HOW I ANNOTATE MY BOOKS
Today, I decided to write a post about something I started a few months ago. Which has helped my reading a lot. I’m an active reader in general, I would only underline or highlight a few things that made impact on me whilst reading. I would only write my thoughts on notepads and journals, but the problem is I used to forget where I written something. Thus, it becomes a hustle to actually find something I want.
I used to be afraid for writing my thoughts on my books, but after I watched a YouTube video about annotating (check it here) I was inspired. In this video, a reference is made “How to mark a book by Mortimer J Adler” (can find here). This 3 page article actually discusses the importance of writing on books. Please check it out, its pretty good and short as well lol. This paper points out these few reasons, why you should mark your book:
- It keeps you awake (reading should be more than passing time but must be active).
- If reading is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written.
- Writing helps you remember the thoughts you had, or thoughts the author expressed. The physical act of writing, with your own hand, brings words and sentences more sharply before your mind and preserves them better in your memory.
For full details, please check out the link to the article. But the act of writing ar marking your books with your thought is annotating. I’ve been trying this method for a while now and it works perfectly for me, making it easier for me to remember what I felt exactly when I read that part of the book. This has also made my reviewing process easier.
Below are the tools I used when I read.
I usually highlight or underline funny parts of the book and quotes that I might need someday. If it’s a long paragraph I usually use a curly bracket as shown below and if its relatively short, I highlight instead (but both are the same to me).
I also add comments to and it’s a way of interacting with what the author is saying and the characters as well.
I also use sticky notes (as shown below) especially when I am writing something long and I don’t have enough space on the page. Usually, these are points I use when I write my reviews. I tend to write my thoughts at that moment before I forget them.
The last thing I use are tabs. The ones I use have 5 colors and you can color code the tabs which makes it easier for you (I try to do this at times but usually I fail and just use any color I want lol but it works for me). So, if I do stick to color coding this is what the colors mean to me:
- Yellow: When something important happens, usually plot twists or something important in the story.
- Green: I use this for any character development in a story
- Blue: this is for funny bits
- Orange: is for quotes
- Pink: Surprise, surprise!! pink is for romance lol. Does not only includes romantic relationships, but anything heart-warming enough i.e. might be a mother-daughter relationship etc.
This is how I do it and it works for me. Tabbing makes it easier for me to find something I want and I don’t need to re-read the entire book just to get one part. I find it extremely helpful.
I thought I would share this, in case someone wants to try it out. You don’t need to follow my method but you can start slowly maybe by using sticky notes and a pencil, if you don’t want to mark your book permanently. Later you can erase it, entirely up to you.
I genuinely hope that, this post has been somewhat helpful. Please leave a comment below if you annotate your books and how you do it.