Annotating your books // Let’s discuss

Annotating your books is a bit of a controversial thing. Some people are completely against it and others will defend it with everything they’ve got. Personally, I’ve been on both sides of the discussion.

I used to always keep my books as pristine as possible. I never wrote in them. I never left them open. I never dog-eared a page. I never put tabs in them. I tried not to crack the spine. I even went as far as finding bookmarks for my brother and sticking them in his book so it wouldn’t just lie open.

That has changed a bit. A few months ago I started to tab my books. I didn’t do it for my reviews. I did it so I could find the passages that made me laugh, that made me smile like an idiot, that made me cry, … In short I tabbed everything that meant something to me.


Then I saw this video by Ariel Bisset on BookTube. She talks about why she annotates her books and she inspired something in me. She makes a point by saying that you can find pristine books everywhere in bookshops, but if you annotate your book it’s unique. She loves to fill her personal library with her thoughts. I really liked that so a few days ago I finally did it. I picked up a pencil and started Juliet takes a breath by Gabby Riviera. (BTW, It’s an amazing book. Go read it!) It felt really good to mark what I found important.

What I do want to add is that I only do this to my own books. Not to library books. Not to books I lend from friends. I think that’s very important.

What do you think? Do you keep your books pristine? Do you tab them? Do you annotate them? Tell me!

So that’s my story when it comes to annotating your books. I still don’t dog-ear my pages though. I hope you enjoyed this post. See you next time!


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20 thoughts on “Annotating your books // Let’s discuss

  1. I don’t normally annotate my books, just because when I pause to do that then it takes away from my reading experience. But I completely understand why people annotate books, and I don’t think that it is a bad thing. I think that if people want to mark up their own book, then they should be able to do that without falling under criticism from others.

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  2. I used to mark up my books like nobody’s business, but recently I’ve been putting everything in a journal–my thoughts, my favorite quotes, etc. I like annotating books, but I’d rather have everything put together in one easily accessible place. I definitely don’t keep my own books in pristine condition, though!

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  3. Ariel’s videos always inspire me too haha, I love the idea of annotating but when it comes down to it, I barely ever do it… I don’t know why??? I do annotate physical ARCs (as in: use tabs) and other physical books I want to review, but all the other books I never annotate. I really want to though… I do also like the idea of dog-earing pages I loved but somehow I don’t. (I’m weird)

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    • They’re quite inspiring indeed!😂

      It’s kind of an on and off thing for me too. For some books I just don’t find it necessary to do it and half the books I read are from the library anyways. Still, when I do it, I love it.


  4. I do the same as you; I annotate with sticky notes to remember scenes that made me laugh, smile, cry, etc. I like to do this because I forget books rather quickly, so with annotations I can quickly refresh my memory and live inside these memorable scenes. But it would pain me to write in my book — I feel like I’m tainting the story in a way, and also my handwriting is just so ugly I don’t want it around my books, lol!

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  5. For reviews, I definitely want to tab some parts in a book! I read a lot of books on my Kindle so I can add notes easily. Most books I get are from my library so I could add temporary tabs but not write in them. I think it would be really brave to write i your own copy?

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    • That’s indeed very helpful for reviews! I hadn’t thought about e-books, but indeed, they’re easy to annotate! It’s good that you don’t write in library books! I don’t either. I suppose it’s brave🙂 Putting the pencil/pen down on paper for the first time is definitely a bit scary.


  6. I don’t normally annotate my physical books, but I do occasionally highlight or make a note in my ebooks. I may start with tabs though, because I’m always struggling to find specific quotes/phrases that I loved!

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  7. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care about her coursebooks. Infact you could find scribblings all over my coursebooks and stuff. But my novels are something I can’t bear that on. I don’t tab them, but I keep my quotes journal near, so whenever I find a good quote or smth I immediately write that down. (I’m a major diary person, I have a diary for EVERYTHING.) If I want to do a review, I usually put the points in the notepad of my phone.

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  8. Pingback: August Wrap Up // The month that was very relaxing | Brilliantly bookish

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