To Annotate or Not to Annotate?

Happy Blogiversary to me.

I should start off by saying that today, Cindy’s Love of Books is officially 13 years old today.

I honestly can’t believe it’s been that long. So many fantastic things have happened during that time, meeting bookish friends near and far (IRL and online), attending 4 Book Expo conventions in NYC, working with authors, publishing house/reps, reading so many fantastic books ( I am sure I have read well over 1500 books within that time), taking my blog from a free platform to self-hosting, and so much more.

Anyways, on to today’s post.

Do you or do you not annotate your books? Please let me know in the comments down below.

To be honest, up until last year I have never ever annotated any of my books. The thought of doing that freaked me out because I take care of books and if you look on my shelf you would think some of them were never read because of the condition they are in.

Then things changed as I was reading this year. I started to use post-it tabs on the page to indicate my favorite quote or scene. I was content with that process and not every single book I read gets tabbed. It was only ones I was truly loving. As you can see in the photo below, I am sharing just a few ways I have tabbed a book. Those tabs indicate favorite quotes, scenes in a book, one book is actually a book club read and the chapters we read each week are tabbed and the heavily tabbed book is a bullet journal guide that I have used in the past to try different things in my bullet journal. BTW this is just a few of the annotated books I have.

Every person who annotates their books uses different tools. Here is what I use currently that works for me:

    • A Highlighter: My personal favorite is the Zebra Mildliner. As you can see in the photo I have every single one that is currently available (one is missing from the photo as I was currently using it). When selecting which one I will use I tend to pick one that will match a color on the book. Then I will highlight quotes with it. Right now I tend to just use one highlighter per book until I feel comfortable using more for different things.
    • Pens/Pencil: For underlining, writing notes in the margins, or drawing I will use Papermate Ink Joy gel pens with a 0.7 nib that also matches a color on the book cover. I have been using these pens since they came out and I love how they write.
    • Post-it tabs/page flags: I love using these to mark a favorite passage in a book or something I want a quick reference to. I have been using this method for a little over a year now with book club reads, especially if we have broken the book down into x amount of chapters to read each week. It’s a great way to keep track of the chapters I need to read.

If you annotate your books what are your go-to supplies?

I have always thought about writing in my books but that thought really freaked me out. That was something I couldn’t jump into until really recently and I will explain how I made the jump to doing that. You might be familiar with Canadian author S.K. Ali. She is the author of Saints and Misfits, Love From A to Z, and her newest release Misfits In Love. She decided to put together a traveling arc tour for Misfits in Love and wanted everyone who read the book to annotate it. I was excited and instantly jumped on board. How fun would it be to read everyone’s thoughts or comments? Or to even add my own thoughts and comments to a book?

I was surprised at how easy it was to write my thoughts, comments, or opinions in the margins. As you can see in the photo above,  I shared some of the ways that I annotated Misfits in Love.

Not sure if it was because someone gave me permission to do it or what but I think it has encouraged me to actually start doing that to my own books.

Since I am back posting this post I should let you know since writing this post up I have actually annotated a book. This is my very first personal book annotation.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Hello (from here) by Chandler Baker & Wesley King and figured this was the best time to practice annotating.

I wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it and it turned out that I basically ended up having a conversation with the book, I circled character names and how they were related to the character, places and made all kinds of comments all over the pages, underlined words/sentences and highlighted favorite quotes. I am quite pleased with how my first book turned out. I definitely will keep doing this moving forward.

Just remember there is no right or wrong way to annotate your books. What works for one person might not work for the next. Do what makes you feel comfortable and what appeals to you. Remember they are your books.