Annotating Books

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about my opinions about annotating and writing in books. Typically annotating a book causes bookworms to gasp and feel like someone had hit them or destroyed something they love. I want to talk about it a little bit, though, just to discuss my thoughts about it and what I think.

I’m going to spoil you right now, I annotate my books. I’m going to talk later about how exactly I do this, but I’m going to spoil you right now.

I see why people don’t want to, and honestly I take all of my pictures of my books before I even start reading them most of the time. I would like to change that process in the future, but for now I like the way that I take my pictures and interact with them.

Not annotating your books keeps them in perfect condition, and if the book is your absolute favorite book that’s signed by the author I totally get it and don’t suggest writing in the book. I have a few books like this and I wouldn’t take those books out of the house for anything, because let’s face it those books are my favorite things in the world.

On the other hand, when I first read a book I don’t know that it’s my favorite. Let’s take a recent read for an example. I recently read Scythe by Neal Shusterman and I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the squeal to be released in the near future. I decided to annotate this book just because I liked the cover and I had a feeling that this book would bring up great ideas and thoughts. I didn’t know that the book would become my favorite, but now it is and I’m happy that I actually have highlighted my favorite parts and quotes. I like the fact that I can go back and see what I wrote in the margins when I was first reading it. Especially when I got to a few huge plot twists and I as able to go back to see what I was thinking before then.

I was actually reading through my notes after I finished it and it really helped me put together the story as a whole and suddenly something small made so much sense all of a sudden.

I also recently gave a book that I had annotated to a friend and they said that once they got into the book they thought it was amusing to see my thoughts and what I was thinking at any point in the book.

The main reason I choose to annotate my books is because I keep looking at one of my most loved books, A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Brey, it is my most loved book. The binding is beat up, the cover is ripped, and the pages are dog eared where I absolutely loved the page or something important happened. To me seeing this makes me happy because things aren’t always meant to stay perfect. They’re meant to be bent, used, and wear down. That’s what I love about books because the more beat up a book is the more it’s read, the more the story is heard, and the more those characters have found their way into your heart.

I feel like this post is a little messy and unorganized, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on the topic with you.

What side are you on with this discussion? Let me know in the comments below!

~Amanda Ann