An Ode to Post-It Notes…and Greenies

A few words about book-reading.  To an extent, the Kindle has spoiled me.  You can highlight passages to remember for later, and in fact, you can write notes to yourself–which I don’t do, so I’m not even sure how that works.  So now I will reveal my method for remembering passages from library books.  It’s considered very bad form to dog-ear pages, or underline, or highlight in a library book.   Although I have gotten library books where people have, in pencil, corrected mis-prints by adding an insertion mark and the missing word, or crossing out unnecessary letters.  Every time I see this, I think, this person must have been an English teacher!  I’m pretty particular about words and language myself, but I am not that obsessive.

So my secret is–Post-It Notes. How did we ever live before Post-It Notes?  I consider them one of the finest achievements of mankind.  Forget the airplane and cell phones and the Internet.  Post-Its rank right up there with Greenies Pill Pockets.  These are yummy little dog and cat snacks with a hole in the middle.  They are very soft, so you can insert a pill into the hole, close it up, and feed it to the dog or cat without losing your hand.  Since my dog Troughton has to have thyroid pills twice a day, and since he’s a Doberman, I just can’t overemphasize how Greenies have changed my life.  And anyone who has ever tried to give a pill to a cat will grasp this even more.

There are a bunch of jokes out there about how to give a cat a bath, or how to give it a pill.  Most of them start with, “First, put on a suit of armor”.

You can get some cat antibiotics which come in liquid form.  I once had to give a cat liquid Ampicillin,and he loved it.  It was cherry-flavored. But every time before we got to the point of him loving it, I would have to hold him down and force his mouth open.  That was the Not Fun part.

But back to Post-Its.  What I do is put a Post-It on that first blank page just behind the front cover (there’s a name for that page, but…)  Then I write down page numbers on it when something in the book I really want to remember really jumps out at me.

This is not a foolproof system. One thing that happens is that I read a lot at my picnic table in the back yard, weather permitting.  Something will really stand out–a quote or a description, usually–and I won’t have a pen.  The other thing that happens is that after finishing the book, I’ll go back to one of those pages and not be able to find what I thought was so fascinating there.

I have to laugh at myself and my failures of memory.  On the other hand, when I think back, my memory is far more detailed now than when I was younger. In those days, while I read just as much,  many more issues and priorities intruded. Primarily what I will politely refer to as, hormonal issues.

So the book I just finished, “The Lost City of Z”–about which I intend to post more–was a two Post-It Note book.  The book was very rich.

5 responses to “An Ode to Post-It Notes…and Greenies

  1. Heh. I work for the Consumer & Office division of 3M (in the UK, rather than the US) – so our biggest selling product line is … Post-its! Obviously I’m biased, but they are just a great example of one of those little things that make our lives so much easier. Like online check-ins. Or parking sensors.

    Sorry, that wasn’t meant to be an advert. Funnily enough I do exactly the same as you, sticking Post-its in books as a note-taker – and did even before I joined 3M. Worse than that, I have the things plastered all over my desk in the study, with all manner of to-do lists, half-developed ideas for blog posts and so on scrawled all over them.

  2. Lol, Tim. Well, you have me to thank in part for providing job security 🙂 I too have Post-Its everywhere at work. I have a whole pile of old Post-Its that have fallen off the computer monitor. They have all manner of grocery lists, reminders (“Buy gas!”), and phone numbers.
    My boss is an obsessive Neatnik kind of guy, and every time he visits me (he lives in another city and visits maybe once every 3 months). The last time he visited, he said, if I had to look at your desk every day, I would commit suicide. Fortunately he seems to be turning over a new leaf, and no longer forces me to drop everything and clean up my desk!

  3. Post-it notes are as important as white-out used to be for me

  4. I agree, Post-Its are amazing. They’re a really good promotional item too, if you have some Post-Its made with your company logo and phone number on, or whatever, and give the pads out, they are much better than pens or keyrings, or anything really. You just know people will use them, and will have them stuck on things around them – who would throw away a post-it pad if they were given one right? Great advertising.

    I’m interested in the Greenies, I’ve never heard of those, I wonder if we have them over here, I must check, I have cats. One cat I used to have was so funny. If we had to give him a pill, he would quite literally play a trick on us, he would take it from us willingly, act as though he was swallowing it, smile (like cats do), so we’d let him leave. Then he’d get round the corner and spit it out! We fell for it so many times, he was obviously smarter than we were!

  5. Vanessa, if you can’t find them, maybe you could order online from

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