From a Person Who Writes in Books

08 Aug

A friend of mine who blogs (intermittently) at Laughter of Lowly Things offered a rebuttal to the grumpy book in my bedroom. An excerpt:

Dear Books Who Think Yourselves Ill-used Because People Write In Your Margins and Cover Pages,

Buck up. Think of all the graffiti that gets slapped on beautiful public buildings and natural wonders every day—now there’s a real offense.

Think about it: what is the true test of a book’s worth? Surely it is not clean, unmarked pages that make it sell for a little more on or Ebay. Isn’t it rather that the book should have become woven into the soul of a living human being?

Read the rest here.


Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Guest, Humor


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “From a Person Who Writes in Books

  1. LS

    August 8, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you for the reply that I had meant to write, but never got around to.

    I submit also that not only is marginalia a discussion with the author, but a potential discussion with any other reader of the book as well. I have indeed seen wonderful dialogue scribbled in the margins of library books, and mourned that such a practice was frowned upon. It is a community of readers, sharing with one another in confidence that each reply is written by one who takes the book and the author just as seriously.

    • A. Carroll Crowe

      August 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      *frantic librarian scramble* NOT THE LIBRARY BOOKS!

      Though, frankly, writing in a library book wouldn’t be as bad as some of the other things people do to them. There are days when I “give the books a bath” out of necessity. :p

  2. Elizabeth Johnson

    August 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    I never used to write in books, but I’m actually starting to now. Usually in pencil, and always very sparingly. And not in every book (of course, much of what I read is from the library). But it helps me digest what I’m reading, note what stands out to me so I can remember it the next time I read said book, and involve me more deeply in the reading process.

    As an author, I would be thrilled to know people are writing in my book. It means they’re actually thinking about what they’re reading, taking it to heart, and learning from it. It means my words are actually been used and savored, not just blithely ignored. 🙂

    • A. Carroll Crowe

      August 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      That’s an interesting viewpoint…it would actually be comforting to know that people like your books enough to write in them. 😉


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