I write in my books and dog ear the pages.
*holds up hands*
Now, don’t go running away quite yet. There are reasons for my crimes.
Some books I’ve written in deserve it. Such as War of the Worlds. *shudder* That book was the worst.
Other books are nonfiction—devotionals, writing books, commentaries, etc. It’s a given for me to underline in them, if they’re my books. I don’t write in other people’s books. (In fact, if there are pencil marks in a library book, I’ll erase them. Look at me being a good citizen. XD)
Most of them are books for school, and a few years ago, I was required to annotate (that means write in) them.
But why do I write in them now when it’s not required? Why damage perfectly good books?
- To Improve My Vocabulary
One of the best ways to learn new words is to read books, such as the classics, Shakespeare, and poetry.
When I read, I like to circle words I don’t know, then look up their definitions in my Merriam-Webster app. (Way easier than a physical dictionary. It’s free too!) Then I’ll write the definitions in the margins. (I typically only do this for literature books and nonfiction.)
If I ever decide to read it again, I won’t have to look up the words.
I’ve also learned new words (jerkin, capricious, withal) and discovered authors have certain words they favor. I distinctly remember that I learned “capricious” from Jane Austen because she used it frequently.
- For My Personal Reference
When I come across a sentence that makes me laugh, description that is interesting (a rarity because I find too much description boring), or something I really liked, I’ll underline it. Either that or I’ll put a little star in the margin.
This is also where I’ll dog ear the page. The books I’ve enjoyed reading the most for school have a lot of dog eared pages.
If it’s a book that’s not for school, I don’t write in them as frequently, but I’ll turn down pages so I can find my favorite parts quickly. I’ll also draw smiley faces and hearts in the margins.
- To Make Them My Own
If you write in a book, you won’t have to share it with anyone else.
That is my evil strategy. 😛
But honestly, it makes each book special. Even if I’d just write out definitions (and I always do more), it’s still uniquely mine. It’s really fun to flip through them and see all the smiley faces or hearts I drew, pages I turned down, and snarky comments I wrote.
Things I Don’t Do To Books
I do not crack the spines. At least not intentionally. Cracked books never open right ever again. And the spines…it makes me so sad.
One time I snapped a book in half. It was an old copy of “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Eliot. (It’s poetry about cats.) I had to keep taping the pages back in and one day it entirely fell apart.
But I fixed it with packing tape and now it’s as good as new…if taped together is new.
I don’t write in books with pen, unless I’m crossing out curse words. I prefer pencil so I can erase mistakes I make.
I also don’t set them on fire. Though there are some I wish I could. (War of the Worlds)
I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing in, underlining, and dog earring my books. It’s just something I do–an unbreakable habit. I love my books and I guess the way I show it is by writing in them.
What about you? Have you ever written in a book? Do you crack the spines of your books? Have you read any of the books I talked about?