How to Annotate a Book: 13 Steps with Pictures

I have a whole box of sticky tabs and notepads so all my books are just as colorful. The only thing I don’t do is underline and write. So far, the biggest thing holding me back is that I borrow a lot of books to my mom and I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise because I’ve written notes in there. I’m torn on writing in my books or not, but sticky notes are a must for me when reading paperbacks.

Sticky notes provide more room for brief notes of your own, including cross-references and keywords. Jot down reflective questions or comments right alongside highlighted text in the outside margin. This is where you’re engaging with specific parts of the page.

But the people I relate to are the ones who have worn down copies of their books with annotations, showing how much they’ve read and loved them. It’s fun to read my past annotations and see how I notice different things as I’ve grown as a person. I especially noticed the difference during my reread of The Poppy War. I picked out different themes as “main” in my two reads and it is interesting to see the difference because it was partly influenced by my life events. I don’t annotate all the paperbacks that I read but I usually can’t hold back if I have comments.

If you’re looking for a good reading app which can also help you annotate your books without ruining them, keep in mind that Basmo offers all the advantages above and then some. Not only will this leave no marks on the book, it also gives you a lot more space than you would have to write on if you were to do it directly on the pages. You can even use different shapes, sizes or colors if you want to take the organization of your thoughts to a new level or if you want to be particularly thorough with your notes. For those of us who love books not only for their content, but also as objects, the annotating methods I presented above come with the huge disadvantage of leaving a mark on the books. While sometimes we can easily deduct from context what their meaning is, we will sometimes need to look them up online or in a physical dictionary.

If you saw my copy ofThe Flatshare – you’d laugh. All my annotations are pretty much just me ranting. This fully depends on how long my “thought” is. If I think it can fit in the margin, I’ll normally just do that so as not to waste paper or rip myself away from the narrative too much. If I don’t feel I have anything to say – then I won’t. It helps you build a deeper connection with the characters, bringing you closer to the book.

Whenever you come across a new word or an uncommon word, quickly circle it, or if circling seems too outrageous for you, then underline it. When I first started annotating, I used to jot down all the words in a plain paper bookmark. But eventually, I stopped doing that as it used to break my reading flow. Now, I mark the new terms and write them in my pocket diary that I have allotted for vocabulary only. Recording the words and their meanings helps me to learn them for future use.

Try to find a happy medium so you’re not overwhelmed when reviewing your annotations later. If you use symbols — stars, arrows, question marks, or underlining — in your note-taking, it’s helpful to create a key. It can be a simple list or chart; just explain what each marking means. For example, a star could mean further research is required while an underline indicates an important point. A key will help you identify and access relevant content. Pick one color and use it throughout the text, or assign specific colors to specific points.

If a passage reminds you of another book, film, or event, take note. If you notice recurring symbols throughout a text, underline or highlight them, even if you’re not quite sure what they mean yet. This will help you to make important connections and identify larger themes as you continue reading.

Dog-earing pages or highlighting or writing words in the margins—those changes don’t ruin a beautiful piece of art. They make a beautiful piece of art more beautiful. ispy jewels reviews I get to leave my mark, even though my handwriting chicken scratch. I dog-ear the bottom of the page for quotes I loved, and I’ll dog-ear the top as a bookmark .

Taking notes on the points within the text will help you define what the material is all about. For example, a full chapter of the text makes a certain point; with other points in other chapters, these points develop the main idea. At the bottom of the page, make sure you summarize the material from the page in easy-to-understand terms. You want to be able to understand your notes and how they all relate to each other later on, so make sure you keep them organized and coherent. Note-taking using annotation is usually a complex exercise meant to delve into the material fully.

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