TSS - Annotations

Goooood Moorrrnnniiinnng SSers!! How's everyone morn doing? I had a HGTV week; we remodeled one of the extra bedrooms. A room that I've deemed as "my room". The final goal is to turn it into a reading room since my books are taking over the house. *Squeal* All of my childhood dreams are coming true. Hahaha.

This week making annotations about what I'm reading has been on the brain. While moving some of my anthologies and college books into the extra bedroom's bookshelves i began to glance through the pages. I was captivated by the notes I made on the sides of pages, highlighted passages, exclamation points, question marks, rhetorical questions, notes from lectures...It was very much a tour of what I thought was important and powerful in my young adulthood years.

I've stopped writing in books since college. And recently I've stopped even underlining and highlighting. It was a thought through decision. And what I took into consideration the most has been my recent use of Bookmooch and PaperBackSwap. I never really know beforehand anymore if the book I'm reading is going to emotionally draw me in deep enough to keep FOREVER. I also know that most people find writing in books to be a huge no-no (as well as highlighting).

To find some sort of balance though (because I love identifying passages) i started using post-it notes. But then I found them to be too bulky. Next I moved to those little flags? You know the ones. Where you can barely write one word on them? Well, outside of my anal tendencies to make sure that they are perfectly straight and all the same length when I close my book, they sorta did the trick. In the very least, they nullified my urge to scribble in the pages.

Until I this week. When I began touring through my college books. Ya'll, I miss writing on the side pages. I truly do. But any time I take a deep breath and say, "Okay, this time I'm going to allow myself to write whatever when I feel compelled to. After all, they are MY books..." I feel guilt. Why do I feel guilty??? Clearly I have issues.

I still haven't decided what I'll do with my next book that I read. Deep breaths and I might make that writing plunge again!

Do you annotate while reading? Do you doggy ear? Flag? Post-it? Type up passages (whew!)

And also, if you haven't participated in my 3-2-1 blogroll, please go here and do so. I'll have a post up shortly sharing what everyone suggested. Great idea Molly!!


  1. I'm absolutely anti-writing/highlighting in books! Both my own and someone else's. It just distracts me while I read, and my own words embarrass me to reread.

  2. I have never written in my books. I tried it once, earlier this summer, and although I didn't hate doing it, I am now embarrassed of what I wrote (like Amanda says). Plus I do not like my margins to be cluttered up with writing. I love it when I find writing in library books, or in books I don't want to keep, but the copies of my books I want to own forever have to be clean.

  3. I'm an on-again off-again annotator. I really don't have much problem writing in books, but now that I'm trying not to keep every single book that passes through my hands, I've been minimizing the writing. Like you, I found that sticky notes are sometimes extremely cumbersome, but I just can't bring myself to have a whole notebook next to me while I read. I'll let you know if I ever find a way to annotate perfectly. :)

  4. I still enjoy writing in my own books, a la Mortimer Adler's essay, How to Mark a Book. BUT....for borrowed books I have learned over the years to adapt the post it note (or sometimes I use an index card which can double as a book mark).

    I'm glad that my post sparked an interest :)

  5. I don't feel guilty as long as they're in pencil, but what I do is mostly mark favourite passages. I do take notes as I read, but mostly in post-its or .txt files.

  6. LOL... the description of how you have to make sure your flags are straight and all the same length cracked me up!! I can relate!

    I don't have it in me to write in books, lol! But it would definitely be interesting to go back and see what I thought at the time. Usually if I have a quote I just have to remember I'll write the page number down somewhere and that's it. On my nook I can use the bookmark feature though!

  7. I hope you post some pictures of your room re-do! :D

    When I was in high school, I read a ton of philosophy books, and I wrote up those in the margins like no one's business. ;) Nowadays, I don't tend to write in books (but then, 95% of the books I read are from the library), but I wouldn't be opposed to little pencil margin notes. lol I can't do the highlighting thing: I find it too distracting w/ the bright colours. And I can't underline, either, because I want my lines to perfectly straight. hehe

  8. I love writing in my books. After I annotated them, I often went back and categorized my annotations into themes and marked them with color flags. That's only for books that weren't purely for escape.

    As a rule though, I don't dog ear. I hate to see my poor corners ratty and falling off. :(

  9. I, too, miss the days of wanton writing in my college books. Sometimes, now, I go through them and wonder at how brilliant I was then. But, I also pause at writing in my books now. I can't dog-ear for the same "books are sacred" reason, so I often just don't mark anything at all.

    I like the little tabs, but I have the same compulsion as you with respect to their exact location. Recently, I've tried sticking a 3x5 card in the book, as a bookmark/note keeper. It works okay, except when I don't have a writing utensil nearby!

  10. Amanda - I'm sure I would be embarrassed with some of the things I wrote. Still I like to use that as a measurement of growth.

    Jenny - I enjoy reading other's annotations as well. Er, providing they're not messy!

    Trisha - Keep a look out! I want a perfect way. It is my mission. :P

    Molly - I haven't read that essay but will be now! You should show pictures of your annotations! I'm such a nerd.

    Ana - Good point. I'll have to try pencil. But it'll have to stay pointed. I'm very particular, lol.

    Jenny - nice to have little quirks, huh?

    Eva - will do! And highlighting has never bothered me as long as the color was yellow. Once again, me and my particulars!

    Becky - I want pictures! And yeah, I'm anti-dog earing as well.

    Jessica - Haha! I thought I was brilliant in college. I like the index card idea!


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