Thursday, November 20, 2008


Last night I did a dreadful deed. I highlighted and underlined in one of my books!

I've always been the kind of person who didn't want to "deface" books by highlighting in them. Yes, I did highlight in my Bible - mostly verses I had memorized or wanted to specifically remember - but it just didn't seem right to highlight in a regular book. After all, you never knew who might read it after you, and you wouldn't want to make the value go down, right?

Well, last night I was re-reading Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy (an absolutely wonderful book!) and was writing down quotes I thought worth remembering. The thing was, I had so many quotes that I wanted to remember (yes, the book is that good!), that my hand was getting really tired, and it was getting kind of annoying to keep copying things down in a notebook. So, I did it. I got a highlighter, went over the passage I wanted to remember, and even underlined some words with pen for emphasis. It was surprisingly easy! So, I went back and highlighted each of the quotes I'd already written down, putting away my extra notebook for good.

Before, I never wanted to highlight in books because I thought it would be distracting. I enjoyed the fact that when I read things again, I gleaned new things each time, and I thought that the highlighting/underlining might detract from that, and just make me notice what had previously jumped out at me. Plus, the re-sale value on books with highlighting in them really isn't that great!

However, this book is one I shall definitely keep, so I don't have to worry about reselling it. The highlighting will also make it easier for me to find things I want to remember. Instead of searching for the notebook I took notes in, I can glance through the book and easily find things I'm looking for. When I re-read, those things will stick out to me again, and they'll be good reminders. I'm sure I'll still notice new things as well.

It's funny how one changes. My mom is one who highlights, underlines, or writes in comments quite a bit, and it used to drive me crazy. I would protest that I liked to read clean pages. But, now my tastes have changed, and I see some of the value highlighting has. Maybe it's just one of those things you grow into...

What about you? Are you a die-hard do not deface books, or are you an avid highlighting fan? I'm curious to know what the majority of you ravenous readers do! =)

And, to leave you with two quotes I thought worth highlighting:
"The spectacular sparkle of set-apart femininity is found through absolute abandonment to the Author of all true beauty. It's found by exchanging a life consumed with self for a life consumed with Jesus Christ, by trading the desire to be attractive to this world for the longing to be attractive to Him alone." - page 19

"When it comes to pouring out all we possess in radical abandon to the King of all kinds, there is no such thing as being too extreme. Nothing we offer to Him out of a heart of loving devotion is ever a wasted sacrifice." - page 71


Alyssa said...

I just opened my blogspot today.. But I dont know how to get blogspot up and going. Or how to put your link onto mine.
New to computers:) Thank You,

Ella said...

I underline and highlight in my Bible all the time. The Psalms are definitely getting in different colors =)

But as to books....I don't do it there. But I should in some non-fiction bones =)

Anonymous said...

I am blessed with a mom who enjoys reading those kind of books with me! I don't tend to highlight and underline (unless of course it is the Bible) but my mom likes to under line, highlight, and put her notes next to it!

Mrs. Hart said...

Ha! I love it! Anna has joined the ranks!

Yes, I am an inveterate highlighter and underliner. Some books just require it of me. If it is a really good book I will even make notes in the margins.

Some books I have read multiple times and made additional commentary each time.

I guess it's just a way of making a book "my own".

Anonymous said...

No highlighting- I find the color distracting. But I do underline and write small notes in the margins. It helps me feel that I am interacting with the book and getting something out of it that way. A lot of times, if someone loans me a really great book (nonfiction) I wind up buying it anyway, so that I can write in it! Once I've bought a book it stays in the collection, so I don't have to worry about reselling it. Oh, and I do underline and write in my Bible as well. I didn't for the longest time, but then I found that it helps me remember- even if I have to get a new Bible every several years! It neat to look back through an older Bible to see what I underlined and what the Lord was speaking to me through His Word then.
Carrie B.

Anna Naomi said...

Alyssa: If you go to your blogger dashboard and explore the settings and layout, you'll probably be able to figure out things. They have easy ways to add links and so on.

Ella: Yes, I have quite a few verses in the Psalms underlined as well!

Kelsy: You mom sounds like my mom and many other moms I know. Maybe it is something you begin to do as you get older!

Mrs. Hart: I thought you'd find it funny, especially I used to be quite against it, and you do it a lot. =) I've come to see how helpful it can be, however. I guess it's just one of those preferences that sometimes changes.

Carrie B: I have found that it's a way to "interact" with the book. Often before, I'd read things, and just feel like saying "Amen" right along with the book. Now, I can allow myself the freedom of making notes or underlining it to remember it. :-)

Ellen said...

I don't tend to be a highlighter or annotator. I have always collected passages that I liked - growing up I had a wall of index cards of quotes from books. Nowadays I have a digital quotes file. My bible does have margin notes, though.

I have to admit that I think very uncharitable things when I check out library books that have been highlighted or annotated - particularly when I disagree with the person who did it!

Ellen (the Librarian) :)

Rissa said...

I'm definitely a highlighter-er (new word?) generally. I also like to write comments in the margins of anything nonfiction. Sometimes I go through books with a red pen crossing out anything unbiblical, then go back through and jot down the relevant scripture. :)
Recently, I decided to keep one Bible absolutely mark-free, so that I could read the Word without my own personal opinion of what was important constantly jumping out at me. It's very hard for me not to write in that Bible, but I enjoy reading it with that "fresh" outlook you mentioned. :)
Thanks for recommending Set-Apart Femininity. I would love to read it!

sydney said...

I am a die-hard do not deface books kind of gal! Sad to say it, but it's true. Because of my writing teacher in HS (Andrew Pudewa) I've tried to cure myself of my malady, but to no avail. I write with pen in my Bible, but I don't highlight. As far as regular books go, I very much so like a "clean page." ;-) However, I can see how neat it would be to write in it and to years later look back and see what made an impact on me when I was a mere ?-years-old. When I write in my Bible I tend to write certain notes on the side as well. For example, if I'm going through a specific hard time in life, I will note that next to the verse that encouraged me so. I love looking around and randomly reading all the various underlined verses...they're all so good!

Overall, I'm almost exactly like Carrie B...opinion-wise. :-)

I really like the quotes you added...they spoke something special to me that I didn't expect. Thank you!

Shalom! :-)

Lexie said...

I was thinking of starting to highlight in my bible which I will probably start doing when I go back to school. I asked for the exact same book set apart femininty for Christmas from my parents and im sure that once I get into it enough my book will have some highlightings or markings in it to.

Wielding the Sword said...

I love highlighting and writing notes in my bible and the books I read, especially when they are hard-to-understand (like some of the Puritan's writings). Writing a note helps me understand what it means or make connections so I remember it next time. Same with Scripture.

I've noticed, though, that I absolutely DESPISE reading a book with someone ELSE'S highlights or underlines or notes. It drives me crazy, usually because I find it too messy.

Darelina said...

LOL... it really is a scary deed to make a mark in a book... hehehe I have that same dread when marking in some of mine. :)

Jasmine said...

Oh, Anna, I can definitely identify with you!

I used to hate the idea of marking in books! When I started working for Daddy, doing research in five or six books a week, though, I realized the importance on making notations on important pages... otherwise, I wouldn't be able to remember them and pass them on to him.

Now, I can hardly read a book without wanting to mark a page down for later. I'm the same way with my Bible, which I like to do on the computer, so I can cross-reference and bookmark and hilight a bit easier.

Nella Camille said...

Actually, I don't highlight/mark in my Bible, but I do in every other book I read :) You should see my copy of Systematic Theology =D Especially chapter 11. You would be horrified, I think :) Often times, I find that if I don't mark things, I don't remember what I read half so well. It especially helps if I am reading something with the intent to discuss it later. Welcome to the ranks :)


Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

I don't highlight in my books. I used to mark in my Bible, but that bothered me a little (mostly because I wasn't consistent with it), and I decided not to mark in my Bible when I got a new one several years back.

As for other books, I highlighted an old schoolbook that I didn't like much, was cheap, and I needed to refer back to easily. I actually enjoyed highlighting it, and it was a good experience. Generally though, I like clean pages. I should probably do more highlighting and underlining -- at least in school books. Ironically, those are some of the few books I would consider reselling.

I have considered buying additional copies of favorite books and highlighting them, but I haven't acted on the idea. It would cost me, and I don't have enough room for the books I have now.

On another note, isn't it odd that we turn into our mothers in ways we never thought we would? Often, I find myself acting JUST LIKE my Mom -- and it might be something I didn't like in her or just found odd. It adds a new perspective and gives me more humility and respect.

I enjoyed reading this post very much!

Bonnie S said...

I like highlighting, writing in my Bible etc, but it's rare that I'll highlight in another book, unless it's something that really stands out. I tend to highlight/mark in a religious book than any others.
As some other people have said, I don't really like reading a book that someone else has highlighted, unless it's for a specific purpose, and they're pointing something out to me etc.

Anna Naomi said...

Ellen: Library books are certainly a no-no for writing/highlighting in! If I check out a book from the library and like it that much, I try to buy it! =)

To those who don't enjoy reading in books others have highlighted/written in, I agree, to a point. It can be distracting, but I have enjoyed reading certain books that others have made notes in, if I know the people really well. For example, it was really neat to read a book my now-deceased Grandma had underlined and written in, for it gave me somewhat of a connection to see what she thought so many years ago. Same with a few books my dad and/or mom have written in. So, I guess it kind of depends on the person!

Princess0479 said...

Hi Anna i'm so glad i visited your page today, i do from time to time, and loved this post!!
I have a friend who has a hard cover bible she highlights without abandon, i always for some reason didn't want to mark my bible with highlighter it almost seems disrespectful to me..But that's just me LOL though i do underline certain passages in the bible with a pencil or pen usually pencil..i do love to highlight textbooks from college LOL that can get messy but i figure i paid so much for my USED textbook that it's other religious book i don't mark because most of the books i read are from the library...when they are my own i might consider highlighting or doing it with pencil =))

i espcially enjoyed the last 2 paragraphs of that book you highlighted i am so glad you shared those paragraphs with us..they were amazing =))

well stop on by sometime by my blog it's called Daughter of the King Jesus

full web address is

leave me a comment anytime, i love comments =))

sorry this was so long!

Blessings to you always and HUGS!

To God be all glory!

In Him, Jane.