My Books & Me

So. Let’s talk about books. Specifically, writing in them.

This is a very, very divisive topic. I remember when I was re-reading The Hunger Games last summer while I was waiting in line for the midnight premiere of the last Harry Potter movie (we’ve mentioned my love of YA, yes?), and I was underlining and margin-scribbling with my favorite purple pen, and I got horrified looks from some of the other people I was waiting in line with.

But the way I see it, people will read the same books, and take away completely different things from them. Reading a book, no matter how many people read the same book, is a highly personal experience. And yes, I write in my books. Each highlight or underline or piece of marginalia has a specific memory attached to it, even the snarky comments written in the margins of the history textbooks from college that I still read sometimes. (Most of these memories are of sleepless nights full of 10pm coffee, but I digress.)

All I have to say is, if you think my copy of The Hunger Games looked back, I’d probably better not show you my copy of Looking for Alaska.

So, lovely internet, where do you stand on marking up your books?

14 thoughts on “My Books & Me

  1. Jenna Cooper says:

    Well, I don't unless it's for class, but I totally get why people do mark up their books. I'm just so impatient I have to keep reading and can't take time to mark anything.

  2. Lynn Proctor says:

    i don't usually mark in mine–most times i have borrowed them–by the way have you ever read "the book borrower"–i don't remember much about it, except i loved it at the time—if i own the books, i would write in them if i wanted to–great thought

  3. Carrie-Anne says:

    I've been reading since age three and writing since age four, and my parents always instilled in my a great respect for the written word. I can't understand how some people can just toss a good book or magazine into the garbage or recycle bin. I didn't even really mark anything in my university textbooks, though there are a few of my books (from a used bookstore) that I signed my name and the date I got them on the inner front cover.

  4. Elodie says:

    I sometimes do it – not on the first read though and it depends of the books: when they´re more philosophy (like Camus, Voltaire…) then yes, I highlight, I take notes but when it comes to fiction, I don´t think I´ve ever done it (with my kindle though I do highlight passages I like). Strange. 😀

  5. Carissa Taylor says:

    Ever since I started writing I do feel like scribbling all over my books – what's working for me, what's not, why. Unfortunately nearly all my books are on kindle, thereby making any marking much messier and less useful.What I do instead is jot things down in one of two files on my computer: "things that worked" and "things that didn't." That way I have all my commentary from every book I've read in one place! So far it's worked great!Love your blog, New follower BTW!

  6. Dana says:

    For me it depends on the book. If it's brand new, I have a harder time writing in it, but if it's something I picked up used, then I don't mind as much. I used to mark up my books all the time when I was in college, though. Enjoyed your post. I'm a new follower. 🙂

  7. Katy Upperman says:

    I don't mark in my books. I love them too much and want them to remain pretty forever. I totally get why others do it (no judgement from me!), but that's just not how my head works.

  8. Alison Miller says:

    hehe – I can't mark my books either, but I do put lots of post-its in them. Colorful ones too. I can only imagine what Looking for Alaska looks like. That book is chock full of quotes I want to plaster on my wall.

  9. Julie says:

    I don't usually write in my YA collection or in most of the books I read, but I absolutely write in my poetry books. WIth poetry, I feel such a part of the words as I take them in and digest, filled with wonder, that to not write down what I'm thinking would seem like a loss. I'd say I journal in poetry books. Great first post for the blogfest. 🙂

  10. Ghenet Myrthil says:

    Hi! I'm a new follower. :)The only books I've highlighted lately are writing craft books. I haven't written in a fiction book in a while (probably not since college) but I have digitally highlighted novels on my Kindle! I can see the benefits of highlighting passages that mean something to you.

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