Why I Write In Books

38 comments

Not only do I write in books, I love writing in books. Some of you are, without a doubt, putting your hands to your chest and sighing a yes. Some of you are making ugly faces. Tell me, which one are you?

One of my favorite activities is to skim the pages of my books and rediscover passages that I thought pretty, insightful, wrenching, or masterfully crafted.

Sometimes, when I’m reading or writing, I remember a vague connection to something I’ve read and I search through my book for the underlined passage, or line, or page. And things click. Sometimes that’s how I give birth to a reference.

Sometimes I read a marginal note that I had written and it’s like reliving that moment of exhilaration all over again. Sometimes my interpretations change, but I enjoy seeing myself transform on the page. I was never one to scream “I don’t understand!” on the edges of my pages. I only write what I feel I understand. I write or underline what I think will add value for me. Yes, for me alone. My books will be with me till death do us part.

If you are of the ugly face making sort, then you may want to turn away from the following images.

20170619_132941
William Butler Yeats. His writing evokes another world.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

All of these passages I was able to find with quick skimming. A Google search for quotes will not get me closer to that which I hold in my hand. These quotes, underlined by my hand, mean something to me.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re looking up quotes by a particular author, the same ones show up over and over again on every website?

It’s because people are recycling. No one wants to go back through an entire novel to find another special quote (because they never underline anything). So they search online and up comes a list of quotes by Mark Twain. Three people assembled that list in 1982 and uploaded to the web. And now they regurgitate it one more time on social media and Look at me, I’m a book reader.

Maybe I’m getting too hostile. I love debates. You should talk more, though.

20170619_132546

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
William Butler Yeats. At the Abbey Theatre
William Butler Yeats. At the Abbey Theatre

I went through an old English literature textbook one week just for fun and annotated An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope, one of my favorite writers. I wanted to exercise my brain as if I were in college again. Unfortunately, my mind hasn’t consistently worked as hard since leaving college. Because I didn’t want to accept that as a reality of life, I did this. It was a great exercise and I truly recommend it to all of you.

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I love that I can go through a lengthy poem like this one and be able to refresh myself of all the key points and read the parts that I feel like reading.

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

When I record what I love, what makes me burn, pause, reread, burn, that is a treasure of the highest value on my shelf. It is one way to make the most out of this gift of reading.

If you’re interested in hearing more sides on this topic, here is a link. Personally, I learned about a new reason for why some don’t approve of writing in books, and there’s a decent supply of reading out there if you’d like to hear even more.

38 comments on “Why I Write In Books”

  1. I actually never thought about writing in books! I never did it through college because I would try and sell my book at the end of every semester (when they weren’t rented) and didn’t think people wanted scribbled-on pages. This is intriguing to me…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do it!!! Oh my goodness, you’ll love being able to pick up a book and flip through it to reread all of the lines that you loved. I’m so excited that I introduced you to this idea. I feel like a match maker!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do the exact same! Funny thing is, when I moved abroad it was all the books I hadn’t annotated that were given away or donated. Everything with my scribbles inside felt like a part of me, like family. I couldn’t let go of those. Amazing post I especially love the photos 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! I could never give away the ones I’ve marked up. I’m sorry you had to give any away. You’re right about them feeling like a part of us. I’d love to live abroad someday, at least for a few months. I’m so glad to hear you liked the post and can relate. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I fought it hard because I love turning the pages of a real book and I love the smell of old books. But because I travel all the time e-books is the only way not to go over my luggage limit. I enjoy all your posts!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to write in books when I was studying literature. I do however underline paragraphs and when I really heart something, I note them down in my journal. I am thinking of starting it again thanks to your post. Why not? As you say, burn the bits, which burn their way into our minds, onto paper. P.S.: I be a Pope lover too. That satirical tone of his is too precious for words xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh darn, I was going to say let’s make matching I 💜 Pope shirts. But then I realized that most people aren’t familiar with 18th century writers, and our shirts will mean to them something entirely different.

      Ohhhhh! What about I 💜 A. Pope? Darn, that’s no good either☹

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahaha. Absolutely fabulous idea. No one would! They would think we are carrying on about the religious one and I am such a non-religious thing that it would be a certified anti-climax.

        A. Pope might just work hmm… ! Point to ponder.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These are great! I write on books sometimes, especially on self-development and religious books. but my interpretations are not nearly as deep and poetic as yours. The only books that I don’t write on are books of fiction. I like to keep those clean. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My self-development books are definitely underlined and highlighted straight through from front to back. I don’t know how you manage to keep you’re fiction clean, but I thank all the people that do when I’m in a used book store 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reliving the moment…I really enjoyed that perspective. I don’t write in books, so I’m glad the images failed to upload on my phone. I would have screamed. Very nice post, I will read more when I can. Us old people need our rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had NO IDEA that Charlotte Bronte wrote about me AND you like/love it!!! Hahahaha! 😛

    Seriously, I’m generally indifferent about margin-vandalism. If you bought the book, own it, and keep it close to your heart, then you can do, say, whatever you please and pass it on to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren! It is simply another way for those near you to know you better, more intimately, including your descendants! I say… vandalize away! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm it sounds like you’ve talked yourself into the better side. I love your thought that it gives those near us a chance to know us better. That beautiful. Never considered that.

      As a side note, I’m trying to find your email and can’t. Wth. I’ll ask you to resend if anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I do write in books, I do write everywhere actually. All of my studying materials and handouts and notes have notes on them lol I don’t write that much on books I read for fun, because I borrow them from the library. But my books, especially non-fiction, I have to write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your notes have notes on them. I totally get that, haha. I try hard to make sure I understand the material very well the first time I read it, so my notes are always extensive too.

      Like

  8. I never thought about writing in books besides textbooks in school lol even though we weren’t supposed to it was easier that way to go back to find things needed for an assignment. I think highlighting key points or quotes would be a good idea✨ as long as it doesn’t bleed through the pages of course. Or maybe underlining with colored pens/pencils

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do it! Normal highlighters are usually just fine, unless you’re one of those obnoxious people that swipe the same line multiple times. (The thought makes me shiver). Haha. Seriously though, that’s terrible.

      Like

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