Hello booklovers! It is already full of summer weather here in the Netherlands, Time to go outside to read again! I lean back, take out the book I have decided to read and grab a pen. Wait, what? Grab a pen..? That’s not normal. And that was the first time I realized that it’s not normal for me. It’s something I do now, it’s new, but in terms of my entire life long reading experience, picking up a pen before I start reading is not normal.
In this blogpost, I’m going to talk about how I read a book for a review. So, specifically- I’m talking about annotating books! You may have already seen it on some pictures on my Instagram, so I just thought to explain what all those mysterious tabs mean!
Before I started taking notes while reading, writing a review consisted mainly of rereading the (already finished) book. So I read parts of the book a number of unnecessary times, to write a review. Once I plunged deeper and deeper into the bookstagram world, I came across bookstagrammers who put these strange papers through their entire book. In addition, they also wrote and marked their book. “OMG monster!! Satan!!!! I bet you dog-ear your pages, too!!!” Now that I have annotated few books too, I take my words back … Sorry annotators! 🙁
Then I changed my mind about annotating! I started writing, marking and pasting in my books. For this, I, of course, watched a lot of booktubers and bloggers who explained their method for booktabbing. I became more and more enthusiastic about ‘reading between the lines’ and digging deep into the book! I was completely convinced when I ran into the following essay by Mortimer J. Adler. Down below you can read a small part of the essay, so if you are not completely ready to write in your book, reading this essay is really worth the read to convince you!
There are three kinds of book owners. The first has all the standard sets and best-sellers—unread, untouched. (This deluded individual owns wood-pulp and ink, not books.) The second has a great many books—a few of them read through, most of them dipped into, but all of them as clean and shiny as the day they were bought. (This person would probably like to make books his own, but is restrained by a false respect for their physical appearance.) The third has a few books or many—every one of them dog-eared and dilapidated, shaken and loosened by continual use, marked and scribbled in from front to back. (This man owns books.)
How to Mark a Book by Mortimer J. Adler
Last but not least I want to explain what and how I annotate! Before I start reading there are always a few things I grab beforehand:
The most important thing about reading a book is the sticky notes! Everything in my books is colour coded, so I myself would not use many different colours, otherwise, it would be a big mess to remember all the colours! That is why I use about three to four colours at the moment.
If you see a pink tab in my book, it means that something happens to one of the main characters in the book. I call that a character development. Either individual development (for example a character changes their behaviour because their opinion changed) or development between characters, be it friendly or romantic.
If you come across an orange tab, it means something happens to the plot of the book. If it surprises me, or if it has a big influence on the plot, I’ll put a tab by the passage.
For parts that I absolutely adore I use a blue marker! A nice quote or a funny phrase, for me, this scene will either have made me smile (a loy), laugh or cry from the feelings I got while reading this part in the book.
Finally, every 5 chapters (depending on how long a chapter is) I post a post-it with my thoughts on the book. Later I can look back and retype it in my review
Now, I am going to pick my newest current read (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe), grab my pen and sticky notes, and get writing…
My name is Julia and I am a freshman journalism student at the University of Utrecht. On this blog, you can read about everything in my life, mainly about my reading and studying adventures. Have fun!
The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”