I sometimes tutor English, and a couple of weeks ago, I was trying to find a fun way for a couple of girls to get more out of their reading assignment.
I used to have to read quite a lot when I was in college, but I don’t remember ever having any trouble getting everything I needed out of it. I’ve always been able to totally immerse myself in what I’m reading.
I didn’t know how to help them.
So, I went searching through the internet for other people having this same problem, and I stumbled upon a video of a girl explaining her method for annotating her textbooks (and, as it always happens to me, I can’t find it again to share the link with you). It was simple color-coding highlighter thing. There isn’t really much to it, but it was a great idea. Of course, this video led me down an endless rabbit hole (as most things on the internet usually do) of people highlighting their books. All sort of books.
Even novels! There they are, people who deface books for fun. Scandalous!
It made me think. It never really occurred to me that highlighting my books was even an option. But I’ve actually been doing it for a while… on my eBooks.
It all started with trying to keep track of my favorite parts to share with you, but then I added a new color for words I’m not familiar with. Like a record of the new word I just learned.
Then, a couple of weeks ago while reading Packing for Mars, I added another color to help myself with a couple of references I wasn’t familiar with.
And now, without realizing it, I have created my own complicated annotating method. I annotate my books too! How crazy is that!!
I think I would love to try this with my paper books. Maybe I will start with simply a pencil. I remember when I was in college, and one of the best things about using library books was the tiny unexpected notes I would find on the edges of the pages. I imagine it would be even better if the person whose impressions you re trying to decipher is yourself.
How about you?
Do you scribble in your books? or fill them up with post-it notes?
Fill me in on your method, or your reasons to keep your books pristine.