Friday, 16 November 2007

Booking through Thursday

This week's question: how many of us write notes in our books? Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?
Definitely a preservationist. Through and through.
Though I do confess to having been so heartily pissed off about one slackly edited book that I started marking all the errors with a view to sending it back to the publisher and asking for a job (which I think I mentioned when the Thursday question was about attitudes to mistakes in books).
I will never, ever write anything in a book. I don't leave comments, corrections or marks in the margins.
I'll put my name on the fly-leaf if I'm lending a book to someone, but that's it.
That is not to say that I have not sinned.
At school, and at uni, we all used to write over the texts we were studying, imagining that one day we'd go through and rub out all our little translations and underlinings and notes.
It made us feel scholarly, I think, and part of a tradition - particularly at high school when we used school text books that had been through several hands and still bore their previous owners' arcane and faded commentaries.

I still have my old abused copies of uni texts with hideous pencil scrawls all through them. Ugh.
Thankfully, it was a habit peculiar to studying. My very own bought-by-choice books are sacrosanct.
Today (particularly since the invention of sticky Post-it notes), such treatment seems like vandalism.
I don't even like to break my paperback books' spines.

4 comments:

Jaimie said...

No I do not like to break spines either. Note writing in my opinion belongs in notebooks or on stickies, not the pages of a book. Thanks for visiting me! I liked when you called highlighters a scourge! LOL!

GeraniumCat said...

With you on the spines! But I've just finished reading a rather poorly edited book and it does intrude - and, like you, I've wondered about marking up the text and writing to the publisher.

I'd forgotten school textbooks with all that writing all over them (some of it obscene, at my school). And grubby. The competition for a clean copy was intense among a small group of girls; the boys wouldn't admit to caring about such things.

Karen said...

Oh dear, I hope you'll still talk to me after this ... I don't write comments in margins, but I do make corrections, even (gulp) in library books. ("He lay his head on the pillow; she laid down beside him." Aargh!) And I break spines in paperbacks. My own, I hasten to clarify. I take very good care of books that have been lent to me. You see, I'm not actually a booklover, but more of a reading-lover.
At school, my friend and I at the age of fourteen thought it very hilarious to go through our science text book and substitute the words "brown bear" for the odd noun: "Add the brown bear to the solution and stir until dissolved."

Literary Feline said...

You wouldn't appreciate me then--I sometimes break the spine of the books I'm reading. I do prefer to take notes in a notebook or on sticky notes, but sometimes if I must, I'll take a pencil to a book to make a small notation I can erase later.

I'm not so picky about how other people treat their own books--they paid for it after all--but if the book doesn't belong to the person, the person borrowing the book has no right to mark the book up. It's vandalism, not to mention disrespectful. Can you tell I feel rather strongly about that? LOL