I watched a video by Ariel Bissett about two months ago where she talked about the annotation of books and it completely changed my perspective of the matter. Before I watched the video, this GIF below pretty much summed up how I felt about writing in books:
I could not fathom for the life of me why someone would purchase something as beautiful as a new book just to destroy it with a bunch of scribbles and highlighting? To me, the idea of a perfect book collection was one that was untouched, one that was pristine in every way possible and Ariel's video opened my eyes to how flawed my way of thinking was. My book collection before (and most of it still) was impersonal, just a bunch of mint condition books that said nothing of the person who owned them. My books had no staple of me, not even an inkling of my personality and it bothered me.
After watching that video, I sat down and I thought and I thought and I thought some more about books and bookish things. After a whole lot of thinking, I hastily dove for the book I was reading (at the time, it was Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo) and I just started writing. In. The. Book. With. Pen. And I can't even describe what I felt. It felt good, really good like I was Atlas, the titan and the mythological load of the Heavens had been lifted off my shoulders. I realized that I had become so consumed with the image of my books, their protection from everyone including myself that the process of reading started to lose it luster.
Visual depiction of my feelings towards annotation now:
Then, I started to see other things past how good annotating feels. It also saves me time when I review books and it reduces the amount of books I need to re-read. When I finish a book and it's time for me to share my thoughts on it, I have but to look over the annotations that I made to be taken back to the emotional place I was in when I read it initially and for some reason, it makes it easier. Words flow more fluidly and a review that would have taken me two hours to come up with, takes 30 minutes.
I am quite forgetful when it comes to books, especially fast-paced books. I forget a lot of details during the time taken for me to pick up a book's sequel and usually this results in me re-reading the first book but not anymore. Now, it's all a matter of, like I said, previously, perusing my little notes and doodles to find out in the span of 10 minutes what the heck that book was about. Annotating is a life hack which every book blogger needs to know about because it simplifies things and I enjoy simplifying the complex. It makes me feel like I'm cheating and it never fails to get this ridiculous grin going on my face:
To sum up: I love writing in my books now and if I'm honest with myself, I don't remember what it was like when I didn't annotate them. My favourite thing about libraries has always been the not-knowing, having absolutely no clue who has read a book before you and finding little glimpses of those people's personalities while reading. Maybe it's a receipt in a book, or dog-eared pages or a little scribbling. I want my book collection to be that of a library not a bookstore. I do not want new. In the off-chance that someone comes into my room, takes one of my books that I've read and flips through it, I want my personality, who I am as a reader to stand out, intermingling with the plot of said novel to provide a spectacular reading experience for the next person who reads that book.
Link to Ariel Bissett's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lymm1OpFgaA
That is all for this blog post. Please share it and follow my blog if you enjoyed it. Also, tell me, what are your thoughts about annotating books? Is it something that you've considered doing before or do you think this is a form of blasphemy? Comment down below and tell me! Until my next blog post, I love you guys to...infinity and beyond!