Hello everyone. First of all happy Easter! I hope you’re having a great holiday (hopefully without too much homework). Today I want to talk to you guys about something I used to be very much against, but have started experimenting with a little while ago: annotating books. Now, I will walk you through the 3 methods I use. Some more frowned upon than others. I will tell you why I decided to start annotating my books. And, of course, the pros and cons of annotating.
METHOD #1: Sticky tabs
This is probably the most accepted method of annotating books. Mainly because it doesn’t leave any permanent marks on the pages. For this reason, sticky tabs were my first form of annotating. However, when I started using them I didn’t really have a system. I just picked a color that resonated with the cover of the book I was reading and stuck the sticky tabs underneath every quote or passage I wanted to remember. If you don’t annotate a lot then this technique could definitely work for you. For me, however, it did not. When I start annotating I go a little overboard and I stick a tab under every quote, passage and swoon-worthy scene I can find. So soon enough my book will have more tabs than pages and there is no way in hell I could ever find a specific quote in that mess.
So I came up with a system. I now color coordinate my tabs using the following structure:
Pink: The pink tabs are reserved for anything to do with the romantic (sub)plot in a book. I also decided I would use this color if there is a very cute friendship scene cause I didn’t have a specific color left for friendship.
Blue: I use blue to mark any scenes and/or passages that annoy me, make me angry, make me cringe or make me sad. I know that’s a lot of emotions for one color but this makes sense in my mind haha.
Green: The green tabs are specifically for quotes and passages that I love. I decided to designate a specific color to this because I need to find quotes I loved when I write a review and being able to just flip to the green tabs makes that a lot easier.
Orange: I use orange for humor. Anything that makes me laugh gets an orange tab.
Yellow: Yellow is for miscellaneous stuff. I have so many other things I want to tab, I actually need like ten colors. But since that is not very easy to find I just settled for a miscellaneous category.
I haven’t been using this color coding system for too long, but so far it’s working.
METHOD #2: Dog-earing pages
Yes, I dog-ear pages. Sue me. For me, there is no real rhyme or reason to this method. I just dog-ear every page that I find holds something interesting. Whether that is something funny, romantic, frustrating or beautifully written. I have to say I haven’t been doing this a lot lately, just because it isn’t structural enough for me. Nowadays I mostly only dog-ear when I don’t have sticky tabs or a pen (yes, a pen. We’ll get to that in a bit) on me.
METHOD #3: Underlining & writing in the margins
Hello, my name is Lotte and I write in my books. Please don’t kill me. But in all seriousness, this is my favorite method of annotating. Mainly because all you need is a pen or pencil and I always have at least one of those in my bag or pocket at all times. Now, I get that it might be a bit scary to start writing in your books. I used to be someone who desperately wanted to keep my books looking as new. When I decided I wanted to try and annotate, I started with pencil. If you don’t like it you can always erase it. I personally use gel pens now cause I like the color it gives to the page and the ones I use don’t bleed through the pages.
A lot of you might be wondering why on earth someone would write in their books or dog-ear the pages. And I get it, trust me, I used to think the exact same. Writing in books is usually seen as defacing a book, but I don’t agree with that. I think it’s a lovely thing to do, it makes a book your own. Which brings me to the #1 reason I annotate in my books. It makes the books more personal. What is special about a book that is as new? Anyone could just buy a copy and it would be exactly the same. I’m not just a reader, I am also a book collector and I fully aspire to have a personal library someday. And I want the books that will be on those shelves to hold a piece of me. I want my thoughts spilled on the pages so that when I reread those book I will be able to see what I thought the first time I read those words. I want to see if my outlook has changed.
The second reason I annotate my books is because of this blog. When I write a review I want to share my thoughts about the book. And sometimes to do that, I have to flip through the book and reread a couple of passages or quotes. Having my books annotated makes that a lot easier. I can quickly find the parts I need without spending ages going through the book.
Of course, there are a few cons to annotating books. The main one for me is the fact that you can’t sell a book when it has been annotated. People just don’t want books that have been written in by the previous owner. The reason I think this is a con is because of my prior mentioned wish to have a personal library in the future. I want this library to hold all the books I love and thoroughly enjoyed reading. I don’t want to waste shelf space on 2-star books. Therefore I need to get rid of the books I didn’t like, preferably by selling them. But like I said, people usually don’t want annotated books. For me, that’s really the only downside to annotating books, but that won’t stop me from doing it. Also, this con doesn’t apply to sticky tabs so using those is safe if you want to give it a shot 😉
Lots of Love,
What are your thoughts on annotating books? Do you do it, are you completely against it, or are you indifferent? I would love to know!
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