Writing in books, we’ve all heard of it, some of us had done it, some of us have watched others do it while we stare at them in overwhelming disbelief, and some of us have simply denied the fact that this can even be a thing.
I use to be one of the latter. I hated to write in books! How could someone destroy the purity of a book with pen ink, highlighters, and dog earred pages (something that I also considered to be straight up blasphemous)?? Not only was I worried about damaging the quality of the book but also I figured I would regret what I write, my handwriting would look absolutely sloppy, and if I ever wanted to give the book to someone else to read it would be tainted with my private thoughts and confessions that I decided to share during my most intimate moments I endured while reading the book.
I took a college level English course when I was about 19 years old (about six years ago, yes I’m still considered young I guess lol). During this class my professor used to assign reading to be done before the next class but in order to get credit for doing the reading we HAD to annotate the book to prove we were actually reading and applying what we were learning to the reading. Yes I know what you’re probably thinking: The absolute nerve of a teacher to force us into writing in a book for a grade! Okay, maybe not. But it’s definitely what I’m thinking. How could this man force me to defile the pages of my book (disregard the fact that it was a book that I would have read for pleasure, but still it was MY book)? Although I was pretty skeptical about the idea initially I did realize one thing: I was actually getting a better understanding of the material I was reading as I continue to bond with my book in a way I had never done before. Before long I had switched over the…
THE DARK SIDE!
Which brings me to the present. Yes, I do still write in some of my books when I am really trying to get a better understanding of what I’m reading and make those connections in my life. But honestly I do draw the line at a certain point. I cannot annotate fiction books. I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work out for me. With non-fiction books, especially self improvement, I am constantly scribbling in the margins of the books, highlighting the things I think are important, and throwing a page flag on all the pages I want to be able to quickly reference long after I’ve put the book down. With fiction it’s different. I’m all about systems and so I tried developing a system to help me be more comfortable with annotating fiction but even still it just hasnt worked out for me. I have decided that I want to start a youtube channel where I will share some of my book reviews through video and I figured having the books annotated would have been the best way to prep for this. But I just haven’t been able to do it. I mean I have hope that I will be able to some day, and as soon as I do I’ll be sure to share that system. But for now, I’m just not ready.
If you’ve already developed a system for writing in books please share down below in the comments. I look forward to hearing about your own experience with writing in books as well.