Bullet journals and annotated books have been popping up all over my instagram and twitter feeds, and I think they’re absolutely beautiful. They are – everyone has their own unique styles, and it’s so interesting to look at – but they are not something that I feel any need to do for myself for three specific reasons.
The first reason is that I don’t generally share my books. I live fairly far away from friends and family that I would share my books with. My best friend and I have very different tastes in books – she loves anything romantic and contemporary, where I’ll read anything for some magic. We still pass books back and forth on occasion, but it’s a rarity. My sister and I pass books back and forth, but she hates reading things in the margin, so I wouldn’t be able to share annotated books with her. I talk about books on my blog, and on Twitter, because those are the best places for me to share these with others.
The second reason I don’t annotate is that I don’t have money for multiple copies of books. Honestly, I don’t know how some bloggers are able to buy 30 books every month. I have a credit card through Barnes and Noble, which gives rewards in gift cards. Those semi-monthly gift cards are basically the only money I have budgeted to actually spend on books. If something comes on sale for really cheap that I’ve wanted to read, I’ll grab it, but I generally won’t spend more than $5 on a book on sale because it isn’t in my budget. I maybe buy one or two books a month, but I go several months without buying any on a regular basis.
The third reason that I don’t annotate is that I have more than a little anxiety about spelling things wrong, or having it look bad once I’m done. I was an art major for a semester and a half, and it made me realize that I love working digitally – in writing, in art and in reading. I can’t mess something up to the point of no return when I’m working digitally. I absolutely can when I’m working on something physical, and it pains me to tear out a page of a notebook where things are bound so that they won’t tear out. What if I messed something up in pen on a book? I’d have to buy another one, going back to my second point, and I can’t afford to do that regularly.
All that being said, I love the beauty that some people turn out with their annotations and bullet journals. They’re absolutely pieces of artwork, and I’m glad they do them, because they allow me to see the beauty of their love for this particular book.