Thursday, November 22, 2007

Written in books

... no, not an Echo and the Bunnymen citation as such, more a riff from reading Norm's recent post on annotating books.

As the person who gave me one of my first big blogging breaks (a Normblog Profile), I obviously have a lot of time for Norm and his enviable focus and allegiance to blogging. He somehow manages a wonderful combination of the erudite with the witty and eclectic as he ranges from cultural, political and philosophical ideas / productions / theories to commentary on current events (mostly, but not exclusively political as there is a goodly dose of sport).

Anyway, I probably come down on the side of having written in books, but not having always been comfortable at having done so. I certainly no longer take a highlighter to the pages anymore (some books having suffered this way in the past - shudder), and I generally avoid pen as well. It's usually pencil if I do it at all now, but I'm increasingly aware that I'm questioning WHY I'm making a note at all: it's all those hours spent advising students that taking notes isn't the same as reading, understanding texts or actually writing the essay [Cloud: shut up. It isn't polite to point out a girl's failings...].

Having said that, there is a fascinating book called Marginalia, which is well worth reading. Think of all the commentaries we wouldn't know of without people writing in books!

1 comment:

max bob said...

When I was studying, I adopted the habit of sticking a post-it on the page and making notes on that.

My main reason for not writing in books is that it lowers the second-hand value, should you ever decide to sell it on.