NOTE OF CAUTION: I’m about to really upset some of you in this post but I’m just going to say it, up front, and warn you:
I write in ALL my books.
Yes, all of them. Doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, poetry, non-fiction, a Bible study, or a cook book. I write. Inside. Them. All. And, not only do I write in them, but I also am a huge Post-it user. A “flag advocate” if you will. A fan of the flags.
I’d like to tell you there’s some beautiful, organized system to the way I Post-it my books…but I’d be lying. Usually the “system” is simply whatever I’m feeling when I start a particular book. Maybe it’s color coded and meticulous or maybe it’s me just trying to use up whatever Post-its I have left in the desk drawer.
Pictured in this stack are the books: The Phantom of the Opera, The Raven King, My Antonia, The Bone Witch, and A Crown of Wishes. So, this stack is an adequate depiction of genre reach between the classics and YA. (Meaning: no book is safe in my household.)
Examples of things I mark with Post-it Notes:
- Dialogue I genuinely felt something for. (A quote that made me laugh or a witty-comeback or something a character said which gave me chills.)
- Well written prose. (The kind of lines I could read over and over…and over.)
- “Hunches” – Anytime I think a certain part might be useful in the future or turn out to be important, I’ll mark it for reference. If it feels like foreshadowing, it gets a flag.
- Romantic moments. Because I’m a sucker.
- World-building elements – parts where I feel completely immersed in the author’s world.
There’s plenty of other examples but those are the most common reasons I’ll leave a sticky note on a page. Truthfully, I’m the kind of person who wants her books to look as if they’ve been read a million times; I really truly do like my books to look like they belong in a used-bookstore. If I finish a book and it has a cracked spine, highlighted pages, and old Post-its poking out of the pages, then I’m happy.
What about YOU? Do you annotate your books in any way? If you do, what’s your “system”?
Or – would you rather your books still look new and fresh when you’re done? Did this post give you anxiety? (Ha!) If so, I’m sorry, but let’s agree we’re all very different bookish creatures and that’s what makes the world spin.