annotating your books is amazing once you stop giving a fuck about making it fancy/ "academic"
one of the most fun times i had was annotating mary shelley's frankenstein, and that's because on multiple occasions i underlined gay parts and just wrote "sus" and "bestie idk how to tell you this..."
but i also pointed out possible metaphors and parallels, and this helped me learn something very important:
your intellect/intelligence flows more freely once you stop feeling like you have something to prove.
and even if you just add funny annotations, it still means that you read the book, thought about the story and the writing and understood things like the use of irony, humour etc.
(if you prefer not to annotate your books, that's alright too, of course.)
also: the books you read/ annotate do not have to be "classics".
i never understood pretentious people's obsession with "the classics"; they act as though no new or differently written book has anything to teach us, they pretend that there is no depth just because they don't deem it as valuable. but let me ask you this:
if we only read and analyse the Classics, how will we ever discover new classics? we will be stuck reading the same books, or at least the same styles of books, over and over, and that is the very opposite of learning, the very opposite of the actual point of reading (and, let's be honest, it will also be way less entertaining).
in order to grow as readers, and as writers, we cannot afford to focus only on old classics, because many of those old classics were also judged and seen as pointless "entertainment for the masses", or even as harmful at the time they were written, because they were so different from what was usually written at that time (a great example of this is Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray).
i would also like to say here that once i stopped pressuring myself to read what other people considered valuable, not only did i discover other writing styles, i also did find classics that i very much enjoyed. but still, if you do not want to read those, there is nothing wring with that and you are not less intelligent, or somehow a "worse reader" because of that.
and, yes there are books that are badly written, and objectively pointless, but in my experience people naturally avoid those books, no matter if they are old or new or anything, and reading these books does not make you stupid.
so, basically, my point is:
read whatever you want, and read however you want.
classics, no classics, only classics, annotations, not annotations, audiobooks, e-books, paper books, it is your life, your bookshelf (or audible profile, i guess?), and other people's opinions, especially disrespectful ones, do not matter.
that doesn't mean that being criticised rudely will not hurt, of course it will. but you will learn to look past that, because people will always have something to say, something to complain about. find friends and fellow readers who are kind and respectful of your reading choices (finding people who like reading the same things as you is even better, if you can, but interacting with people whose opinions differ from yours can be a great learning experience, as long as these people are kind and respectful; and trust me, you will find these kinds of people in your life)
so go on, read, learn, and do not listen to arseholes /gen
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Oh speaking of towel day-
I bring you a gift;
"Life, The Universe, and Everything" the audio book, read by author Douglas Adams himself.
The audiobook available on Audible and most legal audiobook places will be the version where Stephen Fry is the narrator.
I am sure Fry is very good. I wouldn't know, I've never listened to those.
Because I grew up with the author, who used to work in radio, reading his own work. And I cannot think of a single situation where you would want anything less than that when it already exists.
I am linking Life the Universe and Everything because it's my favourite in the trilogy.
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