Preservatives- Booking Through Thursday

Preservatives November 15, 2007

Filed under: WordPress — –Deb @ 1:19 am
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Today’s question comes from Conspiracy-Girl:
I’m still relatively new to this meme so I’m not sure if this has been asked yet, but I’m curious how many of us write notes in our books. Are you a Footprint Leaver or a Preservationist?

Great question!

For me, it depends on why I’m reading the book, and if it’s a paperback or hardcover.

When I read for my book club, I am definitely a footprint leaver. I highlight favorite passages I want to refer back to. Sometimes I’ll use sticky notes to mark pages, but more frequently I turn the corner down. I scour the book for discussable moments. It feels much more like studying for a class than reading for pleasure (not that it isn’t pleasurable!) I go over discussion questions and look for answers. I write down thoughts about characters and any connections I’ve made with other books we’ve read as a group. It seems I get so much more out of a book club book than I do when I’m just reading for myself, and if I lend it to you, you will find all my highlighting and scribbles.

Hardcover books are a different matter. If I’m keeping a book for my personal library, or if a book is borrowed, I’m very careful with it. No dog ears, no highlighter. Only the book club selections get marked up. All others stay clean.

What about you? Preservationist or footprint leaver?

15 Responses

  1. I am a preservationist. I don’t ever mark my books.

  2. People like me must make you very uncomfortable! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. When I started participating in group reads, leading discussions, and reviewing, my strict preservationist ways had to become more flexible. While I still prefer to keep notes and questions in a notebook or mark a book I am reading with a sticky note, I don’t hesitate to make a notation in the book if I must. The older I get, the less picky I am about such things.

    I do find it distracting when I read a book that someone else has marked up, but sometimes it can be quite enlightening. 🙂 I figure if you own the book, it’s yours to do with what you want. We all have different ways of getting what we need to out of our reading.

  4. Oooh, Lisamm! What a shocker! Turned-down pages? Naughty naughty!😀
    I’d have to buy two copies if I really had to do that for book club. Then, when all discussion was complete, I’d chuck the abused version away and keep the pristine one.

  5. Of course, with a LIBRARY book, I try to be nice to it! But I have been known to turn down a little page corner or two. In my own copy, especially one that inspires me; YES, I will underline and turn down lots of corners and I also write about it in my journal. I also write down page numbers with words I need to look up or for phrases that give me pause.

  6. Hi Lit. Feline, Same here. It wasn’t until I started reading for my book club that I started abusing books. Hi Lesley.. yes I am such a REBEL!! Care, we think alike.

  7. I have an ugly confession: I’m more careful with my own books than library ones. I use loose papers that are bookmarks for notes, but if it’s a library book and I’m reading quickly, I dog-ear the page. Naughty naughty me! My husb is always shocked to see me do this.

  8. I never write in books or dog-ear the pages. (Fortunately, the magazines I get provide me with dozens of reply cards that double as excellent bookmarks.) I like my books to look perfect. Perhaps it comes from my years of working in a bookstore!

  9. Thanks for stopping in! You’ve read my rather cranky response, so now I have a question for you: what do you do with those books you’ve written in? You say you DO loan them out, but do you mention beforehand that they’ve been marked? (and dog ears don’t count; pages get bent unintentionally sometimes)

    And do any of your friends remark on the comments you’ve made?

  10. Hi Susan, Thanks for your comment. I keep them. I have a shelf that holds all my book club books. We’ve only been meeting since March, so there aren’t that many. I’ve only loaned out a couple, and that was to a couple of women who joined our book club after we’d been meeting for a few months. They wanted to read what the group had read before they came to the party. I warned them about the highlighting, etc. Neither one of them mentioned it!

  11. great approach on the book club picks! i get so many of mine from the library – but i do go to the meetings with post-it notes on many of the pages.

  12. Hey L! I try to keep my books as good as new and I get upset when I get a crease in the binding. I end up wishing I new where that line was or which page had the the thing I really related to but I sure have shelves of beautiful books.
    I try to write things down in a notebook or something but if I’m wrapped up in the story I forget to do that.
    Now magazines (especially my New Yorker) have dog-ear pages in every issue. I find that I go through the whole magazine and see which articles I want to take the time to read and dog-ear them. Then I can easily go back and not have to hunt for the article amid the ads.

  13. I write all over my books…in the margin, on sticky notes, circle words, underline key phrases, etc. Sometimes my third graders look at me like I’m crazy. I stress all of the time the importance of being an active reader by marking the book up “like crazy!”🙂

  14. Mr Schu, I’m glad I’m not the only one!! Although I haven’t gone so far as to encourage my kids to do it. Interesting idea..

  15. Yeah, my third graders do a great job of writing in the margins and writing down thoughts. We developed an entire “Schu” reading language of abbreviations and symbols to make active reading a bit more fun! :

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