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The Best Book Tabs! (And How To Use Them!)

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Mara Franzen

Staff Writer

Mara (They/Them) has accidentally on purpose made their entire life about books and stories. Mara graduated with a B.A in creative writing and theatre and is halfway through an MFA in Creative writing. In addition to writing for Book Riot, Mara also has written for The Independent Book Review, Wargamer, and The Other Half, to name a few. They also work as a fiction editor with The Minison Project. Nearly all of their published articles can be found here.

Sometimes you read a line or a passage from a book that just hits you. It could be something you want to remember and revisit, or something you want to point out to a friend. When that happens, it’s important to find a way to remember where in the book you read that. Enter: the best book tabs.

While some might recognize them as standard office supplies, or remember their school days marking passages to use in your next essay, book tabs have so many uses. You can use them for just about anything when it comes to annotating your books. You can color code, write notes on them, or even just use them as bookmarks. But no matter how many uses they have, sometimes they can be a little ugly.

Luckily, creative readers have taken on the problem and have created some truly stunning and useful book tabs. There is an abundance of options for the best book tabs, so you can find the perfect fit for you. The possibilities are endless!

Also included are some of my favorite videos from people much better at using book tabs than I am. Because let’s be honest, I want to stay organized (and have bought a bunch of tabs), but so far, it’s not working out for me. Luckily, some of these people provide all the inspiration I need to tab my next read well.

Best Book Tabs with Neutral Tones

Ah, Etsy! You’ve done it again! Each of these incredibly cool tab sets are under $4 USD (shipping not included).

A picture of a variety of book tabs in neutral tones.
These beautiful tabs were made and photographed by InkandZenPlanners on Etsy

These neutral tone tabs are perfect for those of us who prefer a more neutral look to the bright neon of the regular tabs. What’s also unique about these is the rounded shape that allows you to still color code, but has a blank space for any notes you need to write on the tab itself. Absolutely stunning, especially for a set that only costs $4!

Adorable Book Tabs With Animal Friends

A picture of small tabs for books featuring adorable animals.
These adorable tabs can be found on Etsy, and were created by memopad.

Want to add a little cuteness to your reading? These animal book tabs are a great way to bring a smile to your face while reading. This set starts at $3 and has tons of different designs, so you can have a multitude of adorable tabs. I love that these have space for writing and still allow you to color code while being totally unique.

Bright Designs Perfect for Note-taking

A photo of four large brightly colored patterned tabs with tons of space for writing.
These stand-out tabs were created by HerSassyCreations on Etsy!

If you are someone who loves to use tabs for note-taking, these large colorful tabs priced at $3 are for you. With tons of room for note-taking, the bright beautiful patterns of these book tabs stand apart from the rest. I love that these can be used as bookmarks, or for a three-ring binder. If you aren’t looking to stick something to your book you can store these in a notebook to reference later.

Tons of Tabs for Tons of Books!

Picture of a large set of brightly colored book tabs
These tabs can be found on Amazon and were created by Golcellia

If you are an avid reader and an avid annotator, this large pack is for you. It is $13, and there are 900 total tabs with nine different colors to choose from. I love how bright they are, and as a bonus, these are entirely waterproof, so even if you spill a little, your notes won’t wash off the tab.

Wide Load Book Tabs

Picture of wide and colorful plastic book tabs
These colorful tabs are sold by monochef on Amazon

These wide tabs are $12, have lots of space for writing, and plenty of colors and styles, so you can create as simple or complex a code as you like! My favorite thing about these is that because of their shape, they take up less space and won’t cover words up.

On Point

Picture of brightly colored arrow shaped tabs
These Page Mates tabs can be found on Amazon

These arrow-shaped tabs are only $3 and are great for pointing to an exact moment or line. Personally, I love using these when I want to tab without having them stick out the side of books. Especially since they are so small, they are great to keep track of quotes, which is what I mainly use my tabs for.

All Shapes and Sizes

Picture of sets of ten soft color book tabs
Found on Amazon, these tabs are sold by TooSunny

This large assortment of soft-colored book tabs is perfect no matter what your tab need is. I love that these colors aren’t super bright neon. They are beautiful in their simplicity. These tabs are currently priced at $11.

Tab the Rainbow

Picture of book tabs in various shades of 6 colors.
These tabs are created by Tvoip and can be found on Amazon

This $13 pack of multi-shade book tabs are wonderful for the advanced book annotators out there. It’s like having subfolders for your book tabs! Or if you’re like me and just want the color of the tab to match the cover of the book, these are perfect for that too.

Advanced Book Tabs

Set of sticky notes and book tabs in a plastic case
These tabs can be found on Amazon and were created by TWGJM

This desktop tab set is made for even the most hyper-organized book tabber. At only $9, it’s a great addition to your desk. I love that these ones come in a little box to keep them all organized. Plus, it comes with a mini bonus calendar. Score!

To Round Out Your Tabs

Picture of bright book tabs with rounded edges.
These book tabs are sold by Marspark and can be found on Amazon

These adorable rounded edge book tabs are $8. With all the bright colors to choose from, they are a great addition to your next book tab supply run. I love that these are a little bit bigger than your average book tab, giving you plenty of room to write.

Need Some Tab Inspiration?

Now that you’ve likely found the best book tabs for your library, here is some advice from tabbing experts.

BumbleBeezus shares the funnier side of her reasoning for tabbing her books.


Answer to @kitsune_chan63194 So.. No real reason but thank you to the comments asking 😅💛 #booktok #bookclub #reader #sixofcrows #romance #booktab

♬ Mii Channel (Nintendo Wii) – The OneUps

Who said book tabs can’t be art? Keaareads shows off her stunning tab skills in this very satisfying video.

Are you still in need of more inspiration? Be sure to go check out 5 Ways to Annotate Your Books. Happy tabbing!