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A Beginner's Attempt at Annotating: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman book.

I've been wanting to annotate a book for ages now. But I cannot write in books. I cannot dog ear pages. And I absolutely despise those neon coloured flags in every stationery section of stores. Something inside me just refuses to use or do such things.

You can imagine then, the struggle I faced.

Then I came across this lovely tiktoker with her own business: @girlinread_. She uses stickers. Emoji stickers, flags, and quadrant stickers to mark a whole page. Brilliant, I thought! Stickers are exactly the solution I didn't know I needed.

Now, I didn't go out and buy anything from @girlinread_ just yet. I may have been terrified I'd mess something up, ok. I almost always use sticky notes in non-fiction books because it makes sense for that genre, but I've never done so with any fiction just for the fun of it.

Suffice to say I was in unknown territory. I knew I needed to start slow and easy. Not just with the supplies I used, but with the book I chose.

Thus, I went with Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. It's shorter than all my other books on my physical tbr, only about 300 pages, it's a topic I already knew a bit about, and I knew I wouldn't have to worry about long passages of prose or in-depth worldbuilding, (FYI, I was right).

The Supplies

After scouring several stores online, including amazon, and only finding 1) colours I didn't like, 2) packages that had too much or not enough of what I wanted, or 3) had overpriced, month-long shipping, I figured my best bet was to just go to Staples. There I bought their Post-It Page Markers. They're fluorescent, but not neon, so they'll do.

I also have dot stickers, and I bought from them either Amazon or Shein. However, I didn't need to use these for Norse Mythology. They can be added into the system for when I read a longer book.

The System

My system is pretty simply right now. I figure it'll develop the more I learn about annotating and the more I actually put it into practice.

I did choose to colour code with the post-it notes. I wrote the category on the first flag of each colour. For Norse Mythology:

  • Any mentions or parts I wanted to highlight about Loki were pink (because obvs).

  • The orange-yellow tabs were for any lines that made me laugh.

  • Green marked interesting facts about mythology I wanted to save for later.

  • The red-orange were for "good writing," because the best way to become a better writer is to read.

  • And blue marked quotes I resonated with or especially liked.

Moving Forward

I'm going to use the page markers for at least one more book, if not two, until I get more comfortable annotating. My next read I'll like start using my dot stickers like emojis so I can mark my reactions to certain things.

Then when I'm good and comfortable I'll dive in and buy some of @girlinread_'s annotating stickers because they are just so pretty and such a great idea.

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