I can't decide how I feel about this. On the one hand, I think it would be nice to have an easier way to go back to passages that I liked or that moved me; I always find myself thinking, "Well, I know it was somewhere in the 200s, and it was in the middle of the page on the left-hand side..." and if I had just underlined the darn thing I wouldn't be having that problem. There's also a lot to be said for leaving your mark on a book; do we really own something if we don't make it 100% ours?
On the other hand, what if your book is a first-edition hardcover, and might one day be valuable? Do you get a paperback copy to write in, or do you write in your hardcover? What if you're really terrible at underlining and always end up going through the words instead of under them? (No, I'm totally not talking about myself, what do you mean...) What if the margins of the book are small and you can't write all the notes you want to, and it ends up looking all sloppy and terrible?? What then??
|Why would you do this? Why?!|
In case you couldn't infer from above, I am not a book-writer-inner. For the most part, I like my books to stay pristine and unmarked—mostly because I don't trust myself to mark them well or neatly. I remember finding my old copies of Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray from high school and thinking, "Why would she make us ruin a book like this?"
I can see where it's helpful for some people, especially if something really touches you and you want to remember it. I know one of my friends from high school would write in her books, but in very light pencil so that, upon rereading, she might not even notice what she had underlined before. And unlike some other things related to books, I totally won't judge if you're a book-writer-inner. It's just not my style—I don't want to reread my notes every time I read a book. If there was a way I could scan stuff from my books, sort of how you can highlight and make notes on a kindle, that would be ideal for me, I think. Having a single document with all my notes (and page numbers!) would be awesome, and the pages of my book could remain clean. But alas, such technology doesn't exist. (Yet, anyway—who wants to get on developing that for me?)
How about you? Do you write in books?