highlighting and tabbing your books

a close up shot of a person holding books
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Coloured post-it notes are scattered through

The thick and creamy much-loved pages,

Littered with a spray of day glo

Felt tip pen to highlight quotes

That touched the heart and caught the breath

Of readers round this tender world.

I do not tab, highlight or write in my books. I used to when I was studying. I had to remember large chunks of my texts and so it made sense to underline bits and bend the corners of important pages.

But since I finished my degree over a decade ago, I have got it into my head that writing on books is sacrilege. I don’t even like cracking the spine of a book, for fear of ruining something that is essentially perfect.

However, since I jumped on TikTok, I see so many people writing in margins and using colourful post-it tabs to mark the pages that have tugged at the heart strings.

I’m finiding, since starting teaching, that I also enjoy collecting quotes and there is no way that I’ll remember the book and page number for much more than a few minutes. So, I need to either start going back to writing on books, or finding a notebook to collect my special quotations.

I will leave you with this one from Page 133 of Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

I inhabit the silence of this moment with my father, when we are still asking questions and do not yet have the answers.

Carrie Soto, 1995

I’ll probably remember where that quote is until tomorrow morning and then it will be lost forever.

Much Love

Rachel xx

2 thoughts on “highlighting and tabbing your books

  1. Margot Kinberg

    That’s a strong quote, Rachel! I can understand why you wanted to remember it. I happen to be one of those people who don’t write on books, and like you, I hate cracking the spine of even a paperback. That’s what I love about my Kindle. If I want to make a note to myself, I can.

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