Do you mark/highlight/scribble in your books, and why/why not?

So I was thinking I would start marking/highlighting parts in my books and felt it would be nice to hear your opinions on the matter.

Also I'd like to know something what you've marked/highlighted/scribbled. :)


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I underline phrases or sentences, sometimes paragraphs, that I find particularly meaningful. I don't do it a lot, but if I do it once, I have to do it at least three more times. The pen's in my hand already, you know?

Those small touches give me a sense of ownership and preservation. When I reread that book some day and see a heart next to Darcy after he says "My affections have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever" I'll smile to think that five, eight, fifteen years ago I still melted at that same line. It's like having a conversation with your past self and saving your thoughts in the pages of a favorite book.

I underline/write in books.  I started about a year ago, because I wanted to have a better connection.  I've always bought books that had writing in them from Half Price, because they felt more loved to me, more communicated with.  So I've been trying to do the same.  I had a teacher once tell me that "books are printed on paper for a reason." 

It depends on the book, too.  If it's a casual read, I don't generally write in it.  But something about reading classic literature-- anything from Homer to Faulkner-- makes me want to pick up my pencil and mark passages I love, and make annotations if something reminds me of something, references etc.  Just in case I happen to read it again later, I'll remember where I was in my life.

I do everything in my books. For me reading is an emotional sort of experience and the first time I read something I want to remember everything I felt, when I re-read I want to see which lines touched me then and how I feel about them now. My John Green books have highlights, underlines, a few notes. I also have a friend who doodles in the margins, I've never asked why, but when I borrow them her drawings make them that much more personal and beautiful. I think marking makes books feel more like they belong to me. 

I have only ever written in books for school, but I like reading books where things have been written, it just feels personal! And I've decided that every book I now buy, I'm going to write my name and the date I got it in the front cover, as my mum has given me loads of her old books that have that and I just find it really interesting. Also, any books I give to people as presents I will do the same, with a little message, as the books you treasure you'll keep for a long time, so it's nice to know where they came from and you'll always have that memory

It bothers me aesthetically to see anything I'm supposed to read marked up or highlighted in any way. It makes the page too loud and it makes it harder to concentrate but whatever floats your boat I guess. As long as it won't be my future textbook its cool. 

I only highlight/write in PAPERBACK books... And only if I find something that is truly worth it. For some reason I find that hardcover books are way to immaculate to put a mark on. Not sure why. Always had this belief. Sometimes, if I read a really really good hardcover book, I buy it on paperback when it comes out, read it again, and then mark my favourite parts. 

This excludes the textbooks for my classes. I feel I'm supposed to highlight and scribble all over them since I'm more likely to go back and mention them in conversation (or in a paper...). Plus you sometimes read the greatest things in books for school. I go to theatre school, so when I read a play I like to highlight lines that can possibly sum up the entire premise of the play. It's quite intriguing. Might as way make it easy to find :)

Despite my own aversion to scribble immaculate hardcovers, I say, mark up the book all you want. Sometimes books can spring up great thoughts in your head and sometimes the book itself is the only piece of paper you have on you. 

Thank goodness for eReaders... 

I don't write in books... My books are like my children and I feel as if I'm defacing them by scribbling notes and such. I usually write on sticky notes and insert them on the page I wish to remember something on.

I always underline and write in books - but I always do it with pencil. Just in case I reread something and the meaning changes. I started a long time a go, in high school (which was 4 years ago) and it's become a habit that's carried over from marking/highlighting textbooks into doing the same for personal reading. I do notice that I mostly do it in my paperbacks though - for some reason I feel weird writing in all my hardcover books. Is that weird? 

I fold down pages when something is especially beautiful or if I'm reading it at a time or in a situation that I think I'll want to be reminded of in the future. Highlighting and underlining distracts me too much, if I do that then it's all I see.

i'm actually curious now, as to how this compares to the subject of dog-ears

honestly for me, it depends on the book.  while i really dislike highlighting, if i'm reading a book mostly designed for study, or which i am at least reading to study, i'll underline, sure, and occasionally make notes.  as much as i love some quotes in books though, and while what some people have said here about better connecting to the material makes sense, it's not for me in a novel i'm reading for pleasure.

I don't underline, but I do make notes. Especially if it's for study purposes. Greatly improves memorizing important material, provided that I go through the notes often enough.


One of the last things I wrote down was from a poem collection by K. Gibran:

'A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle'

Apart from study notes, I try not to write in my books. There was a time when I used to dog-ear them a lot when I was younger but being the OCD person I am I don't like my books being messy. :P


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