How I Annotate Books

I recently started annotating thanks to the Insta Girlies. Through my deep dive into book annotations, I’ve noticed that everyone does it differently. Some people take it super seriously, and others like myself are a bit laxer. Even though I don’t have a color-coded index, there is a method to my madness. I swear.

Before I discuss how I annotate, I want to tell you why I started. Annotating takes time, and as an ordinarily fast reader, it does slow me down, but I’ve also found a new type of love for reading. By annotating, I connect with the story more. It allows me to think a little longer, and I’ve found myself more opinionated on events that would have slipped my mind.

Underling, Highlighting, & Tabbing

As you know, I mostly read fantasy and romance novels; because of this, I don’t tend to annotate plot points or foreshadowing. This will sound a bit silly, but I annotate what speaks to me. Whether it’s the banter between characters or inner dialogue. I do this by underlining said phrase in pen. Underling is always my first step.

As you know, I mostly read fantasy and romance novels; because of this, I don’t tend to annotate plot points or foreshadowing. This will sound a bit silly, but I annotate what speaks to me. Whether it’s the banter between characters or inner dialogue. I do this by underlining said phrase in pen. Underling is always my first step.

My second step is to highlight. I don’t highlight everything I underline. I mainly highlight conversations, but on rare occasions, I have highlighted a big emotional turning point. An example would be a confession or a character’s resolve. Something that stands out and that I know will impact how I feel about the story later.

Lastly, I tab the page so I can find it again later.

Color coding

I usually pick four colors. One for the female lead, One for the male lead, one for banter, and lastly, one for romantic/spicy moments. The male and female lead colors are always the same or similar to the colors on the book cover. Banter is always a bright color like orange or yellow, and romance is always a pinkish color.

The tabs I use follow the same as my pens and highlighters. On the occasion that I use more than one color on a page, I pick a tab color based on whichever color is used most.

Annotating is all about you. It’s about highlighting what you love in a novel. It tells the story through your eyes. Your annotations probably won’t look the same as anyone else’s. Unless you want them to, of course.


Authors Note: This will be the only post this week. I’ve hit a reading slump and have already DNF two books. I’ve been pushing my way through some manga, though, so you’ll have an update on that soon.

Until the next page,