Friday, February 25, 2011

Writing In Books

Do you?

When I was in college I had no problem with it. As an English major, writing in the margins was an easy way to take notes. And there was something romantic about scribbling my thoughts in the margins. My preferred weapon writing implement was a pencil. Although on occasion, I did use a pen in my Shakespeare anthology *shudder* and in the used paperbook novels I bought cheap at 2nd hand stores. I am proud to say that I never took a highlighter to any of my literature books. (I saved those for my sociology and psych books).

I kind of regret writing in my Shakespeare book, a pretty blue hardcover with thin paper pages. But to prepare for and takes notes during classroom discussions, I wrote in the margins and underlined phrases. Some of the notes were questions that arose when I read and some were notes to my friend who sat next to me in class.

Today, I rarely mark up my books. And I take careful measures to avoid food spillage. I have been known to underline very, very faintly in pencil in a couple of books, but even that causes me to sweat, and inevitably I go back and erase them. Some of you know that I have been involved in online reading groups. Rather than mark up my books I either fill up index cards with notes (great because they double as book marks), or I rip scraps of paper and use them to mark relevant parts of the novel, then write about them in a notebook when I have time. There's something sacred about a clean page - black type on white paper.

What about you? Do feel compelled to write your thoughts in your books as you read or does the thought make you feel queasy?


  1. Don't even look at my HP books. Not only did I write in them, the writing is color coded.

  2. Even with all the HP analyzing and discussion, I couldn't bring myself to write in my books. However, I have about 4 or 5 notebooks dedicated to the HP reading groups :)

  3. *faints*


    Study books need to be written in, but definitely not novels.