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How I Annotate Books

Here's a guide to reading a fantasy.

*My Own Images*

Today I thought I would chat to you about how I annotate my books! This is a popular post from my (old?) blog. As you may know, reading is one of my main hobbies, and I do annotate certain books A LOT...

I thought the best book/ series to demonstrate this would be A Song Of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, because I heavily annotate this series, more so than any other.

**Please be aware that there may be some small spoilers here and there if you look carefully enough. I am showing some notes, but I've tried to blur the photos slightly**

I tried filming a video on this subject for YouTube, but I was never happy with how it turned out... I might try and film another video in the future, but for now I will share my process and tips here on my blog.

How I Annotate

The main way that I annotate my books is by tabbing. I have tried various brands and my current favourite tabs are by Wilko. They stick really well but don’t leave colour or residue on the pages, which is something I always look for in tabs. They also come in a wide range of colours. I also recommend the Tiger tabs, but these are not as sticky and are more hit-or-miss in quality.

I used to tag by colour coding, but this is something I don’t tend to do as much anymore. The main reason for this is the fact that I use so many tabs, and it would cost a small fortune to have to keep buying packs of tabs every time I ran out of one colour.

Colour Coding

If you do want to colour code you tabs, I would recommend choosing different colours for categories such as:

  • Character development
  • Plot development
  • Writing style
  • Hidden meanings/ messages

For the books in A Song Of Ice and Fire I tend to also tab things I want to write notes on to do with comparisons to the TV show, but this is obviously not always applicable to the book you may be reading.

Colour coding can be really useful, especially if you do not plan to take notes on the book after you have read it. This way, if you are writing a review, you can flip to the specific colours when you are writing about certain aspects of the book.

Post It Notes

I don’t like to write in my books, so I use post it notes. If you don’t mind writing in your books, go ahead and do so, but if you’re like me, post it notes will be your friend in this.

Again, you can colour code your post it notes, although as I said earlier, I usually don’t bother. Using the post it notes, you can jot down any quotes or important information from any specific page.

Writing Notes

This is one of my favourite parts of annotating books. I have a small notebook that I use specifically to write notes on the Song Of Ice and Fire books. What I will do, is go through the book and write down the important information I have tabbed. I will write down:

  • The page number
  • Any important quotes
  • Any important plot points
  • Any important character development points

I will then highlight these, using a similar colour code system (characterisation, plot points etc.)

I hope these tips helped, and you enjoyed reading my process of annotating and note taking! Feel free to let me know in the comments how you annotate your books!


*My Own Images*

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