I’m a big fan of annotating books, and I’ve recently been changing up the way I do it, so I thought it would be fun to share how I used to annotate versus what I do now.
In The Past
I used to be, and sometimes still am, a BIG fan of page flags. I would flag everything in my books. I liked to be able to look back on any quotes, major plot points, scenes that I liked, and any potential foreshadowing. In some books, I would even tab whenever certain characters appeared. Like in Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, I tabbed almost every scene with Maven just because I loved his character.
I know many people develop systems for their page flags, where each color represents something different, but I never did. For the most part, I would use the same color/type of page flag for everything in the book. The only time I would switch was if I ran out of the one I was using.
My page flagging eventually progressed to wanting to annotate my books further. So, I began to write in them, but I would only use pencil. I was afraid to ruin the book in any way, so I wanted to be sure I could erase something if I didn’t like it. I was also trying to be very neat in my annotations, so whenever I was underlining a scene, I would use a ruler. So while this method made the books appear to be pristine, it took lots of time.
I still use page flags on occasion, but I mostly use them when reading for school. This way I can easily find anything I might be tested on. I’ll also use them if there’s a quote that I absolutely adore and want to be able to find quickly.
With regards to writing, I’ve almost completely graduated to using a pen. (I’ve used pencil in my Jane Austen books because the editions are really nice and I’m still a little worried about messing up.) I also no longer use a ruler to underline and I’ve found myself actually liking the way it looks. It makes the books seem more personal and alive in a sense, like it’s holding another story inside (and that story is your own).
And that’s how I annotate my books! Do you annotate yours? If so, I’d love to hear what you do, I always love watching videos on people’s annotation systems because I’m always looking for ways to improve mine.