Friday, 4 April 2014

Do You Write In Your Books ?



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Do you write in your books? Highlight? Make notes? Or do you like to keep your copies as pristine as possible?

I just checked in with Booking through Thursday (here).  This is a question that absolutely divides people.  I have spent years never making a mark in a book.  I wouldn't dog ear pages either, instead I cut out bookish pictures from fine book catalogs and make book marks or put greeting cards into them.

Once in awhile now though I will write something in the margin but I feel terribly guilty. I have no idea where this guilt comes from.

When I go to my book club I notice the facilitator uses different colours of ink and writes all through the book.  Sentences are underlined. There are arrows in the margins, and page numbers written everywhere.  It used to bother me then I thought, "How ridiculous."  She bought it, she reads it, she studies it, she totally immerses herself into it. After all it is HER copy. Why not write in it." 

It makes me laugh. Every once in awhile I get a library book where someone has written in the margin. Usually in pencil but not always. I thoroughly love reading marginalia. I find it a lot in my old Penguin books I read from Op shops.  Especially if they were read previously by students.

I read one library book once where there were grammatical errors within the book. It was a piece of modern fiction and it wasn't edited all that well. Someone had gone through and made the corrections that the editor missed. I found that entirely entertaining.  Let's face it, the books we read are not usually valuable collectors edition. None of us owns a copy of the Gutenberg Bible that I know of so why not mark up your book and study it? Why not use different colours and make it really interesting and personal?   I still can't do it. 

Do any of you write in your books? Do you enjoy reading other people's writing in books?  

9 comments:

  1. Sometimes I enjoy other people's comments; but not those of the creepy person who underlined the word 'panties' in the book every time it was used! ( You may be wondering what kind of book I was reading! :-) It was an old-fashioned American whodunit). However, if the book shows poor editing in the first few pages, I will stop reading it.

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  2. I'm reading a book at the moment which my father has obviously taken from my room and read first, as I keep coming across tiny pencil annotations of errors! I hadn't even realised the book had disappeared from my TBR until I saw them. I don't mind a few informative pencil markings, but I am glad he didn't have a highlighter to hand!

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  3. How funny. It is nice your father cared enough to put the markings. I can't ever remember my father reading a book but I think he may have just before he died read something. Enjoy the marks.

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  4. I never used to mark up books, with the exemption of my theology books and personal bibles and hymnals:books I used in the pulpit. However, after developing some neurological disabilities, I am finding that with some books, I HAVE to underline to keep track of the storyline. Drives some of my friends that I may loan books or pass books on to crazy, but then they remeber why......

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    1. That makes a great deal of sense. Anything to keep on reading !

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  5. I have a habit of writing in books and underlining or putting exclamation marks next to lovely passages. Always in pencil, though. I used to love taking books out of the uni library and reading all the margin notes - it made reading dull academic texts that little bit better.

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    1. I have made notations against paragraphs I want to remember. Always in pencil also. Marginalia is great fun to read.

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  6. I started writing in books at the end of high school when I was studying for major exams. I then stopped, partly because I wasn't reading for exams any more, and partly because I didn't want people I lent my books to to read my silly comments. But, once my reading group started and I was reading to discuss books I started writing marginalia again because other methods - like writing on pieces of paper - were less efficient. I only ever use pencil.

    I wrote a post on marginalia a few years ago. Apparently some famous authors have been know to write marginalia - like Mark Twain.

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    1. Marginalia is incredibly fun to read. I do enjoy it. As long as it isn't mine. I used to do all kinds of things to my text books but slowed down over the years. I can see it would be useful to write in my books for reading group. Little slips of paper just don't do it. Thanks for your comment.

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I love receiving comments and meeting new people. If you are also a book blogger let me know and I will have a look at your site also. Cheers, Pam