Do you write in your books? Highlight? Make notes? Or do you like to keep your copies as pristine as possible?

I wouldn’t say I like to keep my books “pristine,” as I’m just fine with a well-worn/read/loved book with a dog-eared cover and worn spine–one of my favorite Neil Gaiman anecdotes is how he’s had people have him sign books held together with duct-tape, they’re so worn out. When book start falling apart, it may be time to replace them, but I look at that as being just like anything else that gets used a lot.

But I don’t write or highlight at all. I hate it. I understand its merits and why some people like it and do it, but for me it’s almost like defacing the book. I even try to avoid buying used books that have  been highlighted or written in, but that’s slightly different because you end up in a away partially reading through the lens of someone else’s look at the book. Sometimes it’s helpful and obviously from a college class where they were jotting down notes–which is one of the reasons I do think highlighting is useful, and I did do it on photocopied handouts in college–but for the most part, I find it distracting.


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