I have a bad habit of dog-earing pages in a book – pages with a line that I want to remember later. The librarians have started to give me suspicious looks, but at least I am not writing in the margins – maybe I should. A recent article in the New York Times – Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in Margins – discusses the added value of books read by Mark Twain, Darwin, Coleridge, even Nelson Mandela in recent times – just because they wrote their thoughts in the book they were reading – hard to do with an e-book.
Noted, I am not Mark Twain – or ever will rise to his status – but the article includes “a few greasy smears” from a girl who’s left her mark on a copy of “The Catcher in the Rye”…
“Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.”
Reading someone else’s reaction to the printed word sometimes feels like illicitly peeking into their thoughts. But, what if those greasy words resonate and carry the meaning of the page to another level of understanding? A mysterious conversation with the last reader of the book – one that will remain secret.
I can still see Sister Eugene Marie ready to admonish me for “destroying property” but maybe next time I’m tempted to dog-ear, I’ll just write a note (in pencil, of course).
- Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins (nytimes.com)
I usually do that too! Definitely not on library books, but I do it all the time to my own books. I think it’s a great idea, and I’d like to read some of Mark Twain’s books scribbled with his handwriting…
I agree – would be like going back in time. Have you ever read “Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii’? He got paid to write them for a newspaper column – before he became famous for his books.
No, I haven’t. I’m a young reader 🙂
Please visit my blog! I love reading and I also like writing, and I hope you’ll like my writing. Thanks!