If you’re a true book lover I’m already hearing you go, nooooooooooo!
But hands up if you have. And that does mean when you were little and couldn’t distinguish between a colouring book, which you were legitimately allowed to draw on, and the library copy of The Three Little Pigs. I confess I have.
As my love of books grew it was never OK to write or draw in them until I was studying. I highlighted and Post-it noted like crazy in text books I knew I’d never refer to again. Once I actually pulled a text book apart because I wanted to file away chapters in different parts of my folder. To this day I can still hear the book screaming in pain as I ripped the pages from its binding (I hang my head in shame!)
I’m reading a lot of contemporary romance fiction books now that are helping me to write in this genre. I can’t bring myself to write or highlight in the book. I now take notes in a notebook and take down the page number so I can refer back to it later if need be.
But now it’s OK to write in a book as explained here in Jen Malone’s The Margin Project. Here’s briefly what it’s about:
Place the special bookplate in the front of the book (free printable template’s can be downloaded from the website). Then mark away as you read. When you’re done, share it with a friend. It’s tons of fun to get it back later and see what others had to say as they read. You can each pick a different color pen to write with or use a symbol before each of your comments, if you’re sharing with more than one person. A simple key on the back page (purple pen=Kristen or $ =Sarah) will let every reader know who said what.
How cool is that? And you can also share your Margin Project on the Pinterest Group.
I can’t wait to give this a go – I can write, colour and doodle to my heart’s content and not hurt a book.
Have you come across The Margin Project? Do you ever (shock, horror) write or draw in a book and, if so, why? I promise I won’t persecute 🙂
Oooo interesting. I’m a note taker myself when it comes to reading. Any kind of book. I always have a journal and pen on hand. I cringe at the thought of writing in books. Mostly because I feel like if I’m going to desecrate a book it better be profound. Like Rory and Jesse!
I really want to check out that site though and look at some of the templates 🙂 this was a really good post.
Thanks for your feedback. I hope you find The Margin Project helpful.
Rachel McKee said:
I write in books if the prose are really good.
Taylor (@PenYourFreedom) said:
I don’t write in books at all, she says cringing slightly at the thought. I do however mark the pages with the thin colorful sticky note tabs and refer to them later. They’re coloring my books like crazy now – blue, pink, orange and purple tabs sticking out of the sides.
Thanks Taylor for stopping by. Yep, I’ve got books with lots of coloured flags all over them. They’re really pretty!
Honestly, as an English major, I’ve discovered that writing in books is not the end of the world– especially with poetry. My Nortons take the brunt of it, but I’ve got a set of Harry Potters that are specifically for academic purposes that have written notes and Post-Its and just look dreadful, but are certainly well-loved. I also way overuse tabs.
I love it when I see books that have lots of Post-Its on them. I’m curious as to what you’ve been using the Harry Potter books for. I’ve read that they’re good to study techniques for writing in Deep POV (which I’m trying to do!)
My college actually offers a course on Harry Potter, so it was partially for that. I do a lot of comparative lit, and mainly with this series I am looking for parallels to Arthurian Legend.
V Donovan said:
I’ve never written in a book. Even if I need to make a note of something for a class or a paper, I use a sticky note in the book. As much as I am not strongly offended at one’s choice to write in a book when the book is a textbook or something, I think that for a novel, having little notes and whatnot is distracting and it ruins the book. Use sticky notes.
Because what it comes down to is the future. The notes you write may not be amusing or interesting or even make sense later on, but the book is then still ruined. You can’t sell or lend or donate a used book like that. No one wants your comments.
Thanks. Your comment reminded me of the time I got a textbook out of the library where someone had highlighted all the way through it. It was very distracting because what the person had highlighted was not what I thought were the main points. And very disrespectful of public property.
I usually don’t scribble in books (unless I’m marking up corrections for the next edition, but I’m an editor, so that doesn’t really count, I suppose). My favourite books have lots of sticky tags in them, though, or pieces of paper with notes between the pages.
The Margin Project sounds interesting, but I’d only be able to write in my favourite books if I was sure that someone else will be commenting as well and there will be something to share at the end. I have a hard time getting people around me to love the same books I do!
Pingback: Happy blogiversary to me! | Casey Fae Hewson