The topic for today is all about writing in books. Do you write in your books? Do you not write in your books? Why? That type of thing. So now I'm going to tell you why I write in my books.
Why I Write In Books
If you had asked me a few years ago about writing in books, my answer probably would have been drastically different. I used to find it "abusive" to books to have people their beautiful pages. I didn't like to see people just jotting down random things in their books or highlighting passages. To some extent I still believe these things. But there are so many ways that writing in books can be a positive thing.
First of all, I am not a fan of highlighting. No matter what type of book or material, a highlighter is generally last on my list of marking tools. I prefer to use pencil to underline or annotate my novels and school texts. That way I can always go and erase it if I want to. I also don't like the way ink smears. I generally use a pencil to write anything that needs to be written, no matter where I'm writing it. Being a mathematician, I tend to have a pencil handy at all times. And paper.
I used to feel that people were abusing or mistreating their books by writing in them. Sometimes I still feel that way. If people are just jotting down unrelated notes in their books (no matter what kind of book), I still find this insulting to the book and its integrity as a piece of art.
When I was a college student, I was required to annotate my texts for several courses. At first I didn't really want to, but since it was for a grade I forced myself to participate. It was not as traumatic since I was not already attached to the book (aside from it being a piece of written word). Once I started writing, jotting down my thoughts about the passages, underlining points I liked or didn't like, I found myself to be engaging more with the work.
At first I only wrote in my school texts. I would underline and annotate anything that I found interesting or important (in pencil of course). I started doing this for multiple subjects. It was initially started in an English course, but as a math major I quickly started scribbling in the margins of my math texts. And you know what I discovered? The math I was working on started to make more sense! I would jot down notes about why certain things were done a certain way and rework problems in the margins and it started helping me understand the material much more deeply than I had initially.
Eventually I found myself wanting to underline and write notes in my novels. I don't own a lot of novels that I have written in due to the fact that I tend to read library copies before I buy books (unless I find them for very cheap). I love to mark passages that I enjoy so that I can easily find them again. I also like to jot down connections to other parts of the story, or where I think that particular revelation/scene might be leading me as a reader. I love being able to go back through my favorite stories and re-experience some of my initial feelings and reactions.
The connection I feel with the story when I underline and annotate my favorite passages and quotes just makes me happy. I feel like I'm getting even more invested in the story and into the mind of the writer. Writing in books is not for everyone, but I think more people should try it out. You never know, you might find a deeper, stronger connection by scribbling down those thoughts right there on the page!
Let me know what you think about writing in books!
Until next time, my friends.
Your book loving friend, Courtney