Instead of annotating, she rules margins in her notebooks, puts the number of the page she’s referring to in the margin, and writes next to it a quotation or a comment. When she comes to write a review, she will ring the quotations she wants to use, usually in blue pencil. If she’s been reading without her notebook to hand, and making notes on scraps of paper, she will stick these scraps into the notebook. Out of this ‘reading with a purpose’ or ‘reading with pen & notebook,’ she accumulates the many volumes of notebooks, which tell the story of how her mind works when she is reading. These notebooks often breach their self-imposed compartments [….] She makes a pencil sketch of a new bathroom and study addition to Monk’s House on the back of some quotations from Geraldine Jewsbury; she lists the rooms in the house that need painting in the middle of her notes on Henry James’s letters. A good many of her notebooks have the marks of animals’ paws on them, suggesting that they lay about open in the rooms she worked in, were picked up sometimes at random, and were not tidily put away.
—Hermione Lee (Virginia Woolf, p. 406)