Sunday, June 17, 2012

How We Use Books

I was taught to never abuse books and even magazines to some extent. You never bent a book backwards too far so as to break the spine. You never turned a book face down with pages open to keep your place or left it open face up weighted down for the same purpose. You always used a bookmark and NEVER folded a page corner down! No marking in a book either.

When I went to college and saw people writing notes in their books, I nearly died. Then came the colored highlighters, and it took a long while to be able to splash that streak of yellow across the page, pretty or not.

When I married, DH drove me nuts with his treatment of books. Piled high, tossed on the floor, left in the bathroom, slayed under a bowl of peanuts like a Puritan sinner stretched on a rack…I found books all over the house and cringed. There were even books with telltale rings where summer glasses had sweat circles for posterity.  He is much better now. He uses a book mark, piles his books only on one table, and no longer turns down pages.

These days marks or memos in books intrigue me. I read them and wonder who read before me. Why did they disagree here or mark to remember there? Sometimes I want to discuss their opinions with them when I find notes on a page I am reading. If the reader has my sentiments, I feel a unique camaraderie with the former reader.

Lately I have been rereading books that I shared with my mother-in-law. I note where she marked or unlined. Maybe it was only a word she wanted to look up or practice using. Now I find her marks revealing her inner person. Often these markings bring a new understanding to me of this woman. If find that for all our vast differences, we shared some common responses to the lines we read. Like Miss Angelou wrote once, “We are more alike than we are different.” If only we humans could remember that…with the help of books, maybe we will.
Do you write in your books?


Is it just me or have some bloggers slowed down? It seems like many writers post less often and also comment less. Is Twitter for radom thoughts taking over entirely? I don't Twitter but then I said I would never blog. Things change.

When I am wrong I admit it. The new blogger is nice once I gave it a chance. I like the way the stats are provided. I can see numerous readers despite their not leaving comments. Shy? I think they must like the blog because they return to read even if they are quiet about it.

And the Kindle? Okay,  I am learning to love it. I am not ready to abandon "real" books, but this device has its place. I can read it at night without a lamp bothering anyone sleeping in the room. I can find free books. I can get books instantly when I want one! And, it is easier to tote in a purse than bigger book.


Susan said...

Hi Bookie...Nope. Don't write in books very often. Only in books that I truly love and read frequently. I'm like you----treat books with total respect.

Don't know if bloggers are slowing down. It IS time-consuming to blog, that's for sure, but for myself, it's my daily spurt of pure joy.

Take care. Susan p.s. Thanks for all your sweet and faithful visits and comments to my blog!

Rebecca said...

I DO write in books....and can hardly stand it when I have a book from the library that I wish I could mark in! I write down page #s thinking I'll "copy" down some profundities...but then start to collect so many that I don't.

No Kindle here yet. And I have a twitter account but don't tweet. Just re-treet.

I still like blogs and blogging.

Suzanne said...

Good grief, I'm like DH. I leave books open face down. I have them on the table, under the table, and beside the chair. I want them so I can pick them up and get going as if I never stopped reading earlier. I do own bookmarks only because bookstores give them away, but I don't always use them. I wonder where DH and I picked up nasty book habits! Could it have been from our father.

Lynn said...

It all depends on the book whether I write it in or not - if it's self-help and there's things I want to note, I'll underline or highlight, but it took me some time to do that.
I have a Twitter account, but don't do much with it. I have a Kindle too, but find I don't read on it as much as I read a real book :-). I'm trying to just blog weekly and I've been horrible at keeping up with all the blogs! Yikes.

Tracy said...

I really hate to write in books though I do make a pencil notation sometime. More often I use book darts or removable stickers.

Love fried green tomatoes. Have never made them but sister Billie does. Also think I would love to visit the Whistle Stop Cafe.

BECKY said...

Hi Claudia! I was brought up the same as you! And I've just recently decided it's okay to write in my own books....but only with pencils!
I don't know about bloggers slowing down in general, but I know that I have....obviously!....and some of the other writer bloggers I know. I'm not tired of it, and I do miss it, but I gotta do what I gotta do! And I miss reading yours!!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Claudia,
Writing in books seems sacriligious, although I did use highlighters in some college textbooks.

I've slowed down with blogging because of the busy summer schedule, but I try to keep up with favorite sites like yours.;-)

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