Annotating books brings new life to leisure reading

Avery Thompson

Reading books is already enjoyable and exciting. However, there is something that could make reading even better.

Annotating books is another way to bring new life to reading and help the reader dive further into the story.

Sometimes it might be hard to focus on the story because we have so many thoughts and questions swirling around our brains.

By writing down information, we can pause and understand what is happening. Annotating books is a great way to achieve this. Here is a list of supplies that can help you get started:

Sticky Notes

If you want to write down something and don’t have enough room on the page or you don’t like to write in your book, these sticky notes are great to use.

They come in many different colors if you want to color-code your comments or simply like the pretty colors. You can even get some clear sticky notes if you want to see your writing over the text or if you want to avoid writing on the pages.


These pens are perfect for writing down thoughts, comments or hypotheses in your book or sticky notes. These Uni-ball pens come in seven colors, and they won’t smudge after you jot something down.


Using tabs can help you point out important details that you’ll be able to easily find. These tabs come in different colors and shapes to help you get organized. Below is a color cheat sheet to help you get started (this can always be changed to your liking).

Color Key:

  • Red: something that you didn’t like/made you mad
  • Light pink: a question you have
  • Orange: misc.
  • Yellow: character descriptions
  • Dark green: description of the world (fantasy books)
  • Light green: representation
  • Light blue: important information about the story
  • Dark blue: something that made you sad
  • Hot pink: detail about a relationship
  • Purple: something that you like/love 


You can use highlighters to better distinguish the text you want to point out. These Sharpie highlighters come in a pack of 12 or 24 that you can color coordinate with your tabs. They’re also double-sided, so you can use the other side to write.

Not only does annotating put a new spin on reading, but the people who like to reread books can compare their initial thoughts to those while rereading.