“Technology is great, don’t get me wrong. But some things should take effort. Personally, I’d much rather adhere to the system that worked for guys like Thomas Jefferson than some cloud-based shortcut.”

For now it is nothing more than a simple lined notebook (because without those lines, I have to admit, I am all over the place (LOL) I use whatever pen or pencil is handy at the time I come across that deep and thought provoking word, or phrase. It’s so much more important to write it down, I can really dig into it and ponder it more later. But to pause,, to take the time, that in itself is so very meaningful.

Capturing words that need to be more than just words.

It reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures within the pages of the most inspiring book EVER: 1 John 2:6: He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

I begin at the very beginning. Seeking deeper, greater wisdom for myself and my family, and it must start with me.


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