where the writers are


Write in the margins of books. Underline key passages. 

I'd rather pull out my own thumbnail than "dog-ear" the top of a page to mark my spot.

I get cranky with my family when I see a book lying open, its spine creased, when a slip of paper would prevent that kind of needless stress and damage.

Yet I know there are many instances of celebrated folks annotating their personal libraries with clever, thoughtful, sometimes extremely bitchy remarks.

David Markson was one such individual, but there seems to be no shortage of people who don't feel the slightest aversion to defacing or besmirching a pristine page.

How about you? A purist...or a scribbler?

And if you are one of the latter, what circumstances cause you to take up a pen or pencil and respond to a particular work?

I'm curious...

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I tend to put a check mark, a question mark or an asterisk (or sometimes a heart) next to passages I want to come back to, but use pencil. I also tend to mark the passage with a continuous verticle line in the margin along the first letters of each line which I think is neat and not too distracting. I may write a few words that help summarize my reaction. I've used sticky notes to avoid doing this in a library book and copied out the passages later using a computer but this takes more time. I have one book that my father had written in, in the margins, using a pencil. His notes usually don't make much sense to me initially which forces me to read the passages concerned more closely to see if I can figure out what he had in mind.

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I tend to do the same as Kim

I tend to do the same as Kim although I might place a small line beside text that speaks strongly to me. Apart from that. No. I leave the book intact and never, ever loan anything out to anyone. m