scribble scribble

Because I need to find rather obscure books for the Read The World challenge, I’ve been buying second-hand copies online. And that has meant an irritation I’ve barely had to deal with since university: people who write all over books.

To be fair, whoever wrote in this book was presumably its owner, so they can be spared the special level of hell that I can only hope is reserved for people who write in library books. But eight lines of underlining in blue biro cannot possibly be the best way of annotating a book, even for your own use. It’s far too distracting when you come back to have a look at what you marked earlier.

Use pencil, dammit. And confine the markings to the margin, as God intended. And while I’m on the subject: one sheet of A4 can easily be torn into about 200 scraps of paper that make perfectly serviceable bookmarks; so there’s no need to turn down the page corners.

Harumph.

2 Comments

  1. 1 November 2008 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The reader didn’t know when he started just how long all that brilliance was going to go on. He figured one, two lines, probably.

    I write in my books. But mostly the ones I want to keep.

    You are right about people who scribble in library books. The world needs more militant librarians who’ll check that.

  2. Harry
    1 November 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I did briefly experiment with writing notes in (my own) books at university, but personally I never found it particularly helpful. So I stopped more for that reason than because of any ideas about the sanctity of the printed word.

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