Bookish Friends

Why I Don’t Annotate Books

If you’re on booktok or even bookstagram, chances are that you’ve seen those crazy posts of people who annotate books. There are color-coded tabs and page flags all across the pages. People get really intense about it too!

It definitely has its pros and cons, and it’s a different way to read books. However, I am not one to annotate books, and there is a very good reason why.

What does it mean to annotate books?

annotate (v): add notes to (a text or diagram) giving explanation or comment

We often see annotation with nonfiction or more technical books and scholarly writing. Some annotations are as simple as footnotes.

Now, the fad that I’m referring to goes a bit beyond that. In the content that I’ve seen, people annotate quite literally everything. They choose a color for different things, and they’ll annotate a character introduction, new scene location, a new word…the list goes on.

Why don’t I annotate books?

In short, it’s too much freaking work.

You have to pick the colors (and people color coordinate with book covers). You have to keep track of which color refers to what you’re supposed to be marking. There are sooooo many pages that I’ve seen covered in different flags. How are you supposed to enjoy the story when you’re spending all the time marking up your book.

Now, I do have an assortment of transparent page flags, and I do like to color coordinate my flags with the cover of the book I’m reading. However, when it comes to annotation, I keep it very simple:

I only mark passages that are particularly beautiful or meaningful. The passages that I want to be able to go back to immediately if I pick up the book to tell a friend about it.

The Starter Bundle

Now, while I may not be one of those intense book annotators, I am a big fan of keeping a book journal. I even put together a starter bundle for you! Plus, a lot of what’s in the bundle can, in theory, be used to annotate books too.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, so I may receive a small commission from sales generated (at no extra cost to you).