Annotated versions of books are classics with notes in the margins that provide historical context, vocabulary definitions, explanations of something that’s happening in the text, and more. I have an annotated version of Pride and Prejudice, and I love it! A lot about Jane Austen’s time period was so different from ours, and reading the annotations illuminates a lot of societal norms and conventions that help the reader more fully understand why certain things are happening. When you read the annotations you just gain a different insight and a deeper understanding of what’s happening in the story. It’s sort of like reading with an English teacher or historical expert next to you, giving you little bits of information that make you go “Ohhhh, so that’s why!” My annotated Pride and Prejudice also contains biographical details about Jane Austen that help the reader to see how things from her life played into her writing.
Here are a few others I’m looking forward to checking out:
I think it’s nice to read a book un-annotated once, so you can just enjoy the story, then go back and page through the annotated version to add an extra layer of understanding to it. This way the annotations don’t feel like interruptions, because you’re already familiar with the story. And yes, I am aware of how big a nerd that just made me sound.