4 Ways To Mark Up Your Books

4 ways mark up your book

While talking to Nikki in the comments section of my TBR Spotlight post about authors, she had suggested I talk about how I mark up my books as I had talked about my love for doing it in my post and I thought it was a really great idea for a post so that’s exactly what today’s post is going to be all about!

I feel like I’ve talked about my love for marking up my books quite often and asked you guys’ opinions on whether or not we should write in our books a couple of months ago too and you should definitely check it out if you haven’t read it yet! Of course, feel free to share your thoughts too! I would love to get your view on it!

Now, let’s get into four ways that you can mark up any book you are currently reading or plan on reading soon!


1I feel like this is the easiest and quickest way to mark up any kind of book – it’s also how I got started a few years ago. There was a time when I didn’t do anything to highlight favorite scenes or dialogue but then I very slowly started using tabs/sticky notes (whatever you want to call them) and as time went on I would tab more and more things in my books. Every tab I used was color coordinated within a series to make sure I could flip through favorite scenes easily which sometimes resulted in me having to create cheat sheets because I was using so many different tabs (I am looking at my ACOMAF copy here) and there was no way of me remembering what they all meant – especially down the line.

PS: If you are going to use tabs to mark your books up, please use ones that either haveย transparent parts on them or are made of a material that is see through. Otherwise re-reading a book will be quite difficult!


If you would’ve told me a few years ago that I would ever use highlighters in books I would have probably laughed at you. These days, if you take a look at the books I’ve read you’re very likely to find a ton of highlighted paragraphs (and sometimes pages) and I love it. I love being able to see exactly what I liked so much (which isn’t always the case with a tab) about something I wanted to make sure to mark up in any kind of way.


2While I will usually just use highlighters in my books I’ve also started using fineliners more often and it gives my books an entirely different look again! I can also quickly write down a note next to something I marked up this way and don’t have to search for a different pen to do it which obviously makes for a quicker reading experience! I think I first saw people on booktube use these pens in their books and I really loved the look of it, so I had to try it out too! Obviously, you can color coordinate with these pens too which would make finding scenes easier for sure – especially since these pens aren’t as in your face as a highlighter.

Tabs + Highlighter/Fineliner

This is usually what I go for whenever I’m reading a book because I like being able to see how many things I marked by just looking at the book from the outside! Some of my favorite books that I love going back to over and over again to read random scenes are books that have both the tabs and then either highlighter or fineliner used on the inside at the same time! There is honestly something so aesthetically pleasing about a book with lots and lots of tabs in it!

How About You?

Are you the kind of reader who marks favorite scenes? If so, what do you usually use? Is there something you would use over something else? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

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24 thoughts on “4 Ways To Mark Up Your Books

  1. I’ve started to page flag my books, but I’ve only done it about two or three times and only for quotes I like. It’s such a good idea to color coordinate, especially so that you can put a tab somewhere if it’s something you’d like to add in your review for the book, something you didn’t like, etc. Also thank you for mentioning getting see-through tabs. I never would’ve thought of that haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I used to do too in the very beginning! And then when I was reading Lord Of Shadows earlier this year I found myself interacting with the book a lot more and I would use tabs to mark scenes I thought might be important further in the story or scenes that I felt were turning points, etc. Or I would use green tabs to write down notes for myself so I could look back on them after I finished reading, etc and I have to say, Lord Of Shadows really is my favorite book I own because of those notes!

      I had to find it out the hard way myself! I had really tabbed my copy of ACOMAF when I first read it and when it came time to re-read it I couldn’t read certain pages because of all the tabs! I actually switched them all out for see-through tabs as I was re-reading the book!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha I don’t re-read books often but I do see the issue it can bring. Ooh marking scenes or quotes that might have a big part towards the end of the book is such a wonderful idea! I always run across quotes/scenes like this!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. this is such a cool post! thanks! i like that i am not the only one! i also tab and highlight and mark my books.
    i use five different colors which mean different things. i highlight and then put a tab into them. sometimes if i feel like it, i write something down but that’s not always the case. mostly i just tab and highlight ๐Ÿค—

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m really happy to hear that you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I will usually color coordinate for characters or ships because I love going back and reading over favorite scenes from time to time and sometimes I’ll mark scenes I think are important for the story, etc.

      Yeah, notes aren’t a thing I do most of the time either! But from time to time and I find it can really help when you’re looking back at various scenes later on or even while reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes that’s true. i mostly write things down, when i am buddy reading, so i know what i wanted to say to a certain thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ but if i just read for myself, i mostly just highlight. i am a big quote hunter hahaha. i love quotes. it’s my orange color and when i look back at a book and it has a lot of orange, i am very happy ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I seem to never be able to concentrate on quotes during a first read! I will just read and read and suddenly I’m at the end of the book and I haven’t marked any quotes! That’s what re-reads are great for though! Because you’re looking at different aspects of the story. Though sometimes there will be a scene that JUMPS at me during the first read and then I just HAVE to highlight/tab it!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. haha yes, i know that situation. sometimes i’m just like, naaah, i won’t tab, i am not in the mood. and then suddenly something comes up and i need to get all my markers and tabs ๐Ÿ˜€
            books are so adorable ๐Ÿ˜€

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I never refer back to my tabs or anything I marked in my books for my reviews as I will usually just highlight scenes I loved rather than things that would be more review specific.

      Thank you, I’m happy you enjoyed it Kristin!


  3. Hm, I’ve never really done anything like this to books I read for fun, but I really want to start! Sometimes I sticky note passages that especially stand out, but I never seem to have any pens or highlighters near me when I read, and I’m always too lazy to walk up and get some. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should make a habit of keeping pens and/or highlighters near you whenever you get down to read! I will usually have my little tin with all my tabs right near me and my highlighters/pens are on my windowsill right next to my bed for easy reaching!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! I’ve been wanting to do one about how I mark up my books for a while now, haha.

    I just use tabs, and I used to only do them for books I review, but now I do for almost all the books I read. If it’s a book I’m really excited for that’s a second, third, etc. in a series, I use different colored tabs. But if it’s a stand alone/first in a series I usually just use one color. I color code based on characters too, so if a book has multiple POVs, I’m more likely to do different colors as well.


    1. You should absolutely still do your post and share how you do it, as I’m sure there are differences between us! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m usually someone who tabs for ships and side-ships and then character moments will usually just get a general color all together and if I’m highlighting the book too, I’ll use a different color highlighter for each character to make sure I remember which characters were involved in the scene at first glance.


  5. I love tabs! I have a hard time actually writing in or highlighting books, so I started using color-coordinates tabs to mark quotes I like or awesome scenes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took me quite a while to be able to actually write in my books too! I wouldn’t even use tabs for the longest time because I wanted my books to be in perfect condition! But I’ve since realized how much I love my marked up books!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to hate marking up my books in any way. God I didn’t even like to break the spine! I was convinced the book must look as pristine as possible after it was read…. And now, I can’t imagine doing that! What’s the point if you can’t tell how much a book was loved just by looking at it??? Anyway, I usually just use highlighters bc as you said, they are the quickest way.

    Liked by 1 person

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