How I Annotate My Books

Hello bookish friends and family! Today I want to talk about how I annotate my books and why I started doing it. I know a lot of people do not like to annotate because it reminds them of being forced to do it in school. Honestly I didn’t have to do this in school so maybe this is why I have actually enjoyed the process but I can see why some people wouldn’t want to do this.

Do you annotate your books? Why or why not?

Also just a heads up, I will be using direct quotes and examples from books I have previously read. If you are worried about reading a possible spoiler please just beware.

Why I Started To Annotate

I actually only started annotating a few months ago back in June when I started to read “Pet Semetary’ by Stephen King. I read this for a book club and I wanted to make sure that I had a reference to come back to for our discussion at the end.

I started off with little sticky notes which I really liked because I could write my thoughts on each thing I marked so I knew better as to why I marked it when I came back.

Now I was these highlighter ones that are see through so I can mark the exact spot in the book without covering any of the words. I just wish I could write on them to be honest.

I probably excessively mark my books compared to most people, as you can see the middle book is covered in markings! Sometimes I mark a lot because a book was a bit confusing so I marked to come back and remind myself of certain important things, sometimes the book has a lot of really good quotes or other times the author put a lot of emotion into the book. I don’t think I mark excessively though, I just mark what feels right to me.

How I Mark

Each color represents a different feeling or important aspect in the book

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Red: These are typically things that make me angry or upset while reading

Example:” “Don’t Stutter!” Jack suddenly screamed into his face. Danny cried out in shock, his body going tense, trying to draw away from his father, and then he collapsed into tears.” – Direct quote from “The Shining” by Stephen King Page 181. This made me very upset! there was no need to yell at the poor boy!

Light Pink: These are typically things that represent love as in relationship, family or even friendship. However in the shinning I used this color for anything that was scary.

Example: “Thank you, I guess. You didn’t have to help me, but you did. August huffs out a laugh. “I just did it because I thought you were hot.” ” -Direct Quote from “One Last Stop” by Casey Mcquiston page 354. This made me feel the love and connection between the two characters and I thought it was really sweet and so it deserved to be marked.

Example: “And suddenly he found that he didn’t like the Overlook so well anymore, as if it wasn’t wasps that had stung his son, wasps that had miraculously lived through the bug bomb assault, but the hotel itself.” Direct quote from “The Shining” by Stephen King page 198. I felt like this was the turning point in the book where things started to actually get scary.

Orange: This color is for anything that makes me happy or can make me smile.

Example: “With that the guy was gone. And Olive never got his name. But a few weeks later, When the Stanford biology department extended her an offer, she accepted it. Without hesitating.” Direct quote from “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood page 8. Only 8 pages in and I am already so happy for Olive!

Yellow: I use this color for anything that makes me laugh or is just generally funny.

Example: “I… Oh my God, I didn’t- I am so sorry-” “Just Kidding.” “I really had no idea that you-” “Olive. I was Joking. I’m not married. No Kids.” Direct quotes from “The Love Hypothesis” by Ali Hazelwood page 44.

This was funny because Olive truly thought she kissed a married man and thought that she made people believe he was having an affair, when really he just made a quick joke. I find it funny because of how awkward that situation would have been!

Lime Green: I use this one for all my favorite quotes.

Example: “But to kiss and be kissed. To be wanted. That’s a different thing from love. And maybe, maybe if she tried, they could have something. Not everything, but something” Direct quote from “One Last Stop” by Casey Mcquiston page 210. I love this quote because it stands true in every day life.

Blue: This color is reserved for anything that makes me cry, sad or just feel down.

Example: “And Gage, who now had less than two months to live, laughed shrilly and joyously. “Kite Flyne! Kite flyne, Daddy!” ” Direct quote from “Pet Semetary” by Stephen King page 209. This is sad because it was foreshadowing for the first time when Gage was going to pass away, but yet he was a happy little boy.

Dark Purple: These are things that I can personally relate too or at least feel relatable.

Example: “All I listen to are podcasts about murder. I don’t know who half these people are.” Direct quote from “One Last Stop” by Casey Mcquiston page 49. I find this quote relateable because I only listen to true crime podcasts and have no clue who any famous people are or even what songs are popular these days, but I can sure tell you all about the latest murder victims.

Hot Pink: These tabs are for all my steamy reading moments!

Example: “Just like she didn’t didn’t need to turn to know that the large, warm weight suddenly steadying her, a firm but barely there pressure applied to the center of her lower back, was Carlsen’s hand. About two inches above her ass.” Direct quote from “The Love Hypothesis’ by Ali Hazelwood page 27. This is not the most steamy sentence I could have put, but to keep this blog appropriate I decided on this one. I think you will understand though.

Light Purple: I use this color for all of my important markings. Things that seem important to remember for the books plot.

Example: “Although he had gotten only the barest glimpse over the top of the deadfall before the shifting sensation had made him nervous, he could have sworn there was a path beyond, leading deeper into the woods.” Direct quote from “Pet Semetary” by Stephen King page 86. This was marked as possible foreshadowing.

Dark Green: This is used as my extra color. Just in case I have something pop up that isn’t covered by any of the others this one will be used.


Even though I recently started to annotate my books I have seen a huge improvement in not only my reading comprehension but also in my reviews. I feel like my book reviews have gotten a lot better in the past few months because I can go back and see what I marked and How I felt while I read the book.

I think I will continue to annotate my books for the foreseeable future. I find it very helpful for when I do buddy reads and to be honest I love the colors. I also really love playing with the tabs while I read. I may have way too many tabs for some people but I think that is what makes annotating so beautiful, you can make it all your own!

What do you think of my annotations? Any tips and advise?