Writing in My Books

I was checking my Twitter page tonight when I saw a tweet in which someone commented on another person reading a Kindle. You know — Amazon’s electronic reader. That got me thinking about annotation.
I’m ashamed to say that it took me years — well into my college studies — before I got into the solid habit of taking notes and making comments in my books. So, I’ve been drilling the practice into the heads of my Korean students who analyze literature and essays as part of their English language curriculum. Here’s a sample of some of my own annotation.

Of course, I tell my students that there aren’t any rules to it. Just mark what sounds good or confusing or repetitive. Write some notes in the margins if you like that section or if you don’t understand it. I tell them that writing in their books makes them look (and become) smarter.

After thinking about this for a few minutes, I did a quick search online and discovered that apparently the Kindle allows for some note taking. But because I don’t have one, I’m having trouble conceiving of how that process stacks up against the good old “pencil on book” method that I’ve come to love.

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