It took me a really long time before I became comfortable with either highlighting or underlining important passages in my own books. Having relied heavily on the public library as the source for much of my childhood reading, it was a struggle for me to put marks of any kind in a book. I also can remember having to erase marks left behind by other students in my junior high school textbooks- it has been deeply embedded in me to not mark up a page and I still get frustrated if I order a used book online and it arrives with highlights or underlines.
Having said all that, I have been going pretty wild lately with that red pencil. Several years back when I first started teaching workshops and wanted to be able to recall relevant content, I finally began making notations after unsuccessfully trying the dog-ear and post-it route because it wasn’t specific enough. I think my newish habit may have also come from the ease of highlighting on my e-reader. I enjoyed recalling the passages so much that I might have just finally gave in to marking up my paper books.
Do you highlight or underline your own books?