Wednesday, May 24

Writing in books

Due to any number of reasons (among them my desire for everything to be clean, neat and organized and my belief that the written and published word ss borderline sacred and seeing my literature professor confused by his own markings and emphases years after making them), I have never been one to write or mark up any books in my possession, temporary or otherwise. In the future, my views and perceptions will undoubtedly change, and I fear that marking up my book now will cement me in a position I'm not willing or able to stay in (or I'll simply have no bleeding idea what I meant). Marking books is like littering for me. I simply can't take up a pencil or highlighter and go start emphasizing certain words and phrases. Every mark that appears on the page makes me shudder as the book grows farther and farther from its original, new appearance, even if I bought it used. Considering what I like to think I know of my personality, this is bleeding strange seeing as how much I love to customize and personalize everything else I own to some insane degree, my laptop and mp3 player for two.

Anyway, this really wasn't such a big deal in high school. In those few classes where we were actually encouraged to mark our books to aid in studying, I never did so because I felt that my memory was enough to pull me through most any test. Know what? I was right. Besides the readings were never all that difficult. Neither did many of my classmates use highlighters, so I never really considered it before. Like most elements of my life thus far, college has made me reconsider this notion. Now, considering the length, difficulty and sheer density of our readings, taking notes on the page is very near necessary. Besides, marking up your book makes finding the passage you want to discuss in class that much easier. Still, I refused to degrade my books as much as I possibly could. The bit that tore this whole thing with me and prompted this tardy post was seeing my friends writing in the books they read for pleasure.

I think I have done an adequate (though hardly admirable) job of explaining my reasons for abstaining from the marking of my books, and I readily accept that there are many good reasons to write in the margins to aid in your own understanding of the material. I'm certainly not going to be jumping around, snatching pens from the hands of my friends before they make some comment they can never take back.

Not really all that exciting of a post, so I guess I'll have to spice it up (it's a pun (kind of)! because the title is 'Spice of Life!' maybe I could become some cooking host on the Food Network with a great line like that?). There are certain passages of literature and poems that contain such profundity and meaning and humor that I never want to lose them. I believe, instead of picking them out with a highlighter as they appear in whatever source I find them, I will simply start a collection in a Word document on my computer, like a more organized version of my high school binder or permanent collection of the quotes I throw up on Facebook. Yeah, that would be so cool.

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