Let’s Talk Bookish: To Annotate or Not to Annotate

Hello, and happy Friday! I’ve had a really busy week, and I’m so glad it’s the weekend! I’m going to hopefully have lots of time for reading and writing, and to relax. I’m very excited for this week’s LTB topic though, and I’ve got lots to say on it. Anyways, I’m going to just get right into this week’s post, which is all about annotating books!

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly bookish meme created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and is hosted by me! Each Friday, there is a discussion topic for bloggers to write about, and this week’s topic is to annotate or not to annotate books.

Do you like annotating books? 

Sometimes. A lot of my reading time is squeezed between other tasks and things that I have to get done for school or dance or anything, and I’ve found that annotating books takes an extra bit of time and materials that I don’t always have. I think that it can be fun to annotate books though.

It’s also really useful if I’m planning to review a book. Then, when I’m writing a review, I can go back and look at quotes I saved, or at interesting plot points that I want to remember.

If so, how do you annotate them?

I don’t have a specific system for annotating books, and I really just do whatever I feel like doing in the moment. I’ve only every really annotating two physical books. One was to give for a friend for her birthday, and for that I just wrote little notes in the margins, and underlined quotes I liked. I had a lot of fun with that, but it did take a while. The other time was this summer, and I used little tabs to mark certain pages. I had tabs for funny parts, sad parts, and more that I can’t fully remember. I had fun with that, but again, it did take a while.

I do annotate most of the ebooks I read though, because on my kindle it’s easy to highlight sections and to add notes. I really like doing that because it’s a fast way to write down my thoughts. Its especially fun when I go back and reread those ebooks too, because I can see all of my previous notes!

Is there a difference for you between ebooks, physical books, and audiobooks?

I talked about the difference in how I annotate for ebooks and physical books before, and there really is a big difference. When I’m reading ebooks, on my kindle or on my phone, it’s really easy to highlight sections, or to type out quick notes. It doesn’t take any extra materials, and only takes a little bit more time. And sometimes, if I have a lot to say about a book I’m reading, I can end up with a huge number of notes. My kindle counts them, and when I read Our Violent Ends, I had over 200 notes by the time I finished. That also made it a lot easier when I wrote my review, because I already had a lot of thoughts on it.

When I annotate physical books, it’s very different because it takes other materials, like a pen, or little sticky tabs to mark pages. This just feels really different than annotating ebooks to me, and it can take more time & attention away from reading.

With audiobooks, I can usually bookmark different clips, then add notes about them. That is a fun way for me to sometimes get my thoughts about the book out, but it’s not as satisfying because I can’t go back and read the quotes, instead I have to listen to them which can take more time.

If you’ve ever had to annotate books in school, does this affect your willingness to annotate the books you read for fun?

I don’t think that it has. When I’ve had to annotate books for school, its usually a lot more structured, and also feels a lot like a chore. I have to write in a certain way, have to write much more specific things, and stuff like that. If anything, annotating books in school in such a boring way makes me more excited to annotate books on my own, since it’s a fun and interesting way to read.

What are some downsides to annotating books in your opinion?

I think that one of the biggest downsides to annotating books for me is that annotating books can take a lot of time. This is especially noticeable for me with physical books, where I’d need physical materials to annotate, and that can take time away from reading. This isn’t a downside for ebooks though, because when I’m just highlighting books on an ebook, then it doesn’t take that much extra time.

Wrapping this up…

I think that annotating books can be a really cool way to add to the experience of reading a book, and everyone has different ways of doing it. It’s also very different for different reading formats; ebooks, audiobooks, and physical books all feel completely different to annotate!

I can’t wait to see all of your thoughts on this week’s topic, so if you have a blog post, don’t forget to add it to the link-up below!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Do you like annotating books? If so, how do you annotate them? What are some downsides to annotating books in your opinion? Chat with me in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: To Annotate or Not to Annotate

  1. I love both the topic and your answers. I’ve only started annotating books since I moved to reading on a kindle. Like you said, you don’t need anything else to make notes etc so it’s very quick and easy to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. that’s interesting! i have a lot of really random thoughts while reading, and i find it can be fun to jot them down, but that does sometimes have it’s cons, like if it takes time away from reading!


  2. I always wanted to be someone who annotates, but I can’t seem to do it! I tried for awhile, and it felt like it wasn’t adding anything to my experience. And, when I went back, I’d think, “Well, that’s obvious. Why did I bother writing that note down? Just to have a note?” I have this dream of writing interesting notes and other people borrowing my books and adding their notes, and then we have a shared reading experience. But…I think it’s going to remain just a dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone has different opinions and reactions to annotating books, and I totally get that feeling of “why do I even have this note? what am i using this for?” thanks for commenting 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t ever annotated a book apart from books that I have had to study. I like my books to stay as a good condition as possible and writing in them would go against that in my opinion. However, I have wondered if I ought to take notes on books that I have for review. These are always ebooks and so I could do it fairly easily. I think I’m still more likely to write a note separately rather than actually on the book though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found that taking notes on books that I’m going to review really helps with making my reviews as detailed as possible later on. Most of the books I review and take notes on are ebooks, and I like having those notes for my reviews!! I also totally get not wanting to write directly on books. Thanks for commenting 💕✨

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! I agree that it’s much easier to annotate on my Kindle and I usually end up having lots more notes and highlights on there than I do when I’m reading physical books. But I also just really love to annotate (mostly using tabs and underlining favourite quotes/passages) my physical books. I love looking at all the tabs after I finish a read because there’s just something so satisfying about it? 🤣 I also love how quick and easy it is to find what I’m looking for (i.e. if I’m looking for quotes or elements that stood out to me, I just find the corresponding tab colour. Thanks for the great topic suggestion this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! Kindle does make it so easy and quick to annotate books! And that makes sense that it also makes it easier to find things in physical books too. I’m glad you liked the topic 🥰


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